Growing up, no one in my family had a December birthday, so it wasn’t really on my radar at all.
When our second daughter was born, she was due at the very end of November, but thanks to being a week overdue, she ended up with a December birthday instead, a full week into the month.
Since then, I’ve been very conscious of making sure that her birthday doesn’t feel like it gets swept away by the craziness of Christmas and that her birthday feels just as special and distinct as those of her sisters who have birthdays in February and July.
I also asked on Instagram for suggestions, whether people had a child with a December birthday or had a December birthday themselves.
And the response was OVERWHELMING. More than 200 people weighed in with their own experiences or how they handle it for a child or spouse.
I’ve collected the common themes here – I hope they’ll help you make the December birthday in your home feel extra special.
6 Tips for Making a December Birthday Special
- Do NOT combine gifts. This was the biggest complaint that people with a December birthday cited – they do NOT want one big gift that’s “for their birthday and Christmas.” One woman said, “You would NEVER do that to someone with a July birthday.” Keep them separate.
- Use non Christmas wrapping paper. As a close second, this was repeated over and over again. No Christmas wrapping on your birthday presents. I have a September birthday, so I’ve never experienced this phenomenon, but apparently it’s a big downer to have your birthday presents wrapped in the paper that’s already under the tree or that WAS under the tree a few days earlier. Splurge for a separate roll or two of nice pink or blue or yellow or non-Santa paper.
- Keep your birthday traditions solidly in place. If you have breakfast in bed for your other children on their birthdays? Make sure it happens for that December child. And if you have a special dinner for the other birthdays in the year. Do it for your December birthday too. Don’t skimp, just because it’s Christmas.
- Play up the specialness of the season. I loved how many people said that playing UP the specialness of having a birthday at Christmas time helped it feel special. Whether it was having a Christmas themed party or celebrating with lots of festive outings or treats, this can make it feel like a blessing to have a December birthday instead of a burden.
- Be smart about the party timing. A birthday party doesn’t have to be ON a birthday, so it might be easier to have it earlier in the month if their December birthday falls really close to Christmas. Or have a half birthday party in the summer instead (we’ve actually done this for our July birthday daughter – in Arizona, school started the week of her birthday every year, so we had a party in late January instead).
- Turn the Christmas tree into a Birthday tree. Several people mentioned this, both as something they did for their children or something their parents did for them. The traditional Christmas decorations were taken off the tree and replaced with party streamers and topped with a party hat. This might be tricky if your child has a birthday really near Christmas, but if it’s early in the month, you could do it before you decorate the tree for Christmas or if it’s after Christmas, you can do it before you take down the tree entirely.
I’d love to hear other things you do to make December birthdays feel special and well-celebrated!
My son’s birthday is December 9th. this is the first year he really wanted to invite friends to a party. Weekends in December was hard so this year we did pizza at the house on a Wednesday night. It was a school night but even the 1.5 hours everyone was there made the night special for him. I also think the other parents appreciated it, one less thing to squeeze into the Holiday filled weekends.
My son was born a few days after Christmas. I found that I had to plan ahead when it came to gift giving or all he would get were Christmas leftovers that seemed anti climatic. My kids are all adults now, and everyone jokes that because I worked so hard at making sure his birthday was not skipped over because of Christmas, that he actually had better birthdays than all of the rest of them. For example, he is the only one who ever had a party in the pizza place. Haha, I think the hardest birthdays for me to make special were the three that were all in October, two of which were one and two days before Halloween! Talk about a sugar rush month!
I say don’t forget the people who have a birthday right after Christmas as well. My birthday is in early January, and I always get Christmas left overs, wrapped in Christmas paper. It feels like the same deal with my daughter. She has a late January birthday and gets all pink and red Valentines stuff. I love these suggestions. It keeps things focused on the birthday and not on the holiday.
It’s always made me laugh that people somehow find a way to have birthday wrapping paper on hand the other 11 months of the year, but somehow it’s a struggle to have it on hand in December! My birthday is in two days and these are all things I agree with wholeheartedly!
My daughter’s birthday is ON CHRISTMAS DAY! We have two separate trees, a birthday tree, and a Christmas tree. She is only turning 3 this year, but I love the idea of a half birthday celebration as she gets older.
Paige Cassandra Flamm says
Okay that birthday tree idea has to be one of the cutest things I’ve ever heard!
I have a Dec 17 birthday and my husband and MIL on Dec 20. We all love gift combos with Christmas (at least as adults). It means we are able to be gifted larger ticket items that would not otherwise be attainable.