Ah December. Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanzaa, New Year’s Eve, even National Eat an Apple Day. December is full of holidays. It’s a flurry of activity. Shopping, decorating, Santa visits, wrapping up the semester, visits from Grandma and Grandpa. It can all be a little overwhelming. And for a kid with a December birthday, it’s easy to get lost in the shuffle.
Growing up with a birthday two days after Christmas, I know this better than anyone. By the time the 27th comes around, most people are in a Christmas coma and one more celebration is the last thing they want to think about. As I get older I’m less concerned about celebrating my birthday, but as a kid, it was easy to feel let down.
If you know a child with a December birthday, here are some tips to help them feel that extra special birthday love:
- NO COMBO GIFTS. Ever. Just don’t. Not even if it’s a big one. A really big one. Not even if their birthday is on Christmas Day. Not even if you think it might maybe be a good idea. It’s not. Trust me.
- Use separate birthday wrapping paper. It might feel easy to go the lazy route and use that Mickey Mouse Christmas paper you have laying around, but it’s not that hard to run by Target and grab a birthday gift bag.
- Party plan in advance. Way in advance. December is an insanely busy month for everyone. Babysitters get booked up months in advance, and days are filled with shopping and relatives and sleigh rides. If you’re trying to organize a party or even a small gathering, make sure invitations go out early.
- Don’t put off celebrating, unless your kiddo is okay with it. There are people with December birthdays who prefer to wait and do a “half birthday” party or celebration in June, or those who want to wait until things slow down in January or February to celebrate. In my experience though, these delayed celebrations are often anti-climactic, and you’re left feeling let down on your birthday anyway.
- Be understanding. Most people mean well, but it’s easy to become over scheduled and exhausted in December. If a friend or family isn’t able to connect with your kiddo on their birthday, that’s okay. Most likely, if they are someone who truly cares about your child, they’ll take a break from the madness and be in touch. And if they aren’t, there is likely a good reason.
- Give your child the attention they crave. Just like adults, some kids love being the life of a party, but others can get overwhelmed. Remember that even though it can feel like it at times, their birthday is not about you. Focus on what your child truly wants and needs on their birthday. It might just be quality time with mom instead of yet another trip to the mall.