Everyone gets a golden birthday, but for Thomas Nelson of South Elgin, it's platinum.
The sixth-grader turns 12 today -- on 12/12/12.
His father, Cris Nelson, said it's something the boy has made the family aware of for the past couple of years but was actually something he'd figured out on his own long before that.
"I was probably 6 or 7," Thomas said of when he realized the significance his own golden birthday would have.
The family has a number of surprises in store to celebrate the occasion but didn't want to divulge them before they're sprung, Cris said.
Philip Clark, a suburban-based numerologist, said Dec. 12 has significance as both a birthday and a 12th birthday, but maybe not the same as most people assume.
Many see the symmetry of 12-12-12, but to a numerologist the fact that the date is really 12-12-2012 can't be overlooked, Clark said.
The significance of multidigit numbers is seen by adding the digits together, with 2012 adding together to 5. Clark said the universe being at a 5 this year is all about people making choices that will bring them to freedom.
Unlike the notions about the Mayan forecasts of the end of the world this year, numerologists believe the Earth's vibrations are forcing people to look at what's not in balance and correct it, Clark said.
It's not unreasonable to see some parallel in the fiscal cliff discussions currently going on in Washington, he added.
"It's all about cooperation -- bringing opposites together for the benefit of the whole," Clark said.
The 12/12 date of Thomas' birthday adds together to two 3s, the number of creativity, Clark said.
"It opens the door for that person to be very creative," he added. "It's very important that they be encouraged to express themselves."
Clark said creativity is a trait that probably grows stronger with age, as at the beginning of life people are usually told who they are and who they're supposed to be by others.
Cris Nelson said he'd never thought of such a thing before but sees some truth in such a description of his son.
"He is, for sure, a creative young man and has a good heart," Cris said. "God has blessed him with many abilities."
Cris said his wife reminded him that the day Thomas was born at St. Alexius Medical Center in Hoffman Estates was the day of a major snowstorm as well as the day the Supreme Court stopped the Florida recount and declared George W. Bush president.
Now, in 2012, the Chicago area has a set a record for the number of days without snow and Barack Obama is preparing for his second term as president.