Children with December Birthdays - The golden rules for parents
Those of us with a December birthday know all about being lumped in with the Christmas season and being generally considered as an annoying interruption in all the mayhem. I was born on Boxing Day and my mother and her twin sister, step son and brother in law all have birthdays close to Christmas Day. My - how enthusiastic the rest of the family are to wish us all a happy birthday!
Parents of December born children have the added burden during the festive season of planning birthday celebrations. Of course every parent wants to ensure that their child has a special day on their birthday and, if it happens to be in December, then accept that it needs more organisation and thought in advance.
After all, it was YOU that determined their birthday – they are just landed with it.
THE GOLDEN RULES FOR PARENTS
- Organise and plan well in advance. Book dates in with family and their own friends in late October– December weekends get very congested in most families’ diaries and you will need to give people notice of any celebration event dates.
- Research venues as early as September if you are wanting to avoid a party in the house. At that time of year it is risky to organise anything outside and therefore availability of internal venues can be limited. They are often closed/expensive or booked up early for Christmas events.
- Decide when your child is fairly young on your strategy for birthday parties. In December there is often a low turn out for parties especially between 20th to 30th. It can work well to have a “half birthday” party in June (like the Queen) and this gives your child an event and half way through the year, rather than the two biggest events in their year being over at once.
- Do not fall into the present trap. Christmas presents should not come into the equation – avoid the “this is a joint Christmas and birthday present” or “you’re getting the bigger/better one for Christmas/birthday.”
- Buy birthday cards and birthday wrapping and a cake – most people don’t bother.
- If your child’s birthday falls on Christmas Day itself then set a clear time for the birthday celebration as distinct from the other festivities. You can make a room in the house the “birthday room” with presents, decorations, cake and party food (it doesn’t matter if no one eats much of it) set out especially for them – rather than under the tree. As Christmas can be quite a stressful day for parents, remind any visiting relatives in advance that the birthday is important too. Choose a time for the birthday celebrations when everyone is likely to be most relaxed.
- Avoid talking about how annoying or expensive it is having to accommodate Christmas and a birthday in December – children always pick up on these vibes and will feel hurt.
- Make sure your child knows that there are some really good things about being born around Christmas. There’s lots going at that time of year and there’s an exciting atmosphere. On my Boxing Day birthday I book a hotel for us to all have a change of scene at. I’ve never had to go to work or sit an exam and I always have family around me.
- Tell them they are special and unusual. December born babies are in good company – celebrities with December birthdays include Judi Dench, Kenneth Branagh, Jude Law, Brad Pitt, Denzel Washington, Britney Spears and Jared Leto.
- Set a tradition for your child’s birthday that you do every year - it might be a box at the pantomime or a special meal out. Just make sure its not the festive menu……….
Special birthday cards for this time are few and far between and most have a festive scene and message and don’t focus on the birthday. This card from Ant Design Gifts by a mother with a December born daughter hits the spot!