How to Handle Holiday Birthdays
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Holiday birthdays often prove a challenge for parents. How do you make sure your child’s birthday gets the attention it deserves when all around you people are celebrating Thanksgiving, Christmas, or Hanukah? We’ve got a few suggestions to make sure your little one’s birthday remains special.
No Dual Gifts!
Winter holidays are expensive, and some people may try to stretch their budget by purchasing joint birthday-Christmas gifts for children. This makes the child feel like holiday birthdays are an afterthought—especially if their other siblings have birthdays at other times of the year. Make a promise never to give a dual gift—with a little planning you can purchase birthday gifts well in advance of the holiday season.
To make the birthday extra special, buy your birthday and holiday gifts, then choose one of the most interesting ones to be the birthday gift. Smaller gifts can be left for under the tree.
Keep the Holiday and Birthday Separate
If your child’s birthday is at the beginning or end of the holiday season, make sure they get to celebrate without all the holiday decorations. If, as is the case with one of the I See Me writer’s little boys, the birthday falls on November 18, hold off on decorating until a few days after. If the birthday’s in January, take down the decorations a little early. That way, your child’s birthday is separate from the holidays.
For children born in the middle of the holiday season, separating the two celebrations is a little more difficult—especially for those children born on the 24th and 25th of December! One option is to have a room set aside for holiday birthdays that can be suitably decorated, while some enterprising parents take holiday ornaments off the Christmas tree the night before the birthday and redecorate with streamers and balloons.
If a gift has a holiday theme, save it for Christmas or Hanukah. And while it might be tempting to use holiday-themed wrapping paper, birthday paper is definitely the way to go.
Don’t Underestimate the Importance of Planning
A party’s no fun without guests, but with the hustle and bustle of the holidays, getting enough friends to the birthday can be difficult. Your best option is to plan well in advance, sending invitations a few weeks before the party so other parents have plenty of time to prepare.
Have a “Half-Year” Party
Sometimes, it’s just better to reschedule the entire party. Many families with holiday birthdays have a small celebration on the actual day, and plan a “half-year” celebration six months later. That way the child gets to celebrate without the holidays detracting from their special day. Just be careful if you have more than one child—the other siblings might want half-year parties as well!