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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For those of you with children born during the holidays, how do you make it special for them? Dd was born 12/30 and we were going to just combine her 1st b-day with the family Christmas. But FIL was born on Christmas Day and dh is insisting that we start a tradition of making dd's b-day special, as his family always did for his dad. B-days were a huge deal in his family and he wants them to be in ours too.

So we have decided to have a 1st b-day bash. Nothing big, just family and a few friends at our home with a menu of snacks (and maybe chili--mmm). Also separate presents actually on her b-day, NOT wrapped in leftover Christmas paper--dh was adamant about no Christmas paper for b-day gifts. We did send out a save-the-date email since people are busy and schedule a lot of parties during the holidays, and I think we'll make that a tradition.

Any other ideas on how to make it special and keep it special each year?

ETA: I did not post this in Life with a babe because only those w/ babies born in 12/05 would be able to respond and I don't think there are a lot on there. This way mamas of kids born in Dec. of any year can offer ideas. Thanks!
 

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My DD was not born in December (though she was due on 12/19), but she was born on January 3rd, so we do have the same issue of having a birthday very close to a family holiday.

For the first 2 years we kept everything low key. I've always felt that the first birthday celebration is more for the parents than the kids, to be honest. So if you like big parties, then go for it--but the kid isn't going to care (and if they get overstimulated easily, that's another story!).

Now that she's older, and into birthday parties, having her party and planning her party certainly makes it special. She loves to pick oddball themes for fun (for example, for her next birthday she wants a tropical/under the sea party--but that's fun in the middle of winter!). I think we get less people attending than would if her birthday was in, say, March--because folks are worn out from the halloween-thanksgiving-christmas-newyears run. But it's not been an issue, and she most definitely feels special and not overshadowed by the holidays.

One thing that you might have to do is do some gift management though. Last year, we had to finally make a rule of limiting gifts for everyone at the holidays (one gift per child, and one to the group) and requesting the family only give one gift per child for birthday stuff, because the amount of stuff she'd get for holidays+birthdays was overwhelming. I'm glad that we've made that a rule early on, it's saved us space and the feeling that people are shortchanging DD because of proximity of birthday and christmas, because it's the same rule for everyone.

It hasn't been a big deal in our family. But I am very used to protecting DD's time and space (since she tends to be very sensitive to stimulation), so we would have had smaller birthday parties and limited gifts no matter what time of the year it was. And to be honest, I've never had anyone bring DD a gift in leftover Christmas paper (even from the more frugal relatives we have)--so I wouldn't worry right off the bat that people are going to be that rude. Maybe some of her presents have been regifts of duplicate Christmas presents--but I know folks that will hang on to that kind of thing for birthday parties throughout the year, and no one will know the difference.


I think keeping your kiddo's birthday special is going to be largely reliant on your family's attidue and tradition. Start making her day special right from the start. *IF* there is a problem, then address it, but don't drive yourself crazy paranoid with worry about what might happen. As she gets older, you can encourage her to have birthday themes that are different from the typical winter stuff, if you want--that's fun for everyone, if that's what she wants! Relax, have fun going to party stores when everythings' on sale, know that celebrating your kiddo's birthday is going to give people who participate a chance to get out of the post-holiday-season blues/letdown that a lot of folks slump into.

Her day will be special! There's no need to force a competition that isn't there. And if you've got some really rude relatives that would make it an issue, I'm sure they would have made it an issue at other times of the year too. For me, holidays tend to be filled with anxiety because of how it was growing up in my family of origin--but I so love DD's birthday celebrations because they're part of my new family traditions and carefree and FUN.
 

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I have one born on the 19th and one on the 20th. My FIL is the 30th and grew up with his birthday/christmas mashed, christmas wrapping, etc. So we make a big deal to do the things like you said - no christmas wrapping (And if family members do it - they have - I quietly asked them to do it inside out and use markers on the plain white the next time. I understand only having that on hand, but it doesn't have to be used that way).

I don't like to put up Christmas decor early anyway so we plan for the 21st, but the kids always want the tree earlier - if THEY ask, then I go ahead and do it, and they both seem to enjoy having it for their birthday. I considered doing a birthday tree but then I would likely want to do it for ALL the kids, and we would have a tree up in October ; )

We don't combine presents as of right now. . . though i'm not saying we never will. They have parties clear/seperate of both one another (haha not only do we have christmas right there, but the two of them four years apart with birthdays a day apart!) and early in the month because people go away, etc. We've discussed switching to half birthdays for the big party, but haven't done that.

Not much else. I think if you don't make a big deal out of it, they won't even know the difference.

aisling
 

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My daughter was born 12/29, but I have a brother who was born 12/24 so my family has experience with this sort of thing.

- No combined gifts (until the child is older and they ask for one huge gift)
- No Xmas paper (even newspaper is preferable)
- First few years bday parties are family only (we do this for all kids anyway)
- When older, child has option of having their party in early December, mid-to-late January, or a half-year party in summer
- Because my child's birthday is after Xmas, we will have all xmas decorations put away by the 28th so the 29th is just about her birthday

Basically, make sure all the family knows that her birthday is a completely separate and distinct occasion from Xmas. It sounds like your inlaws will be on board with this, so that will make it easier.

It doesn't really get difficult until they're school-age and they want to have a friends party, and the easiest way to get around that is to have the party early or well after the holidays. But as long as the family makes a big deal out of the birthday on the actual date, then it doesn't matter a huge amount when the friends party is.
 

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My dd's birthday is the 29th of December. She will be 8 this year.

For her, she doesn't mind the combined gifts now that she is older and asking for bigger things. Yes, I agree with lasciate that it's a good idea to wrap things for the birthday in any paper that isn't Christmas paper. When she was smaller, we were very clear, "This is for Christmas, this is for your birthday."

We don't take down decorations, however, because we all like them, dd included. We had a party a few years ago and left up the Christmas tree.
My dd really likes decorations so she doesn't mind.

For now, she doesn't seem bothered. I think because we don't limit gift-giving or special occasions to holidays, it all sort of blends together in one big celebration. And she's okay with that because that's how we live.
 

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For those of you with children born during the holidays, how do you make it special for them? Dd was born 12/30 and we were going to just combine her 1st b-day with the family Christmas. QUOTE]

Hey, my ds is your dd's b-day buddy! Another 12/30 here. He'll be 3 this year. We definately plan on making his b-day a special day, separate from Christmas. He will get a special gift (he wants a violin and lessons this year, so that'll be for his b-day.) and we will make it a really fun day. We will probably have a party with his friends after New Years when people are home again and things have settled down. That way he can still experience the fun of having a fun bash with his friends.
 

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I'm a Christmas baby. The family Christmas was (and is) always at my parents' house in the morning, followed by my birthday lunch. There's always a birthday cake and I get to pick the lunch menu. (Which for some reason was more fun as a child than picking the cake flavor. Control over what the grownups eat? Mwa-ha-haaaa!
) No combo gifts and everything in birthday wrapping.

Since it was impossible to plan a kids' party around that time, with so many people travelling, I had a half-birthday on June 25 until I was 18. That worked out great. Summer party, usually outside, and I never had to wait more than 6 months for birthday presents.


I think I fared much better being born on a holiday than dh did, being born 3 weeks after (Jan. 18). That's just after everyone gets their first post-holiday credit card statement. Ouch. I can't count the number of times I've heard friends and family tell him they couldn't afford to come see him (or didn't want to come without a gift, so didn't come) on his birthday.
:
 

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My son's b-day is Dec 16 and my daughters is Jan 3. One 9 days before Christmas and one 9 days after!

We still decorate on the day after Thanksgiving, because they like too, but we also put up a birthday tree! It is smaller than our Christmas tree and sits up on the island in the kitchen. They decorate it with pink and blue beads, ornaments that are non- Christmassy and represent them (soccer balls, ballerinas etc) and it is topped with a birthday hat they make that has their picture and lots of glitter


Their birthday presents go under that tree to be opened at thier family party which we typically do on Dec 16 or 17. The family party is combined for them and the friend party for my daughter is held in Jan, normally on the Sat closest to her b-day. This year we will do it Jan 7. My son is still too young to care about a friend party, but when he is older he will get one in Dec.

We also do no Christmas paper on their presents, and try to make it really special and fun. So far I think we have done well, and the birthday tree is always a huge sucsess!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
OP here--I wrote a response and MDC lost it!

Basically, thanks for making me feel that it isn't as bad as everyone makes it sound to have a birthday near Christmas. It sounds like being an AP mama and being very in touch with your child's needs makes it easier to follow their lead and make them feel special. That's true of anything I guess, not just b-days.

I like the idea of limiting gifts. The grandparents can really go crazy sometimes.

Oh, and I don't worry about dd being overstimulated. Ds could be, so I know how that is. But she'll be a little ham at her party, I'm sure. She's super easygoing and is used to big, loud family get togethers where she is the center of attention


Thanks, sorry this is abrupt--kids are waiting and I can't rewrite my whole darn post
 

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I'm so glad to see this post! My dd's bday is 12/11 and it's been hectic getting used to the planning and budgeting that goes into making her birthday a separate event.

It looks like our general rules are the same as everyone else's--no Christmas paper, no combined gifts, etc. I also give her more bday gifts than Christmas gifts.
 

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Ds1's birthday is Jan 7th. So far we've made sure all Christmas decorations are down before his birthday and had family parties. He will be four this coming January. Now that ds2 is in the picture and definitely because of gift overload in the past few years, we've started thinking about keeping birthdays somewhat the same (ds2's is in August). We're thinking we'll get a book and toy for each of them for their birthday and do the usual lots of stuff for Christmas. I'm not sure what we'll do about combined gifts when ds1 is older.
My brother has a Dec 21st birthday and he did get combined gifts when he was in high school. He like it, though, because he got some big things. We always had a you got more than me kind of thing because my birthday is in June. He seems to think that he was shorted, but I always remember the weeklong birthday celebrations he got, when I only had a day.
 

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Ohh, what a topic! I wonder if it is actually easier to seperate the birthday when it is closer to Christmas rather than when it is 3 or so weeks away.

My birthday is January 16th. Like a PP said about her DH I was gyped! I ALWAYS got "combined" gifts. And what was a "combined" gift? As I was handed my Xmas present they said "Oh yeah, you have a birthday coming up. Well happy birthday too." Not that they took the time or effort to make the gift anything different than they were giving my other family who weren't coming on birthdays.

The other excuse was that they were all too broke from holidays. I didn't get many parties because my mom didn't have the cash after December. If I did get gifts I got it on holiday paper. My mother thinks its rude to put any rules or guidelines on gifts from others.

It hurt. I was told to basically be grateful for such a nice Christmas and "Since you aren't a greedy kid anyway you don't really care do you?"

Well, I did. Actually I still do. Because this still goes on until this day. I purposefuly avoid pregnancy in April because I don't want a January baby.
 

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My daughter's birthday is 18 December. Every year on her birthday, I get a sitter and a pizza for her brothers, and she and I go to The Nutcracker.

I try to avoid "combination" gifts. I do, however, sometimes give her related gifts for her birthday and Christmas. For instance, this year she's getting a featherbed and pillow for her dolly's bed on her birthday, and a new dolly for Christmas.
 

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My best friend's birthday is 12/30. She is 38 now, but she has very strong ideas about her holiday birthday!

You are definitely on the right track - birthday paper, not christmas paper. Making it a separate day. Not giving combined birthday/christmas gifts, even if they are big. And not trying to combine it with other celebrations - christmas, new years, what have you.

I have a friend whose son was born on Christmas Day, and she celebrates his half birthday on June 25. (I believe she also celebrates his birthday on his actual birthday, but the party with his friends and such is done in June.)
 

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My boys are Dec 22nd babies and yes my family has mailed them gifts in christmas paper for their b-days or just combined them. I sent out a heated e-mail to everyone in the family and told them I have never once done that to their kids & found it rude they think it is ok to do it to mine. I told them no more combined gifts unless they wanted me to quit buying for their kids all together I told them the that even though my boys are too little to get it now someday they would understand & I don't want them hurt by the family lack of thoughts on this. when they get old enough for a friend party we will do a 1/2 year party so it will be warm & can be held outdoors I will also unwrap & re wrap any gifts given to them in leftover Christmas paper & not b-day paper. My friends daughter growing up was a dec 25th baby so we would decorate a 2nd mini tree for her in whatever she wanted it done in some years it was easter bunnies, frogs. what ever she wanted she got on that little tree we would also have a special dinner what ever she wanted for dinner and a cake too we would have a close friends & family party for her that night & she would get all her b-day gifts too. No one in the family was allowed to combine gifts her mom set up that rule early on & everyone stuck with it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by kathirynne View Post
My daughter's birthday is 18 December. Every year on her birthday, I get a sitter and a pizza for her brothers, and she and I go to The Nutcracker.

That is so so so sweet! I'm sure it is very special to her. I fondly remember special traditions like that with my mom. You may have just started a new tradition in my family
Of course, we'll have to wait a few years since dd is not even 1 yet!

I am a dancer (not professional or even close, but I did ballet on and off from age 9-21, and recently started dancing again as an adult) so this is particularly interesting to me. I'll have to see if it interests my daughter as she grows up. Thanks a million for the awesome idea!
 

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DS's first birthday will be Dec. 29.

Since he was born, my mom, whose birthday is Dec. 31, has been saying that she'll never let him get ignored over teh holidays. Neither would I, but I'm glad that I've got someone to help me make it special for him.

Lurking for more great ideas.
 

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My sister was born Dec. 29. Our parents always combined Christmas and her birthday presents. She hated it. My goddaughter was born on this day and I'm urging her parents to keep them seperate. My feeling is that birthdays are special and you don't want to overshadow it with the holidays.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by MommaCrystal View Post
Ohh, what a topic! I wonder if it is actually easier to seperate the birthday when it is closer to Christmas rather than when it is 3 or so weeks away.

My birthday is January 16th. Like a PP said about her DH I was gyped! I ALWAYS got "combined" gifts. And what was a "combined" gift? As I was handed my Xmas present they said "Oh yeah, you have a birthday coming up. Well happy birthday too." Not that they took the time or effort to make the gift anything different than they were giving my other family who weren't coming on birthdays.

The other excuse was that they were all too broke from holidays. I didn't get many parties because my mom didn't have the cash after December. If I did get gifts I got it on holiday paper. My mother thinks its rude to put any rules or guidelines on gifts from others.

It hurt. I was told to basically be grateful for such a nice Christmas and "Since you aren't a greedy kid anyway you don't really care do you?"

Well, I did. Actually I still do. Because this still goes on until this day. I purposefuly avoid pregnancy in April because I don't want a January baby.

Oh wow I could have written this post almost word for word. I'm a December baby, I can't tell you how may combo gifts, gifts in christmas paper I got. How many years mom was "too busy" to throw me a party, or even if she did it was very obvious she didn't want to. I had to get smaller gifts because there wasn't the money for both Christmas and birthday, but my sister and brother who's b-day's are at different times of the year got huge bashes, two sets of gifts, cakes that weren't Christmas trees, I could go on.

I too avoided TTC in months that would have birthed a Nov/Dec/Jan baby because I hate (yes still do) having a birthday when I do. I so often feel overlooked because everyone is planning Christmas so who has time for a birthday.
 
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