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December Birthdays Suck: How to Help

December Birthdays Suck: How to Help

I love Christmas – the decorations, the cookies, the Grinch! But if you have a birthday in December, the spirit of the season tends to outshine your special day. No one can compete with Santa.

Nevertheless, there are ways to mitigate the suck! Parents of December babies (and grown-up December babies themselves) gave me some suggestions about how to make Christmastime birthdays suck LESS.

If You Have a Child or Friend with a Birthday in December…

1) Use birthday wrapping paper only.

I love a shortcut, but Christmas paper is not okay. Out of birthday paper and the party is tomorrow? There are lots of cute printable wrapping papers online!

2) Do not combine gifts.

You need to give one gift for the birthday, and a separate gift for Christmas. The birthday present should NOT have a Christmas or Santa theme. If you have a December baby, you may need to let your family and friends know about this rule ahead of time.

3) Consider an alternative party date.

December is a hectic month full of Christmas parties, shopping, and preparations for the holidays. Many people won’t be able to attend a party this month, so consider hosting an UnBirthday party in November. And either way, get those invitations out early! At this time of year, the more notice, the better.

4) Celebrate Half-Birthdays! 

You can also have a half-birthday party in the summer to give your child a 6-month spread between their birthday and Christmas. This way, they get a full year of celebration.

5) Make a big deal on the big day.

This is a given, but it requires extra thought during the holidays. Many restaurants, theatres, and other venues are closed or have shortened hours, so plan ahead.

Bonus Tip: It helps to set aside some special time at home, especially if the birthday person was born ON Christmas day. My friend Lyss has a son who was born on Christmas. They always have cupcakes with candles, and his parents and grandparents all gather to talk specifically about the birthday boy – his birth, his life, and how things will change now that he’s older. Lyss is careful to keep this celebration separate from the Christmas festivities.

Traditions like this will soften the blow when your kids are old enough to realize that the tree is not a Birthday Tree, and those fireworks on the 31st are not all about them. Good luck, and Merry Birthday.


Full disclosure: These ideas are all courtesy of my friends who have December birthdays or December babies in their families. Thank you to Merry, Brooke, Jocelyn, Meg, Ken, Evette, Lyss, Dana, and Robin. And happy birthday to most of them, as well. I will try REALLY hard not to forget this year.

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