I remember going to the doctor for the first time when I was pregnant with my son and the ultrasound technician telling me my due date was going to be Christmas Eve. My first thought was, “Wow! What a great Christmas gift!” My second thought was, “awww that’s not a very fun time for a birthday.”
Then when I went in for my daughters ultrasound and found out her due date was December 23rd I thought, “well, at least we are consistent!” and “We are going to be so broke the month of December!”
With two birthdays the same week as Christmas I knew right away we were going to have to set up some guidelines to keep their birthdays special and not just an extension of Christmas. Here are some of the ways we try to keep the days all about them:
1. No Christmas wrapping paper. This seems like a little thing, but as their parent it was a big one for me. We let our families know about this wish upfront. If someone brings them a gift wrapped in Christmas paper you better believe I’m going to re-wrap it. For one day it’s their day, not Santa’s day.
2. On their special day it is all about them. We take the day off from talking about Santa, and Christmas and it is just truly all about them and the special day they were born.
3. Even though the house is full of Christmas decorations we try to decorate it some more with “Happy birthday” decorations. As they get older they will get to tell us what kind of decorations they want. They already let us know what kind of balloons they want.
4. Since they are going to be bombarded a couple of days after their birthdays with presents we try to take them out for an “experience” on their birthday, and then they just get a couple small presents. If your kids get grandparent money for their birthdays a good idea would be to buy a zoo membership, or dance classes, or something like that so they won’t be buried under a pile of toys that will lose their luster fast.
5. No combined birthday/Christmas gifts. That’s a big no. Like I mentioned before their birthdays are a day where we put a pause on Christmas and it is strictly all about their special day.
6. We haven’t had any big birthday parties yet, and we know birthday parties when they are school aged will be hard given how close they are to Christmas. When we get to that point we will be asking them if they want a birthday party in December, or if they’d rather wait until their half birthday in June when more of their friends might be able to come. That will be a decision that we will let them make. We will still celebrate on their actual birthday, but will give them a chance to delay a birthday party for their friends.
7. Even though we are all on sugar overload at the holidays we always have a birthday cake, or birthday cupcakes. Last year my son asked for a cookie cake, and this year he wants a donut cake. For the month of December we will just be on a sugar high.
Before having my kids I never gave a thought to what it was like to be a kid born around a major holiday. I was a summer baby so I had no idea how much it could stink to be born in the month of December. I’m sure all of this will seem silly to some, but it is important to us to make our kids feel like their birthday is the most special day of the year no matter what day it falls on.
Do you know anyone with a birthday that falls near a major holiday? Did their family do anything to keep it special for them?
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