December baby's lament: Differentiating birthday celebrations from Christmas

The Baltimore Sun

My baby boy is about to turn 1. The where-is-time-going panic that is inducing is a post for another day, but I'm starting to wonder, as he gets older, how do we differentiate his birthday celebration from the holiday celebrations?

Aaron was due on Christmas Day, and I heard from many December babies how much they disliked having their birthdays wrapped up with the holidays (so to speak). I was terrified I'd go into labor on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day since my husband was in Afghanistan and my older son was understanding Christmas for the first time. But as it turned out, that wasn't a problem. He waited a few more days before making his appearance.

This year, we're not worried about it because, you know, he's 1. But going forward, I was looking for tips for making his birthday special even as we're also celebrating Christmas and Hanukkah at our house. I decided to ask my friends on social media (since some of them had been vocal when they heard Aaron's original due date).

-- First and foremost, December babies don't want their birthday presents wrapped in Christmas paper. Joint presents were also recommended against. (I don't know that we'll always follow that rule -- we do a lot of joint presents already. When my husband surprised me with a camera a couple of years ago, that was my 10th wedding anniversary present, Valentine's Day, birthday and Mother's Day all wrapped into one. So we might break that one occasionally, but only if we break it for the June birthday kid as well, right?)

-- One friend's daughter has the same birthday as Aaron -- the 29th -- and she takes down all the Christmas decorations before that so it feels more like a separate birthday celebration. Other friends (now grown-up) mentioned that they liked keeping their birthday presents under the tree and the added festive feelings of having their birthdays during the holidays.

-- As far as birthday parties and school celebrations, some folks suggested doing a party in the summer when friends were around (or, if closer to the actual birthday, still making sure the party date is when friends are around) and making sure to do the classroom celebration before winter break.

-- Another option is having a birthday tradition with family who is in town for the holidays. One friend reported that her son has done a bowling party with his cousins and still adores that.

If you have a child with a Christmastime birthday, how do you differentiate the two? And if you are a Christmastime baby yourself, what are your do's and don'ts?

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