It’s that time of year again! No, not Christmas. It’s Vampire Diaries star Ian Somerhalder’s  (Damon) birthday! This December 8, we wanted to wish him a happy birthday by listing 34 of the reasons (one for every year he’s graced the planet with his presence) why we love him.

1. Ian doesn’t actually want presents for his birthday. Nope — all he wants is a little help from his fans (us!) to help contribute to the foundation he created in order to help positively impact the planet and its creatures.  Go to to make your contribution.

2. Let’s not lie here: The man is gorgeous.

3. He enjoys cooking.

4. He’s all responsible and junk.

5. He has a classy tattoo.

6. He looks good with his shirt off.

7. He plays Damon!

8. He testified before Congress.

9. He met the President!

10. He’s not shy about posting photos of himself.

11. He’s fond of cute and playful PDA.

12. He loves the environment.

13. He loves his fans

14. He looks good whether scruffy or shaven.

15. He’s a businessman.

16. He loves Deepak Chopra

17. He was on Lost.

18. He had an awesome modeling career.

19. He's smooth with the ladies.

20. He's from Louisiana.

21. He's doesn’t mind getting naked (or pulling naked pranks).

22. He's a red wine aficionado.

23. He's well-traveled.

24. He volunteers for animal shelters.

25. He has his cat in his Twitter pic.

26. He loves smart women.

27. He was a horse trainer as a kid.

28. He always makes us laugh.

29. He’s a Buckminster Fuller fan.

30. He knows the secret to a girl’s heart.

31. He could kick Edward's butt.

32. He has totally reasonable dating deal-breakers

33. He can make us cry over a wedding we weren’t even invited to.

34. He and makes Nina Dobrev smile.

So here’s to our favorite animal-loving, Louisianian, horse-training model-turned-actor! Happy Birthday, Ian Smolderhotter Somerhalder!

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