Every December I see jokes, memes, and comments about December birthdays and how unfair they are. While I am a firm believer (and celebrator) of all birthdays, I do understand the dismay to being born in that time frame.
My second was born in early January, and I believe that he is also at this similar disadvantage. Think about it, his birthday is 11 days after Christmas. For someone born in early December, that means their birthday is actually further away from Christmas than my son’s.
I’m not here to debate which birthday month sucks more (I mean honestly, all birthdays should be celebrated, on their own, independent from the time of year), but I will say that having young children means STUFF; toys, books, clothes, etc. during both birthdays and the holiday. Getting a second “freight load” of this stuff in just a short time after the holidays can be quite overwhelming for the mom who is trying to keep her house off of the show Hoarders.
If you have a child (or are expecting to have children) around the holidays, here are some tips that I have learned these past two years.
People need down time in January. I am keeping my son’s second birthday party smaller, because, frankly, he’s two, and really just wants cookies and to watch unlimited Paw Patrol. I did notify friends of my plans a few weeks before Christmas to give them time to prepare.
Keep it Separate
This isn’t Christmas/Holiday season. I don’t plan on giving him Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. He will not get a present wrapped in anything related to Santa or snowmen, at least from us. This is his birthday, not the time to extend the holidays.
This year we are doing pancakes and pajamas as his birthday theme, with a few close friends and neighbors. Aside from the fact that I think staying in your pajamas all day on a Sunday is a FABULOUS feeling (guilty as charged), there is nothing about pancakes and pajamas that screams Holidays. Other than the mimosa bar that we plan to set up (because it is brunch, after all), this is definitely a birthday party theme.
Consider a Smaller Celebration During the Summertime
My son’s half birthday is July 4th. We don’t have a party or any sort of get-together related to his birthday on that day, but last year we did purchase a small cupcake with fireworks on top and let him dig into it. It was fun, and something a bit special to celebrate in the summertime.
Hoard Presents in Secret
Since my son is only two, he doesn’t actually know or care yet about his presents. Last year we took a few toys from his first birthday, and slowly introduced them to him throughout the year. I don’t know if this will work as he gets older, but for now we allow him to continue to love on his presents from Christmas, and then slowly introduce new ones a few times during the year.
Ask for no presents or a donation
Truth! This is debatable, but I have been invited to birthday parties where no presents are requested. You can always request no presents, or even consider donating some toys and other items to agencies that may benefit (a couple to consider are The Colorado Coalition for the Homeless or Toys for Tots). This is a great way to give back, and de-clutter at the same time.
Having the holiday season followed by a kid’s birthday is stressful, but completely doable and rewarding. With a little more planning and effort, it’s completely possible to celebrate the two, unrelated, especially since birthdays are one of the most important days of the year!