December can be a tough month to have a birthday, or so I’m told by my mom, husband, and son, who all celebrate their births amidst Christmas trees and holiday bustle. As an American, even a non-religious one, it’s hard not to get upstaged by Jesus. Not only is it hard to be a December baby, but it can be difficult to be that person’s mother or wife. I would be lying if I said it wasn’t tricky to make December birthdays feel special. I’ve even proposed that March be National Abstinence Month! However, since it’s too late for many us to avoid it, I’ve developed a few simple tricks to make December birthdays totally awesome.
1. Separate gifts are key. Seriously, this is thing that most people with December birthdays feel most ripped off about. If it's your kid or loved one, be sure to gift them something special—that doesn’t have to mean expensive—for their actual birthday.
2. Use birthday specific wrapping. One thing I’ve noticed that makes even the simplest gift more special is birthday wrapping. And I don’t mean using the solid red from the jumbo Christmas pack, but something that would fully clash under the tree. It should scream, “Yay! It’s your birthday!!” not "Hey, it's December and all I have is a ton of Christmas wrapping paper so why not use it twice?"
Birthdays should be, at their heart, about celebrating the individual and that can happen any day.
3. Let there be cake. Sure, your house is already full of cookies and candy, but it simply isn’t a proper birthday without cake, and fruit cake doesn’t count! Add one more item to your holiday baking/shopping list and make sure they have a proper birthday cake complete with candles.
4. Small traditions have big impact. Make sure that whatever birthday traditions your family practices get done in December too. In our house, it means the birthday boy gets to choose the menu and activity for the day. He also wakes up to a hallway full of balloons and/or streamers-preferably not in red and green!
5. Focus on the positive. If you are raising a December baby, be sure they realize all the ways that it is super cool to have a holiday birthday. People are feeling festive and jolly, plus you often get to see all of your friends and family. They most likely get to spend their birthday on holiday break, which means no school or homework for this birthday kid. It’s a special time of year and it makes for the best Christmas present they could've ever imagined!
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6. Move the party date. Birthdays should be, at their heart, about celebrating the individual and that can happen any day. Choose a birthday bash date that is enough before or after the last two weeks of December that it feels less “holiday rush” and more “birthday fun.” This way, less people are traveling during your party and can make it. Plus, if you shoot for the first of the year, it’s as though the fun just gets to keep going. No holiday letdown for you!
7. Celebrate half birthdays. You can do this in big or small ways. When my son was little we would throw his kid party at his half birthday. This meant he got to have fun outdoor bashes without a single paper snowflake in sight. It was easier for me, and super fun for him. Understandably, now that he is school-aged he prefers not to wait six months for a party, but doing a little something at half birthdays is a way to make sure December babies get properly celebrated too.