Making a Holiday Birthday Special

 

 

As you know, if you’ve been around here at all, my second child was born four months early on Christmas Eve.  Needless to say, I certainly was not PLANNING on having a holiday baby.  Nonetheless, almost six years of planning have taught me a few tricks for helping to ensure that babies born on or very near the holidays still have special birthdays.

 

  1. Use caution with “combo gifts.”  I don’t believe combo gifts are a bad thing– sometimes you find that “perfect something”, but the cost is prohibitive.  Combining might make it feasible.  May I humbly suggest that you consider handling “combo gifts” the way you might for a child with, say, a July birthday?  Rather than combining Christmas and birthday together, why not see if there’s a friend or family member who would like to go in with you?  It’s another kind of combo gift, but it’s more fair.
  2. Use birthday paper.  I know, I know… all the Christmas wrapping stuff is already out and it’s SO convenient!  And, really, that snowflake paper doesn’t look TOO Christmas-y now, does it???  It does.  If you wouldn’t use it to wrap a Spring baby’s gift, don’t use it for the December baby.  (There is an exception here!  Do you see that pink princess paper up there?  It’s sold as Christmas wrap because the princesses are wearing winter ball gowns.  I bought it for my daughter’s birthday because she loves pink and princesses.  It will NOT be used on any Christmas presents.  My point being– this isn’t some rock solid rule.  Just use good sense.)
  3. Plan parties early.  This is a busy, busy time of year.  If you’re hoping people can attend a special celebration, you have to give them plenty of lead time.  I try to get invites out the first week of December, at the latest, for my Christmas Eve child.  So far, I must say that the turn-out for her parties has been as good as that for my late January baby.
  4. Don’t get sucked into doing “half birthdays”… unless that’s what the birthday child wants.  There is no law that says babies born near the holidays must postpone their celebrations until summer.  Some kids really love summer activities and would rather have their parties in the warmer months.  That’s great!  But don’t feel that “half birthdays” are the only viable option.
  5. Celebrate ON the day, at least a little bit.  This one is extremely hard, particularly if you have a baby who is born right ON Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.  Those are busy, busy days, often jam-packed with tradition.  For our family, we stay in “birthday mode” all morning and through lunch.  In the afternoon, we prepare for Mass and Christmas Eve supper and transition over to “holiday mode.”  The fact that it’s not convenient doesn’t change the fact that it’s her birthday.
  6. Form a new tradition.  Every Christmas Eve morning, I tell my children about the year C. was born.  I describe the awed silence of the operating room when her cry rang out triumphantly, against all odds.  I talk about singing carols to my not-yet one-year-old son from my hospital bed and recall the heavy, wet snow that fell outside the window.  You can do this no matter when your child’s birthday falls, but it’s especially nice to pause and reflect during what can be a chaotic season.
  7. Finally, celebrate the advantages.  No matter when you were born, there are perks.  My June birthday was often the last day of school.  The weather was usually awesome and people were super happy!  For my Christmas Eve kiddo, I like to point out that she will always be off school on her birthday.  Houses will always be lit up and beautiful on her birthday.  Lots of people will be in good spirits.  Candy and treats will be plentiful.  And, never fear, there will always be pink paper at our house. :)
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3 comments to Making a Holiday Birthday Special

  • Great list! (and a very happy birthday to your miracle baby)
    My brother was born on Christmas day. My husband’s birthday is today so I’ve learned a lot of these the hard way!
    I remember my brother not even wanting to open the present when it was wrapped in Christmas paper! ;)
    Birth is always something to be celebrated no matter which day it happens to fall. Your children are blessed to have you doing just that…

  • Very true. My daughter’s birthday is 12/21 so it’s always a balancing act every year. I usually try to clear the party date ahead of time with the grandparents and her best friend and then we get the invites out as soon as possible. And with all my kids, they get to pick whatever they want for dinner on their actual birthday. This years was easy as she chose burgers and tatertots.

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