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Old 05-18-2010, 10:07 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Who would have thought that a half birthday discussion could get so interesting?!

Making the day special for DS is why we are doing a half birthday - it will be his day without "Christmas" involved. He will be able to have everyone who cares about him be there, enjoy themselves and not be at all partied out. He wont be restricted by the weather either.

As for celebrating a birthday on the actual day.. im born on July 1st (Canada Day) and it does suck. As much as my parents would try, I could never have a party on the actual day with friends and extended family, I always wanted to have a bday on a day that could be for me. My hubby is almost a New Year baby, so he's in the same boat, he said that he's never been able to differentiate between Christmas and his birthday because most family would wish him a happy bday at the Christmas get together. Im not surprised that we almost had a Christmas baby

Thanks again for your suggestions mama's, I do appreciate it!

Serena - married to Jason, mom to Sebastian (b.12.22.2008) and Poppy (b.07.07.2011) ♥

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Old 05-18-2010, 10:31 AM
 
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I think there's a difference (in people's minds) when you say "we're celebrating his Xth birthday in June, since December is so busy for everyone" and "we're celebrating his 18mo (or 2.5, 5.5, 16.5yr) bday!" The latter just *sounds* like a gift grab.

Like I said, we always did #1's friend party a couple of months later, when everyone had that holiday letdown. I've also left it 'til spring and taken just one or two friends to a MLB ballgame. I'm having #2's Sweet 16 this w/e, though her bday is in March - it just worked better for us/me. But we're celebrating the birthday - not a half anything.

It's all a matter of presentation.
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Old 05-18-2010, 10:34 AM
 
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I'm not comfortable with birthdays being celebrated on days other than the date on each a person was actually born. DD1's birthday is Dec 21 and that's when we celebrate it. We do private birthdays (me, dh, the kids) so Christmas isn't a problem and I don't care about the -40 weather here.

If I want to have a big summer party with friends/family then I would do so as it's own party not as a birthday.
THis seems a little stringent to me. Don't you or your husband work? My borther in law is a fireman - sometimes they have to work around his schedule.
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Old 05-18-2010, 10:49 AM
 
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My birthday is within a week of Christmas, and both my kids have bad-weather birthdays, and I'm just not a fan of celebrating at other times. It just isn't the birthday, and the purpose of a birthday party is to celebrate the birthday, not to have a party and get presents when convenient.

But, having said that, if you're going to do it, I'd present it like an OP said, and call it the birthday party instead of the half birthday party, and say you're celebrating it 6 months early to avoid Christmas.
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Old 05-18-2010, 12:34 PM
 
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I think there is something beautiful and reverent about honoring the seasonality of birthdays, and the specialness of that particular day when that person entered the world. I have always been conscious of that and try to incorporate it in dc's b-days. For our December baby we started a tradition of making gingerbread houses during his party. We have kids that have been attending his parties for 10 years that look forward to this....even though they're teens now. We have all our lights and stuff up and talk about what a beautiful season it is to have a b-day (dh and I are also born in Dec.). One year we gave ornaments as part of the goody-bag. We also usually go tree-hunting right the day or so after his party. It's all become a lovely, reverent tradition and ds loves his Dec. b-day. We also love to remember fondly the day he was born in '95...the huge blizzard and -20 windchills and how everyone had to come to us because he was born at home with a fire roaring in the fireplace and holiday lights twinkling all around...

I can't imagine having a celebration for him at the opposite time of year. That said, we also have 2 June babies...their b-days involve grilling out, water guns, bug hunting, painting flower pots, sometimes a bonfire (guess we could do that in Dec. too). It's just different. Different season, different type of reverence. It is when they were born and it is special and part of who they are. I also have a ds born in April. Sometimes it rains or is cold. Sometimes it's beautiful. It's always wonderful because it is his birthday.

So, those are some of my reasons why I think it is important to celebrate at least somewhere near the actual b-day. If you do a half-party, I would still do something very special for the actual day, even if it is just immediate family. I would not want to send the message the day my dc is born sucks because it is near a major holiday or has bad weather. This coming from someone born Dec. 15.
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Old 05-18-2010, 05:02 PM
 
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I'm not comfortable with birthdays being celebrated on days other than the date on each a person was actually born. DD1's birthday is Dec 21 and that's when we celebrate it. We do private birthdays (me, dh, the kids) so Christmas isn't a problem and I don't care about the -40 weather here.

If I want to have a big summer party with friends/family then I would do so as it's own party not as a birthday.
Ah, but then nobody would bring presents
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Old 05-18-2010, 06:21 PM
 
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I'm not comfortable with birthdays being celebrated on days other than the date on each a person was actually born. DD1's birthday is Dec 21 and that's when we celebrate it. We do private birthdays (me, dh, the kids) so Christmas isn't a problem and I don't care about the -40 weather here.

If I want to have a big summer party with friends/family then I would do so as it's own party not as a birthday.
My youngest was born on the 17th and I'm the 24th. (Oldest and DH is October 29th and baby to be will be end of August, so all our birthdays are pretty poor times to throw parties) I often have his a week before because folks are busy and the Saturday/Sunday before usually is the optimal time anyhow. Even though we're December babies, I'm still stubborn enough to do the whole birthday in or around the actual date. That said, once you hit the 20th on, it gets really hard. However I'm lucky in that my friends and family realize how much that can stink. They all got together on my 30th on my actual birth date to celebrate, which made it all the more special.

Don't trust anyone under 5! Mom to 3 boys under 5. Blogging to save my sanity.
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Old 05-19-2010, 12:31 AM
 
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We celebrate each of our (mine and each of the kids) bdays on the actual day, but just the three of us. Dinner is the bday kid's choice - out or in - and the other two take care of it (yes, they cook or pay on my bday - I usually choose something they cook really well, at home). We do something with my parents and bro/sil + her sister and mother on the closest weekend to it. Friend party when we can.
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Old 05-19-2010, 02:25 AM - Thread Starter
 
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choli, Im not sure what I posted that implied that we are celebrating DS half birthday in order to get presents?

limette, does your son not ever want a party with his friends? it never occurred to me to just not throw a party (with friends and extended family) period.

Tigeresse, sounds like you have a very lovely tradition (and had a wonderful homebirth!). We will be celebrating our son's birthday as a family, just the three of us, on the actual day. I honestly don't think anyone in our family or circle of friends would ever think that because we are having the party on a different day, that we view the day our son was born as a bad day or inconvenient day, or anything like that, and if they do, they obviously don't know us very well.

****

So, I think ive decided not to even include the word "birthday" on the invites

Serena - married to Jason, mom to Sebastian (b.12.22.2008) and Poppy (b.07.07.2011) ♥

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Old 05-23-2010, 12:07 AM
 
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What an interesting discussion! My daughter's birthday is June 25th. Because her classmates have parties wherein they invite classmates, she wants to do the same thing. Once school gets out (the beginning of June), she'd be able to have a few classmates, but she wants her class, just like the kids who have parties during the school year.

Her half birthday is December 25th, so we can't use that as the alternative. (And that's not unheard of, in my life. I remember one year my February-born brother wanted a pool party for his birthday. So he had it on his half birthday.)

My daughter's birthday party this year is a month before her actual birthdate. It falls within the school year, so she gets to have her "big class party" just like her classmates. I see no reason to tell my 6 year old "sorry kid, you were born in late June, you have to pick a few friends and see a movie/go to an amusement park/whatever" rather than simply shifting things. I suspect as she gets older she'll want to do things like taking a friend to go see a local theater production or something. But now? She wants to do what her friends are doing & that's perfectly reasonable when it comes to almost-7 year olds and birthday parties. She wants her friends to sing happy birthday to her. She wants a birthday cake. She wants to give out goody bags. And yes, she's excited about the presents.

Heck, my daughter's actually going to be staying with her grandma on her actual birthday this year. We let her know the options (including her coming home early, us going there early, time shifting her family birthday celebration) and she picked time shifting her birthday.

But then, I come from a family where my dad traveled. I don't think there's a single holiday or celebration that wasn't time shifted at one time or another.
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Old 05-23-2010, 09:20 AM
 
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This IS an interesting discussion. I have two kids with Dec. b-days, one is on the 2nd and one is on the 23rd. Then I have a ds with an April 16 b-day,, which is when spring break happens here and EVERYONE is gone.

This is an interesting study in how different people adapt to a less than ideal situation.

personally, I'm a stick-with-your-birthday and make the very best of it person. But I can appreciate the Don't-like-it-change-it attitude,too.

Different strokes for different folks... and thats what makes the world go round
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Old 05-23-2010, 11:37 AM
 
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I guess I don't understand why the whole class can't be invited, even if her birthday is a bit after school lets out. Sure, some may be away, but even when the party is in the middle of the school year, there are kids who can't make it.
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Old 05-23-2010, 12:26 PM
 
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I never realized that half-birthday celebrations were so controversial!
Our dd was born on December 22nd, and this year (18 months) we plan to start celebrating half birthdays. We're going to have half of a cake, and half cards, and I'm making her a tutu. I think we'll just have a few little people (we are sort of new to the area and wouldn't be able to invite a lot of people even if we wanted to!) over to play in the backyard. I don't expect people to bring presents. When she's a bit older, I think it might be neat to ask people to bring half of something. I'm sure people could come up with some really cool ideas (a couple of half-filled water balloons, half a chocolate bar...). The rule we have imposed for the half-birthday present from us is that it has to be homemade and not huge. I think it's a fun thing to do, and can't really see the harm in it.
The reality is that close to Christmas babies are never going to have big parties with all their friends, so why not celebrate the half and get together with some lovely people?
For the record, dd had a perfectly lovely birthday celebration on the actual day last year. It was small - only family, and I thought it was special. I'm sure the actual date will continue to be celebrated, because it is a special day! But, I think it can be fun to celebrate half-birthdays too, and we'll do it with all of our kids in a low-key way. (dc#2 is due on Dec 24 this year!)

For greater things are yet to come...

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Old 05-23-2010, 01:24 PM
 
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I never realized that half-birthday celebrations were so controversial!
I have only heard of it being a problem online. Bet I could call everyone I know and they wouldn't have an opinion either way Maybe it's a regional thing?

Also, am I the only parent who DREADS the gifts that people will bring for my kids? I would rather no gifts but apparently it is rude to specify that none be brought, so I grit my teeth and deal. I highly doubt that the OP is throwing this party just to get gifts. Do people really do that? If so then that's WHACK!
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Old 05-23-2010, 10:47 PM
 
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I guess I don't understand why the whole class can't be invited, even if her birthday is a bit after school lets out. Sure, some may be away, but even when the party is in the middle of the school year, there are kids who can't make it.
Because in our case, it's not a matter of a few children being unavailable. It's a matter of most of them being unavailable. During the school year, kids get about 2/3rds of the invitees attending (based on observation & conversations with other parents). Summer things? We would have gotten 1/4. Maybe (based on conversations with other parents). My daughter will be fine with that when she just wants a few kids, but when she's looking for the "invite the whole class" party, 4 kids being available doesn't do it.
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Old 05-23-2010, 11:40 PM
 
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Finally someone who understands the half birthday parties.:

For any of my cousins that had Dec bdays, the larger family celebrated the 1/2 bday with cake and presents. When it was actually their bday, they had a special dinner with just their parents.

We celebrate my children's half bdays by giving them a couple of gifts that are for summer time. Then when we have their larger party near their actual fall bdays, we don't buy them a gift because they will get a few from family and friends.

I don't know what to suggest about the gift ideas. What I think is proper differs from what society thinks is proper. I mean who isn't going to bring a gift to a children's party? So why can't we talk about it and suggest some item that is going to be useful or wanted.
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Old 05-23-2010, 11:53 PM
 
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I read some of the replies and am surprised by some. I wouldn't let anyone here change your plans. Different people create different family traditions that work for them. Why don't you ask the people that you would be inviting how they feel, but remember the final decision is for you and your spouse. I know my mom, who hated her Dec bday, would have done anything to support celebrating the life of her grandchildren no matter the time of year.
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Old 05-24-2010, 12:00 AM
 
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I don't know what to suggest about the gift ideas. What I think is proper differs from what society thinks is proper. I mean who isn't going to bring a gift to a children's party? So why can't we talk about it and suggest some item that is going to be useful or wanted.
You know, I think the problem with this is that many times people want to do what they want but get upset that there might be consequences. I think you do what you want, and woman up and accept the consequences (if any).

This year, for both the kids' birthday parties (singleton DD in the early part of the year, twin DSes coming up soon) we stipulated no gifts but that the kids were hoping to raise contributions for a specific charitable organization instead. I'm sure it rubbed people the wrong way, but honestly I only heard good feedback. I would have handled negative feedback just fine though, and had already prepared a nice, polite way to respond to anticipated problems. "zOMG I HATE THAT CHARITY RAWR!!" "Please don't feel like you need to donate at all, we'd be happy to have you come and just enjoy yourself." "YOU MEAN MOMMY HOW DARE YOU DENY YOUR CHILD GIFTS!" "We talked it over as a family, the kids had a choice whether or not to do this, it was their decision." "WTF YOU ARE RUDEST BDAY HOST EVAR! I'M NOT COMING NO WAY." "We'll miss you being there, but respect that you need to make decisions in line with your family's values too."

The problem I see is when people whine about wanting to do something different and then getting blowback. Look, no matter what you do, there is going to be someone sitting behind a keyboard who hates it and will be happy to get in your face about it. IRL you're not going to please everyone either. If you don't invite the whole class and your neighbor's dentist's third ex-wife's second cousin's neighbor too, you're mean and exclusive. If you do throw a big party at (G-D FORBID) some place like CEC or other franchise joint--well, you're a bit consumerist UA violation who loves to kick baby trees and make all our nation's children fat.

So, do whatever the heck you want. Most people really are not going to care. The ones that aggressively moan and complain probably would have found something offensive in order to satisfy their need for sensitivity excitement, some people may roll their eyes but probably not in front of you so who cares, you're going to be breaking SOME portion of the tome of etiquette rules anyway (zOMG you did NOT put the forks on the RIGHT side of the plate did you? Emily Post is spinning in her grave because of you!).

Decide what is least stress free for you and your family, don't get pouty if some people choose not to come or are a little uncomfortable, answer criticism (if it comes) with a polite smile and carry on, and don't listen to gossip.
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Old 05-24-2010, 11:03 AM - Thread Starter
 
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selkat, congratulations! two Christmas babies! our due date was December 25th

****
Ive loved reading everyones responses to my little thread.
Like I said before, I was never planning on not having a summer birthday party based on responses to this thread, I was just looking for ideas We had decided to celebrate in the summer before DS was even born.

The invites are done and look wonderful! I hand painted one and then scanned it in and printed them off! I think they look very sweet and do say 'birthday' and 'summer party' on them. They also have a short little burb about why we are celebrating now.

Gifts... I didn't mention anything about gifts either way. We have had a couple people ask about what DS would like for his half-birthday (even though the invites aren't even out!) so im assuming that if someone wants to bring a gift and doesn't know what we like, that they will just ask.

Serena - married to Jason, mom to Sebastian (b.12.22.2008) and Poppy (b.07.07.2011) ♥

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Old 05-24-2010, 12:52 PM
 
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My DD's bday is December 27th and we have every intention of offering her a summer half-bday party when she is older if she'd like. I think it is a great idea for kids whose actual birth date is eclipsed by a major holiday event. I guess I don't care what day we celebrate it, just as long as once a year we celebrate her presence in our life. It isn't as if she accomplished something major on 12/27/2007 - I did most of the work.

Mama to E (12/07) and M (01/11). homebirth.jpg
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Old 05-25-2010, 04:40 PM
 
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I think there is something beautiful and reverent about honoring the seasonality of birthdays, and the specialness of that particular day when that person entered the world. I have always been conscious of that and try to incorporate it in dc's b-days. For our December baby we started a tradition of making gingerbread houses during his party. We have kids that have been attending his parties for 10 years that look forward to this....even though they're teens now. We have all our lights and stuff up and talk about what a beautiful season it is to have a b-day (dh and I are also born in Dec.). One year we gave ornaments as part of the goody-bag. We also usually go tree-hunting right the day or so after his party. It's all become a lovely, reverent tradition and ds loves his Dec. b-day. We also love to remember fondly the day he was born in '95...the huge blizzard and -20 windchills and how everyone had to come to us because he was born at home with a fire roaring in the fireplace and holiday lights twinkling all around...

I can't imagine having a celebration for him at the opposite time of year. That said, we also have 2 June babies...their b-days involve grilling out, water guns, bug hunting, painting flower pots, sometimes a bonfire (guess we could do that in Dec. too). It's just different. Different season, different type of reverence. It is when they were born and it is special and part of who they are. I also have a ds born in April. Sometimes it rains or is cold. Sometimes it's beautiful. It's always wonderful because it is his birthday.

So, those are some of my reasons why I think it is important to celebrate at least somewhere near the actual b-day. If you do a half-party, I would still do something very special for the actual day, even if it is just immediate family. I would not want to send the message the day my dc is born sucks because it is near a major holiday or has bad weather. This coming from someone born Dec. 15.
I'm with you.
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Old 05-30-2010, 04:25 PM
 
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Wow.

I wouldn't have expected 1/2 bdays to be controversial either.

I have known plenty of people without 1/2 birthdays to delays parties. People with March bdays want pool parties, so they wait. People have relatives or friends that can't make it, so they wait a month or two.

For those that are so up in arms against 1/2 birthdays, do you HAVE a child with a birthday right next to Christmas??


While my mom remembers my girls birthdays, she has come close to forgetting on several occasions that my son has a birthday as well. She is so focused on Christmas, she doesn't remember the birthday. The only reason I've seen she has, is because in the course of talking with her, I've happened to mention things like, well we finally decided on a cake. This isn't intentional prodding on my part, but simply conversation. Twice now, after conversations like that, I've realized, she had completely forgotten about it!!


I will also come out and say it. It IS about the presents. (Obviously, there is far more to it, but this does have an impact as well.)

The difference between what my son receives for his birthday, and what my daughters receive for their non-holiday birthdays, is very noticeably
different. This isn't just a small difference, but a very large difference.

On his first birthday alone, my sister completely forgot about it. My mom did forget about it, until I happened to mention it. While she made a huge deal about my other kids first birthdays, she did next to nothing for him. How many people grandparents forget a child's first birthday? :-(


While my son is only 3, it isn't a big deal, but he is going to reach an age at some point, where he isn't going to understand why both his sister's got a ton of presents from their grandparents on their birthday, and he gets next to nothing, and why what he gets is generally an afterthought.

Sure, it will open up conversation, and I will have to have a good talk with him at that point, but it is fairly sad that he is utterly forgotten.

Now, this isn't about, oooh...let's get more presents. I would be just as happy that my girls got less, but that hasn't worked. It is about at some point needing to explain things to a 4-5 year old, when he notices and doesn't understand why things are so different.

The only reason I haven't done a 1/2 birthday, is because we do not have relatives here. I suspect if we changed when we celebrated it, they would forget even more. If I did have relatives nearby, and did have birthday parties with them, I would have changed the celebration to a 1/2 birthday a long while ago.

I feel all kids need to have that special birthday day, and with it around Christmas, while as a family we make it as special as possible, our relatives do not. Even then, though, this past year we celebrated his bday 2 weeks early. We felt that was the best way to insure he wasn't feeling like his birthday was just continued Christmas activity.

As for 1/2 birthdays, his 1/2 birthday coincides with my dh's. Because of that, we do give my ds 1-2 small 1/2 bday presents on his 1/2 birthday as well.



Tammy
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Old 05-30-2010, 04:28 PM
 
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A suggestion:

Play the song from Disney"s "Alice In Wonderland" - "Unbirthday", and then everyone can share in the celebration since it is probably everyone else's unbirthday also.

When I was in elementary school, a teacher would do this for the classmates who had summer birthdays and did not get to celebrate a birthday with the class during the school year.
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