There is one thing that all children born in December dread, and that can turn even the sweetest child into a sulking, brooding brat: the Birthday/Christmas present. It’s easy to understand why this could be upsetting for a child, especially for a child with siblings. Every kid born in July gets a gift for Christmas as well as one on their birthday. Why should it be different for those poor souls who happen to be born in December?
Gifts aren’t the only way that December babies sometimes feel like they get the short end of the stick. My sister was born on December 28th, and over the years my family developed a number of rules around her birthday to keep things from getting ugly.
- Never wrap a birthday present in Christmas paper. It may seem like a small thing, but getting birthday gifts with Santa Claus on the outside can make December kids feel like you didn’t take the time to plan ahead for them. If the only paper left in the house is Christmas themed, it’s time to come up with some creative ideas. The Sunday funnies are a classic. Consider decorating paper specifically for the recipient or using pages from a visually interesting book that you don’t mind cannibalizing.
- Although it might seem like a practical and convenient option to you, Christmas or Thanksgiving leftovers should never make an appearance on the birthday table. December babies want to be celebrated just like any other kid, and that usually means a special meal tailored to their tastes, not the re purposed dinner from an entirely different celebration.
- Just because the extended family all happens to be in town doesn’t mean that your child doesn’t want to spend some time with their friends on their birthday. For most kids, one of the exciting things about a birthday is getting older and feeling more responsible. Letting them have some time with their friends that at least feels unsupervised will mean as much to them as dinner with all their aunts and uncles.
- The end of the year is an expensive time, and December babies learn to expect everyone around them to be broke on their birthday. When budgeting your Christmas shopping, don’t forget about the birthday that’s coming up. It’s also a good idea to remind extended family and family friends in advance to save a little for a separate gift.
- Planning a birthday party in December can be tricky. Start early and notify all your guests long in advance. Competing holiday parties will start to fill up monthly calendars in November, and you must at all costs avoid letting your child’s special day turn into a Christmas/Birthday party.
- Some challenges of the December birthday are somewhat beyond any parent’s control. School friends may be out of town for winter break, or weather conditions can make travel to a party impossible for other parents. For these reasons some families decide to celebrate in the spring when it can be a little bit easier to bring people together. Just make sure that your child understands that you’re trying to make sure that they get the best celebration possible. Also, be sure to mark the actual day in some small way, either with a special menu item or a sleepover with just the best friend.
Remember, a child’s birthday is the most important day of the year in their eyes. They want to be celebrated, and it’s easy for December babies to feel overshadowed by the Holiday Season. Just make sure your child knows that you want their birthday to be spectacular, and that they don’t have to compete with anyone on their special day.
Author Info: Jenny Franklin is a mother, a party planner and a blogger. She often writes on the topics of children’s birthdays as a freelance writer for Girls’ Birthday Party supplies producer, Party Pail.