Birthdays Amidst the Holidays

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Written by Jenn @ A Simple Haven, Contributing Writer

The only preference I’ve ever had regarding childbearing was no Christmas babies.  To me, labor and delivery around the holidays seemed crazy stressful.  Not to mention the poor kid’s birthday would be forever lost in the busyness of the season.

Turns out the good Lord thought having a Christmas baby is exactly what I needed.  As per usual, He was right.

Sweet baby boy entered the world about an hour before Christmas Eve; the grace I received during my pregnancy, his birth, and the newborn weeks was a huge example of God’s loving care and provision for our family.

And I learned in a very tangible way that a baby–regardless of timing–is always a blessing.

Huge reminder that I’m not in control and often don’t know what is best for me: check.

How to celebrate Christmas birthdays sans stress and still make the kid feel special?  Read on.

I’m only two years into this game, but my appreciation for a good party–and simplicity—has made me a quick study.

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Simple Holiday Birthday Celebrations

Plan Ahead

My answer to most of life’s challenges, a bit of forethought can help diffuse stress on mom and the budget.  For example, for baby’s first birthday, I bought invitations and other party paraphernalia the month before the party so the December budget wouldn’t feel quite so tight.

And if you’re committed to a birthday party in December, it’s probably best to get invitations out extra early in light of everyone’s full calendars.

What’s that you say–it’s already the middle of December? I’m right there with you: zero forethought this year. Which brings me to…

Keep it Stress-Free

Remember that children are satisfied with a whole lot less than we might imagine. It doesn’t have to be a big ‘ol Pinterest-fied (did I just make that up?) party.

Last year, I kept it stress-free by limiting the guest list to only a few families, serving easy food, and decorating with what I already had.  (For more on simple, stress-free kids’ parties, go here).

This year, we may just share cake with a friend or two.  A friend of mine celebrated her preschooler’s Christmas birthday with a simple dress-up themed play-date.

Especially during the holiday season, I try to be intentional about what I take on and reevaluate when I start losing sleep over things like party favors.

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Move the Party

If the December calendar feels too full, consider a November or January party with a special family meal on the actual birthday.  I’ve yet to meet a kid who would object to stretching out birthday festivities.

Shoot, in my house we do “Birthday Princess Week.”  For my daughter, of course.  Ahem.

And there’s also the option of a half-birthday celebration during the summer to avoid the craziness of the holidays.

Minimal Gifting

Between the Christmas gifts Hubs and I give and the generosity of family members, our children always end up with a bounty of presents.  Throw in a December birthday and new toys start getting lost in the shuffle.

So, for now, we’re keeping our Christmas-birthday boy’s presents to a minimum.  He’ll get one or two gifts from Daddy and Mommy now–and maybe we’ll set some birthday funds aside to get him an outdoor toy come spring.

A Quiet Celebration

Of course, it’s also possible to celebrate your child’s birthday without an actual party.

I’m a pretty big fan of parties, but some years it feels best to do a low-key family celebration.  This year, I think we’ll do a special dinner followed by baby boy’s favorite activities (trains and wrestling with Daddy) and some birthday cake.

If the whole point is simply to rejoice that your kid was born and remind him of how special he is, I’m pretty sure we can do that without a guest list of twenty.

Do you have any holiday birthdays in your family?  How do you prefer to celebrate them?

About Jenn

Jenn is the mommy of two children and two obese cats and wife to the Hubs. She loves finding beauty and grace in the midst of daily life, gets excited about natural remedies, and thinks her home isn't complete without guests. Moving 11 times in 8 years has prompted her to embrace and find joy wherever she lays her head.
Jenn blogs at A Simple Haven.

Comments

  1. Well, it sounds like our little guys are in this boat together! My sonny will be 2 the 28th. This year he gets to celebrate at Paw-paws (my parents) with all his Uncles and Aunties, which is special since Paw-paws are 12 hrs away, and the uncles are scattered from east to west (literally). Thanks for these tips. It sounds as if the gift plan is much the same. I did suggest to my family that they save some of the gifts for around Sister’s birthday which is in the middle of summer, so he doesn’t feel left out then 🙂 Have a very merry Christmas!

  2. brenda venable says:

    I can’t wait to give that sweet little guy a call on his very special 3rd Birthday! Lots of pictures please.

  3. Yay for December babes. I have 2 daughters and my husband all within one week of Christmas. My husband always jokes he was a “battery” baby growing up (gift on Christmas & batteries for the gift on birthday just after Christmas)

    For the girls, we usually did mid-birthday friend parties (if we did a party), but every year we do a family birthday dinner (usually the evening between their birthdays.

    Have a wonderful birthday and Christmas.

  4. Our big girl turns 4 on the 28th and this year we are keeping it super simple. A glorified playdate with some of her friends and their families (cupcakes and coffee, like super simple!) and then shopping afternoon for a new princess dress and dinner out. =) With plenty of pink and sparkles through out the day. =)

  5. This is a great post, Jenn!

    We have a December 10th, then December 29th (little guy had a Christmas hat and New Year’s hat from the hospital!), then a baby in the summer. I loved it being warmer and not conflicting with a major holiday! After that, our fourth came right after Thanksgiving on 11/26, and all I could think was “No more holiday babies!”. God does have a sense of humor, and this year our fifth was due the day after Thanksgiving. She held off a week, but this now gives us birthdays on 11/26, 12/6, 12/10, and 12/29. Hubby’s is 11/17 and mine 1/16. With Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years, it makes for a VERY busy two months.

    I just feel a bit bad now that our daughter who has the summer birthday is the only one getting parties anymore because we’re just too tired and busy during the other season. I’ve debated doing a “half-birthday” party sometime for them in the summer, but just haven’t done it. We’re still figuring out the holiday season birthdays since they just keep coming for us! 🙂

    • Oh my. That is a busy two months!! And if I read that right, you have a newborn now–? Congrats!!

      I love that your little guy got double hats at the hospital :). Ours got a hand-knit Christmas one from one of the nurses and the staff also gave us a little Christmas tree (?!). So I guess there were some perks :).

  6. My husband’s birthday is Christmas Day. And I’m sorry to say there have been years when he feels a little forgotten. We keep his birthday presents separate, celebrating in the afternoon. We also have a special day for him in April and he gets gifts and cake. We also celebrate half birthdays in our family with a half cake, but no gifts!

  7. Jenn I cant believe Rowan is now 2 years old. You guys must be having so much fun with in Chicago. The love simple parties…

    JP

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  1. […] a few weeks after we’d moved across the country.  Despite my fervent desire not to have a Christmas baby, he was born an hour and a half shy of Christmas […]

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