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Kids born close to Christmas
How do you make birthdays special?


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#1 indigogirl

Posted 17 December 2012 - 08:34 PM

Just wondering.

Not sure if its a vent or question - probably part both!

DS turns 3 on the 20th (it could be worse I know) but I'm a bit overwhelmed with it all.

Every year so far I feel really stressed because of how busy it is, people away, no one able to celebrate with us etc and find that I dont really enjoy his birthday as much as Id like to. Ive always got to focus on so many other people for Christmas.

When it comes to buying gifts for him it feels like there ends up being so much all around the same time that it becomes a bit meaningless. I also get uncomfortable as I'm not really a materialistic person but even without going too crazy then theres still all this sudden abundance of stuff (from us plus others). But if people buy him just the one gift (usually just for Christmas) then I'm not happy about that either!  

And it doesnt even matter to him yet!

All he really wants for his birthday is a cake with a blue ribbon around it so I dont even know why it bothers me so much!

In a weird way I think I feel guilty like I should have planned a better birth date. In my defence he did come early!

I have been known to stress out and over think things rolleyes.gif

But seriously any survival tips and ideas from any long standing birthday/Christmas double ups would be great! Or even any commiserations? Am I alone in these worries?

At least I got it right with DS2 - born in the middle of the year. Much easier!

#2 Expelliarmus

Posted 17 December 2012 - 08:38 PM

TBH we don't do anything differently for DD who was born on the 15th. She has a cake and a present and chooses where to have dinner same as everyone else for their birthday.

As a survivor of the great December Birthday madness just make sure the birthday present is never combined with the Christmas present.

I don't care now, but it mattered a helluva lot when I was a kid.

It does suck when no one is available to celebrate with you - DD hasn't had that problem yet - although we have had to schedule birthday parties in the afternoon to avoid Christmas parties. Not an issue as a kid but we'll have to get creative and/or organised in advance as she gets older and wants evening parties. I'm just resigned that no one is ever available for mine.

Edited by howdo, 18 December 2012 - 05:02 AM.


#3 Jekaho

Posted 17 December 2012 - 08:41 PM

For us, we keep his birthday and Christmas very separate, even though there is only a day difference.
He knows that Christmas is the day after his birthday.

This is the first year we are having a "real" party (on the 23rd) with friends and family. His 1st, 2nd and 3rd birthdays we had a little family party with a morning or afternoon tea, and a cake.

We don't buy him much in the scheme of things. He has usually gotten one "big" present for his birthday eg. a wooden ride on truck, wooden Thomas the Tank engine sets, and this year a bike, and then on Christmas he gets a few smaller things.

So far we haven't really had any "combining". The people in our lives tend to acknowledge his birthday and Christmas separately. Which is great!

I haven't really found it stressful so far. Although this year having a real party is making it a bit more of a full on time of year!

Similar to you, in our defence, HE was a week overdue, so it wouldn't have been "as bad" if he was born on December 17th, or earlier original.gif

Anyway, hope you feel more at ease about it. As you say, he doesn't mind about it and just wants his cake and ribbon. Oscar is the same - as long as their is cake, it's a birthday original.gif

ETA. This party, we invited quite a few people thinking there would be a fair few unavailable due to how close it is to Christmas, but all but two families have RSVPed yes!! A wonderful surprise!

Edited by Jekaho, 17 December 2012 - 08:43 PM.


#4 JBH

Posted 17 December 2012 - 08:42 PM

I have a friend with a Christmas Day birthday and she celebrates her half birthday every June. Her parents started it to make sure she has a special day. That's when she has a party and her family makes a fuss of her.

#5 Mama8

Posted 17 December 2012 - 08:43 PM

with 2 close to christmas kids i know the feeling well.
one is born on the 18th and one on the 28th.
My inlaws tried to jip my first xmas bub by combining her bday with xmas i told them it wasnt fair so we always make sure they have separate days to xmas original.gif

#6 Jjbeanz

Posted 17 December 2012 - 08:43 PM

My daughter is one day off your son and I also feel guilty as we never manage to get a friends birthday party planned for her. I know quite a few that have birthdays in December and they have their parties with school friends in November.
The good thing is that there is always something going on around her birthday such as Christmas carols that we can go to
We usually celebrate her birthday with family in January and that seems to work well.
I've made up for it this year in gifts, she has way too much lol

#7 Madnesscraves

Posted 17 December 2012 - 08:44 PM

My DD was born on 2nd, while I know it's not -that- close to Christmas, it's close enough it means that she gets a huge chunk of gifts in December and nothing all year. So, to spread out the gift giving, we've decided to do Christmas in July.

Basically she gets 1 or 2 gifts then (small, nothing massive) and 1 or 2 at her birthday then same with Christmas. So I'm able to get her age appropriate gives through the year without having to buy 2 year old stuff for a 1 year old.

Worth considering?



#8 Jekaho

Posted 17 December 2012 - 08:45 PM

QUOTE (JBH @ 17/12/2012, 09:42 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I have a friend with a Christmas Day birthday and she celebrates her half birthday every June. Her parents started it to make sure she has a special day. That's when she has a party and her family makes a fuss of her.


I too have a friend with a Christmas Day little girl - they celebrated her birthday on June 25th instead. But then her baby sister was born on June 25th!! What are the chances! So they still use June 25th to celebrate the half birthday and the birthday original.gif

#9 ..buzzybuzzybeez..

Posted 17 December 2012 - 08:47 PM

Ill be keeping an eye on this thread.... my poor DS turns one on Christmas Day!! Already stressing on how to handle the Birthday/Christmas day combination and it's only the first one!!!!


#10 Ingrid the Swan

Posted 17 December 2012 - 08:47 PM

My DP's birthday is December 30.

A few things she could recommend:

Try not to let the birthday get lost in amongst the Christmas / New Year celebrations. Even if it's just immediate family and grandparents making a fuss - although a couple of special friends to celebrate with would be good once he's older. My DP always felt like she missed out because everyone was too tired from Christmas and gearing up fof Nrw Year to attend her parties so she rarely had one.

Also, unless he specifically and deliberately asks for a more expensive joint gift for Christmas and birthday, try and get separate distinct gifts for both occasions - and ask extended family to do the same if you know they are going to buy gifts anyway. A 6-year-old doesn't know that she got a brand name Barbie while her sisters got the cheaper Sindy dolls - all shr knows is that all three of them got dolls, but hers was for Christmas and her birthday while her sisters also got spoilt on their birthdays.

It's really about making sure the child still gets their special day and that it's not lost because of the holiday season - especially if there are siblings t compare to. DP's family weren't great in ensuribg that all three were treated equally at the best of times but birthdays were where it really hurt her.

#11 kreme

Posted 17 December 2012 - 08:49 PM

DS's birthday is the 28th. You'd think I would have known better - mine is the 29th!
I did find it quite stressful for the earlier birthdays when I was relying on family members and friends to celebrate and nobody ever seemed to be available.
But now he is about to turn 5 and we finally seem to have it under control this year. Had a party with his preschool friends earlier in the month and then we will do something special on the day and have a cake in the afternoon with a few family members.

#12 niggles

Posted 17 December 2012 - 08:55 PM

We just had DSs 1st birthday. I decided to just get him the one present and not go nuts trying to overcompensate. We had a simple sausage sizzle that we had in the evening as I'm aware peoples days tend to be quite busy at this time of the year. We also went to the zoo to escape the mad rush of things on and have an afternoon with just the 4 of us and the sound of the monkeys. At this stage I'm thinking a tradition of nice experiences might distinguish his birthday from the rest of the festivities and gifts.

#13 mumma_ox

Posted 17 December 2012 - 08:57 PM

My DP was born between Christmas and New Year.  Even his mother forgets some years.  It makes me very cranky.

#14 katrina24

Posted 17 December 2012 - 09:00 PM

I just try to focus on the positive - the fact that she always has lots of family around on her birthday. No other tips sorry, I struggle with all that too.

#15 Gudrun

Posted 17 December 2012 - 09:02 PM

My son is about to turn 35 on Dec 21.  We always celebrated his birthday on the day.  And still do actually.  Xmas stuff does not come out until after his birthday.  I don't think he ever cared but I made a point of keeping it separate.  

At family Xmas if people weren't at his birthday they can pay their respects before we get going.  My father's birthday is on Dec 23 so same for him too.

Just keep calm and don't go overboard for either event. When he's older the weekend before might suit for celebrating (we found there were always friends around and it actually puts a bit of normality into the lead up to Xmas).

#16 Super Cat

Posted 17 December 2012 - 09:06 PM

I have a Christmas Day baby original.gif Well, he's far from a baby now but here's what we did. Each year from the age of 4 onward we celebrated on the 25th of November. That's when he had his party with his friends, had a birthday cake, got presents etc. Then on his actual birthday it was Christmas morning as usual, open presents etc but we'd wish him a happy birthday. Then each Christmas night at 6pm (the time he was born) we'd have an extra couple of small presents, another birthday cake and we'd sing happy birthday to him.

So, he got two birthday cakes each year, a party, lots of presents and his birthday acknowledged just like everyone else. He's about to turn 22 and said that he loved the way we did it. He wasn't bothered in the least that he couldn't have a birthday party on the actual day because he had it a month early. I don't know any kids who would say no to having their birthday party a month early.

#17 I*Love*Christmas

Posted 17 December 2012 - 09:08 PM

My DD is the 20th Dec as well. She will be 2 this year so I haven't had a lot of years of doing the birthday close to Christmas thing yet. Last year we organised a party for her actual birthday and invited a heap of people expecting most people to decline being so close to Christmas. But as luck may have it everyone came and my brother even flew home early so he could make it to her party as well. It ended up being massive and felt like a birthday party and not Christmas. I decorated in a ladybug theme.

This year seems a little disappointing and it is my fault really. If it were June we would be counting down the days till her birthday and be super excited but because Christmas is only a week away all we seem to be worrying about is Christmas and I have to remind myself "oh that's right it is DDs birthday on Thursday". I haven't organised anything YET but I will have a little something. My MIL has said she has a combined present for her and I was very annoyed about that and will talk to her about it. It is not like my DS gets a combined birthday/Christmas present. I have made sure to buy plenty of stuff for her birthday and Christmas so she doesn't dip out. It does mean she is getting heap of presents in the space of a few days and then nothing for the rest of the year.

My sister was born in Jan and always found it hard getting friends to come to parties as many people go away so at least those born before, like my daughter, can hand out invites before heading on school holidays and many people haven't left yet.

#18 Cath42

Posted 17 December 2012 - 09:12 PM

My daughter will be turning 8 on December 20th. It's getting easier now because she's at the age where she's less inclined to want to have parties and more inclined to want to do something special with just a few friends, such as going to the movies. It's really hard to throw a birthday party at a time when it's just one more bloody thing that people have to find the time to get to. It's hot, everyone's tired and fed up and overcommitted and it's so easy for these kids to feel overlooked. I have a policy that our Christmas tree doesn't go up until the 21st, which symbolises the separation between her birthday and Christmas.

My sister went to school with a girl who was born on Christmas Day. These are the things her parents did to make sure her birthday was celebrated along with Christmas:

1) They always began the day by singing "Happy Birthday". They made a special pancake breakfast, and made a birthday cake that was separate from the Christmas desserts. They had the cake at the end of the day, at about 6pm.

2) They made sure that she had birthday presents and Christmas presents, NOT one present to mark both occasions.

3) They told her birth story over Christmas lunch every year. They figured that any kid born on Christmas Day must have a pretty special birth story, and it made her feel special to have that story told every year.

4) They used to put up a 'birthday tree' on Christmas Day, to stand alongside the Christmas tree. They decorated the tree with things that were important to her, and it let people know that there was an event happening that was separate to Christmas.

Not sure if any of this helps, but I do know that my sister's friend always felt special on Christmas Day, particularly when her birth story was relayed over Christmas lunch and everybody drank a toast.

#19 Super Cat

Posted 17 December 2012 - 09:13 PM

QUOTE (I*Love*Christmas @ 17/12/2012, 10:08 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
My MIL has said she has a combined present for her and I was very annoyed about that and will talk to her about it. It is not like my DS gets a combined birthday/Christmas present. I have made sure to buy plenty of stuff for her birthday and Christmas so she doesn't dip out.

My sister was born in Jan and always found it hard getting friends to come to parties as many people go away so at least those born before, like my daughter, can hand out invites before heading on school holidays and many people haven't left yet.


Absolutely put your foot down. Combined presents are insulting unless the birthday person wants one. Mil may have spent twice as much for one present which isn't too bad but as a rule, no. I put my foot down early and DS never got one combined present that I can remember.

I agree that January birthdays are hard! My other DS is born in early Jan and we have to remember to send the party invites out before school finishes. His are actually going out tomorrow. The thing that worries me is that if for some reason we have to cancel the party, we can't get in touch with all of the parents to let them know it's been cancelled. In 7 years it's never happened but I do tend to worry far ahead of time lol.



#20 thelms

Posted 17 December 2012 - 09:13 PM

My baby is one on Boxing Day and my birthday is the 27th. It was a non issue growing up as I always felt special and spoilt and everyone was always happy and relaxed at this time of year. We are having a little party for DD and those who really care will be there. As she gets older we will likely have a party early December so her friends can make it. I really don't think it's a big deal, we will make the same fuss over her as we do the others.

#21 Victory

Posted 17 December 2012 - 09:16 PM

My daughter will be 8 this Christmas Day. A few things we have done over the years - we have always, always, always made it a positive. She is very proud of her Christmas birthday and will promptly tell anyone that says 'oh, poor thing. that would be awful' etc etc that she feels very lucky and special.

This year we are celebrating the weekend after Christmas. I have the phone numbers of her friends and we will organise a beach party with those that are not away.
In previous years we have had her party as early as the 6th. It makes no difference to her, because I have never and will never say anything negative about it.

As for presents - we give her the option every year of which day she would like her birthday presents - her birthday day, or her party day. Every year so far she has opted for her party day. Each Christmas, after the manic morning settles, my husband and I have a quiet moment with her and give her a little something special - jewellery or something.
She has always been really gracious about the whole thing. We have a 'cake' that is always the dessert that I bring for Christmas lunch. Last year it was a gingerbread house, the year before it was a cheesecake, this year it is ice-cream cake.

Believe it to be positive and so it will be.

#22 Akeyo

Posted 17 December 2012 - 09:59 PM

It is what you make it. If you make a big hurrah about his birthday (that doesn't necessarily always mean a big extravagant party, just the attention and acknowledgement) then he will always feel like his birthday is special.

DS4 was born on Christmas Eve. He was 2 weeks late and at the time I remember stressing big time about him being born smack bang in the middle of Christmas. But that year was the best Christmas ever, DH roomed in with me in hospital and we were just in this gorgeous little cocoon of love as we bonded with our brand new baby. Ever since then I have had the perspective that he was actually born at a very magical time, the night before Christmas! Everyone is excited and in the festive spirit and in the mood to celebrate - what could be better!

And the thing we always stress is that his birthday comes first and his presents for his birthday are always that bit more special. We did a big party on 24th for his first birthday which was a great success (though we were all knackered by Christmas morning) and then just had family parties for his 2nd and 3rd birthday. But this year we threw him a big party 2 weeks early on Dec 9th. What a difference it has made in the lead up to Christmas, it's really taken the pressure off. Of course we will still celebrate his actual birthday, though with just the fam.

It doesn't have to be stressful - focus on the upside, everyone is in the mood to celebrate! And as for the present overload, something we have done is siphon off some of the presents that he has received (and opened) and then brought them back out in a month or two. This obviously won't always work as he gets older (and remembers what he got) but it's been successful in the past.

Basically, he will take his cues from you. If you believe it to be a magical extra special time to have a birthday, then so will he. original.gif



#23 Regular Show

Posted 17 December 2012 - 10:08 PM

My nephew's birthday is on the 23rd. My sil usually plans his party before christmas so his friends can come. For instance we had his party on the weekend. On his actual birthday we will just have a small gathering at his house for family.

The rule is that his birthday and christmas are kept as two separate events - including presents. His birthday present must also be in birthday wrap not christmas wrap original.gif

I think its fair and creates less confusion. That way he still gets to feel super special on his birthday and with his friends. Then Christmas is celebrated as Christmas and not a combined birthday.

#24 Alpha_Chook

Posted 17 December 2012 - 10:09 PM

My niece was born on the 24th December, she turns 4 next week. For her 1st and 2nd birthday I think she was too young to know what was going on but last year when she turned three she was more aware and was asking why she wasn't getting a party etc. etc. They ended up having a party for her on the 4th December so that people would be able to attend without being too close to Christmas etc. She was happy with that.

The only other issue I see is that she would get heaps of presents at one time of the year then have to wait another 12 months for more presents as opposed to a mid-year baby who doesn't have to wait as long. Sounds kinda superficial but for most kids it usually is about the presents.

#25 TheCeriseClupea

Posted 17 December 2012 - 10:15 PM

My little girl is 10 today. Each year we ask her what she would like to do for her birthday. Today we spent the morning at the beach & then tonight we took her out for her birthday dinner. She gets the same amount of presents as her older brother,his birthday is in October. She was actually due on Christmas day but obviously she wanted out sooner. She loves that her birthday is near Christmas it makes her feel extra special.




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