Shedding Light On December Birthdays
By Claire Yezbak Fadden
It’s true, my birthday is December 15th—the last day to mail packages at the post office so they’ll reach their destination by Christmas. It’s not the best time of the year to have a birthday.
My husband’s birthday falls on St. Patrick’s Day. He, being Irish, thinks it’s great to have your birthday land on a major holiday. I don’t agree, especially when the holiday you’re vying with is Christmas. The truth is that not too many people would choose to be born around Christmas. Why? December birthdays often get swept into the hoopla of the holidays.
With Christmas just around the corner, plans for parties, shopping and holiday happenings are everywhere you turn. Everyone is focusing on the fun to come. Everyone, that is, except those unfortunate few whose birthdays land between late November and early January: smack dab in the middle of the holiday madness.
Whether it’s your child, your spouse or your sibling, ask your “holiday-birthday” person if they feel shortchanged. If they don’t, then there’s no problem. But if they feel that their birthday is getting overshadowed by the holidays, here are a few things to consider to put their birthday back in the spotlight.
Don’t give ONE big present. Most people would rather have TWO smaller ones, one for each occasion. Think about it, if their birthday was in July, you wouldn’t be tempted to give them one big present and then skip giving a holiday gift five months later.
Don’t wrap their birthday presents in Christmas wrap (a major no-no).
Give them a regular birthday cake (yellow roses, a clown, some balloons). Nothing on the cake should remotely be associated with the holidays (no candy canes, snowmen or holly). The cake shouldn’t resemble an evergreen tree.
Think about having a “half-birthday” party sometime in the summer. If their birthday is December 12th, then June 12th might be a good time to celebrate a “half-year birthday” with friends and family.
If the birthday is well before December 25th, consider waiting until after the birthday celebration before getting your tree and decking your halls.
If the birthday is very close to Christmas Day, don’t put the birthday presents under the tree alongside of the Christmas presents. Make a separate “birthday” area for those gifts.
If it’s an after-Christmas birthday (or even in early January) don’t shortchange the birthday person just because you’re worn out from the holidays. Factor in those birthdays ahead of time, while you’re out shopping. That way, you’ll have the birthday shopping done long before both you and your wallet feel the drain.
There’s nothing less fun than going to a Christmas party on your birthday. If you have any pull at work, try to schedule the company’s holiday get-together on a day other than your “holiday-birthday” person’s birthday.
Remember that the purpose of birthday festivities (regardless of the time of year) is to celebrate the day that “someone special” was born. It’s not all about how much stuff to give or get. Everyone deserves one day to be the center of attention, even if they share that day with the most popular holiday of the year.
It doesn’t take much to keep your “holiday-birthday” person happy. Remember: two little gifts (one in birthday paper and one in holiday wrap) mean more than one big gift. And if you’re lucky enough to have an April birthday, be thankful. Not only do you have a great time of the year to celebrate, you get diamonds instead of blue topaz as your birthstone.