My eldest child was born two days before Christmas. She was due on the 15th, but as is common with first babies, it was a week past before she graced us with her presence. I remember desperately requesting to the universe that she NOT come on Christmas, and I got my wish, technically. Being a Thanksgiving baby myself, I am no stranger to trying to make your birthday special when it coincides with a holiday. But Christmas is a big one for a lot of people. It’s easy to get overshadowed by the season. Thus, I researched how to make sure my little Christmas baby would still have her special day of celebration amid all the holly jolly each year. If you have a child with a Christmas birthday, here are some things that I learned that could be helpful to you too!
Birthday and Christmas presents are SEPARATE
If you wouldn’t give a combo birthday/Christmas gift to a kid whose birthday is in June, don’t do it to mine. There may be exceptions to this rule, such as if your kid has asked for something really big and agrees to have it count for both, but generally, they need to each be their own thing. And while we are at it, birthday gifts=birthday wrapping. Don’t come in here with that Santa themed birthday gift just because you already had it on hand.
Work a Christmas birthday into the season
One of the benefits of a birthday close to a holiday is we often already have plans with family around that time. Adding in a cake, singing happy birthday, or opening a gift or two with loved ones can make that time extra special for the birthday kid. At our house, we’ve done an Advent calendar in the past and the day of my child’s birthday is always something to do with her, not a Christmas activity.
Consider an additional tradition
My favorite suggestion I found in my research was to have a “birthday tree” in addition to a Christmas tree for the birthday child. We started that when my kiddo was 1. We have a small white artificial tree that lives in their room, and each year we add an ornament that corresponds with something they are into that year. The only stipulation is it can’t be a Christmas ornament. Our second is a summer baby, and we plan to keep the birthday tree tradition going for them too.
Give your Christmas birthday kid options
I’ve heard of some families who give their child the choice to have their birthday at a different time of year. Maybe in January after the hustle bustle of Christmas is over. Maybe they celebrate on their half birthday during the summer. Maybe they do it December 1st. Giving your child ownership and choices over their celebration will make them feel important and loved.
Lean into what works
Maybe your kid just wants a birthday cake during your Christmas celebration. A friend once told me that her Christmas baby was jazzed to share a birthday with Jesus. If your kid is into it, roll with it. Just like how summer babies get pool parties, having a birthday near Christmas comes with its own challenges and benefits. In the end what will matter to your kiddo is that you celebrated them.