My husband’s birthday is on December 25th, Christmas Day. Anytime it comes up, I always have people comment that having a Christmas birthday must have been horrible growing up and still since his birthday probably gets glossed over. I’ve stopped saying it’s on Christmas if I have to tell someone my husband’s date of birth, and started saying 12/25/87. Sometimes people connect “oh, that’s Christmas Day”, and other times they just keep on going. It’s made it easier to not have the same conversation every time.
Before meeting Justin, I never really knew anyone that I celebrated with who had a birthday on or right at the holidays. My family doesn’t have a birthday in December, and my best friend’s birthday is January 5th, so after New Years. His parents have always made sure that they celebrated his birthday as well as Christmas, and made the day as special as they could for him. Over the years, I have learned a few things as well.
Separate Wrapping Paper
This one is especially important for someone who has a birthday on Christmas or any other gift-giving holiday. Birthday gifts are wrapped in birthday paper. Nothing else. Birthday gifts do not go in Christmas paper. In my opinion, this helps to make sure that the birthday is still being celebrated on its own, not just lumped in with Christmas.
On that note, I also think it’s important to make sure that they have separate gifts. No dual-gifting, meaning don’t get a bigger gift and say it’s for birthday and Christmas. That’s not fair at all. If their birthday was any other time, they would get separate gifts. As an adult, at least we understand. But as a child, to only get one gift when you know your siblings are getting two (one for birthday and one for Christmas), is much harder to explain. It’s also not fair for the person who’s birthday is on the holidays to get the same amount of gifts as those who don’t have a birthday then.
Celebrate At Different Times
When my husband was growing up, they always did his birthday gifts first thing in the morning, before Christmas. He said when we was younger, he would purposely go slow sometimes just to mess with his brother who had to wait to open Christmas gifts until he was done with birthday! But they always made sure it was a special thing in the morning for his birthday. Then they would do their Christmas gifts. As long as they stayed home, he usually got to pick what they had for Christmas dinner. For the most part, this is still what we do even with our kids, daddy’s birthday is first.
Another option, is to celebrate on a different day. We have also partially done this, by going out to eat for Justin’s birthday on Christmas Eve because most places are closed on Christmas Day. I’ve heard of people celebrating with friends and having their birthday party on their half-birthday as well. This way they get all the attention they deserve on their birthday, their own special day, and the holiday is still celebrated on it’s own day as well.
If you want to make sure to celebrate on their actual birthday, then you could always split the day. For example, waking up and until noon is Christmas Day. From noon until bedtime is the birthday celebration. This means you can focus on both occasions in their own time, and both get celebrated when they should.
Remember Other Family Members
As the wife of someone who’s birthday is on Christmas, it makes things difficult for me as well. People always comment that it must suck for Justin to have his birthday on Christmas. I say it’s harder on me sometimes because I have to come up with ideas for his birthday and Christmas all at once! Earlier I said that they have always done his birthday first, and he made his brother wait for Christmas. We do the same, and it means our kids have to wait for Christmas to start as well. Luckily, even at their ages they are very good about this, so it hasn’t been a problem. But I can see how it could become one for some people.
Make sure that the birthday boy/girl gets a birthday party free from any Christmas celebrations. You could always do the party a couple weeks early before all the craziness of Christmas really sets in, or afterwards once it all settles down. As mentioned earlier, one option would be to have a half-birthday celebration in June. The beauty of this is they get gifts halfway through the year, every 6 months. This also helps the parents of other children invited to the party because they don’t have the added stress of getting a birthday gift while trying to survive Christmas gifts and there are so many parties and other celebrations during December that you’re more likely to have people too busy for the party.
Easy To Remember
Seriously, if your birthday is on Christmas Day, or any other holiday for that matter, it makes it hard to forget. Who doesn’t remember what day is Christmas? My birthday is more random, February 23rd, so not anything significant for people to remember it by. But, it also means that it may be forgotten because people are wrapped up in the holiday and overlook the birthday.
Is your birthday on a holiday? Or someone in your family? What did you do to make sure you keep the celebrations separate? Leave me a comment, it may help me with making sure that Justin’s birthday feels special for him or others who have the same issues!!