The Holiday Birthday:: Making the Most of It


Our first child was born in January, our second in December. In the delivery room with our second, I told my husband, if we ever decided for a third, maybe we should pick a different month. Even as the words came out of my mouth, I knew I jinxed myself. Our third was born 2 years and 3 days later.

Holiday Birthday

All three of our children have birthdays within 35 days of each other, conveniently straddling the biggest gift-giving holiday of the year. We couldn’t have planned it better if we tried!

More on planning

Like all children, ours want to have birthday parties to celebrate aging another year. They want the cake, the party, and the gifts, too. But in December (or early January) it can be a lot all at once. Even coordinating the parties themselves, around Christmas get-togethers, holiday concerts, and work gatherings are like playing calendar Jenga.

The important thing is we try. We respect that even though there’s a lot of focus on the holiday season, it’s still vital we acknowledge their special day.

Some years are easier than others to find a weekend day to celebrate their holiday birthday. When it’s difficult, we get creative. One year, my daughter took friends bowling after school. Here’s a secret, the bowling alley is really quiet (and has reduced rates) at 3:30 on a Tuesday. We took a carload of friends straight from school for bowling, cake, and gifts and everyone was home for 5:30 supper.

Gifts for a Holiday Birthday

But what about the influx of presents? Does some friend accidentally gift a child the same thing Santa’s going to bring? Yes. Which is why this Mrs. Clause waits to wrap presents until after birthday parties, in case I need to reevaluate. In all reality, it’s no different than if Grandma unknowingly gifts the same Christmas gift as Santa.

In addition, I make a point to separate their birthdays from Christmas. They don’t get one gift to “cover” both holidays. They get a gift for each holiday. Not only that, but my children know they get an entire year’s worth of gifts in the span of a few weeks. They’re strategic about what they put on each wish list, patiently wait to start a crafting kit until weeks later, and save their birthday money until mid-summer to spend.

I may have jinxed myself into birthday-meets-holiday chaos, but in a way, it’s easier. All the gift-giving, all the parting, and all the planning for all three are all at once. I get the next 330 days to relax.