Birthdays at the Holidays – The challenge of sharing your special day

 My friend Nicole has her birthday on Thanksgiving. Why must she share  her birthday with a turkey? How can we make our kids’ birthdays special,  or even remembered, when the rest of the world enjoys a different special  moment. Jonathan has it even worse with a December 25th birthday. He  only gets one present a year while his big sister has two days of receiving  gifts. Jonathan and Nicole can’t even have a friend filled birthday party  because their friends have to travel or have family obligations during the  holidays. It’s not fair!

Not only is it hard on the birthday boy or girl, it’s hard on the family. As a  busy parent who knows the importance of celebrating my wonderful child  on his or her special day, I know it can be hard to focus and give the  attention to the planning needed during this crazy busy season. Nicole  claims she didn’t have an actual birthday party until she was 10!

Sure, when the kids are young, it might not be such a big deal to share a birthday when there is so much joy, family, and celebration. They might actually get multiple parties! My Grandfather who shared his birthday with the 4th of July had us all convinced the fireworks were just for him. The notoriety of being a New Year Baby or having a spooky Halloween birthday can actually be fun…. but only for a while.

Here are three things you can do for those people you love, big and small, who share birthdays with major holidays.

  1. Make sure to create a special birthday tradition that is just for them. Make chocolate chip happy face pancakes on the morning of her birthday, special even when there is Christmas dinner that night. How about a special shopping trip for a birthday gift, or a visit to the aquarium. In my family every person gets to pick their dinner restaurant on the night (or close to the night) of their birthday, even when it’s holiday vacation and we are traveling out of town.
  2. Keep the birthday distinct and allow time and space for other themes. Halloween themed birthday parties every year will get stale. Make room for Super Heroes, and Harry Potter, Cooking, and American Doll themed parties.
  3.  Move the party to a new date to avoid direct conflicts and vacations so that friends can attend and celebrate. Missing friends is the biggest hardship I hear from Holiday Birthday kids. The party doesn’t have to be on the actual birthday, so move it for maximum celebration! Mom and Dad birthday planners will appreciate this too.

Let me know how you handle the holiday birthdays in your life. What are your frustrations and solutions? Reply here or on Facebook!

Keep the Celebration Going

Sometimes birthdays can feel like they are filled with so much pressure. They are heavy with the promise that once a year, that birthday child gets everything he or she wants – to be the star of the day, have a super fun party, to have lots of presents, to eat a big cake made just for them. Do you know a child that doesn’t start planning their birthday nearly the day after the one before?

Unfortunately many birthday parties fall short. And it’s not the fault of the party, it’s the fault of the huge expectations and pressure that is felt around the event. If you spent all year planning and looking forward to your party, would reality really matter? And lots can happen to make it less than perfect, if perfect is what you were going for. Best friend gets sick, Mom makes you invite someone you don’t like, Dad is too silly, it rains, the cake has pink flowers instead of purple.… you get the idea.

What if we took pressure off the birthday party and spread the celebration? What if you celebrated the Half Birthday? What if there was an end of school party or a beginning of school party, or a Halloween or Valentines party to look forward to?

I know, you are probably thinking; she loves to party, she just wants us to think of all the ways to celebrate. And yes, this is true. But I’m also saying that this could make the annual birthday celebration even better – imagine: less pressure, less unreasonable expectation, less “all eggs in one party basket”.

When did we get out of the habit of inviting friends over, preparing special snacks, playing games and enjoying? You adults too! And isn’t it even easier with kids? They don’t care if the house is perfectly clean or the correct vegetables are on the crudités. They just want to play in the sprinkler, run circles around Duck Duck Goose, hunt for prizes, and eat some Popsicle.

Here are some awesome reasons to celebrate, all year long:Celebrations and Smiles

  • End of school
  • Summer Slumber Party
  • Pool or Water Fun Party
  • Back to school Party
  • Halloween Party
  • Winter Holiday Party
  • New Years
  • Valentine’s Day
  • Spring Fling

Do you think these ideas are fun? Do you think spreading your celebrations will make the Birthday Party more fun? Please comment and let me know!