Did you have a Christmas baby? Or an Easter baby? Or do you have a child with a birthday on or near another major holiday or religious festival?
When your little one’s birthday coincides with other ‘present giving’ days it can easily all become a little too much – for your child and for you! So what is the best way to spread the celebrations (and the presents!) so that your child has a special birthday, as well as a fun holiday – without becoming either overwhelmed or overlooked?
Like everything in life it is just a question of balance! Here are a few tips to help both days run more smoothly…
Start present shopping early
Many of us groan when we see Christmas goods in the shops before Halloween has arrived! Or Easter eggs in the middle of winter! And although most of us have good intentions, it is all too easy to leave planning holidays such as Christmas, until nearer the time. But if you have a holiday birthday child, then it definitely pays to start planning and shopping a little earlier than you normally would – to avoid last minute stress and also spread the cost of any gift shopping. You don’t have to go crazy, starting early is supposed to help, not hinder you! A good first step is to simply become a ‘squirreller.’
Buy little gifts throughout the year, as and when you see them and ‘squirrel them away’ so you have a nice little stash when the time comes. Little M’s birthday falls right after Christmas, so I have been squirrelling little bits and pieces for him over the last few months. I am in no way ready for Christmas or his birthday – but I have at least made a good start!
Spread presents over several days
Consider spreading any present giving over several days around the special days, especially if you think your child is going to become easily overwhelmed. Perhaps your child could open a gift every day over the ’12 Days of Christmas’? Or perhaps you could spread their birthday celebrations over a whole week, rather than just one day (even more special!) Don’t feel that you have to give your child all of their gifts at once, it’s okay to spread things out a little bit – and nice to have new surprises to look forward to!
Keep birthday separate from holiday
Especially important if your child’s birthday falls directly on Christmas, or another holiday – it’s difficult, but try not to merge the two days together with ‘joint’ presents and activities. This is as simple as using separate wrapping paper for birthday presents, rather than ‘holiday’ paper and making sure birthday activities are separate from holiday activities. Your child may feel left out if they don’t feel their birthday is celebrated in the same way as other children or people in the family.
Compromise holiday plans
Not such a big deal when they are babies or toddlers, but as your child gets older they will want to have time at home on their birthday – either a party with friends, or just playing with their toys. Once they are school age they will be disgruntled if they are consistently away from home on their birthday, so be prepared to compromise any travel plans or arrangements with family. This is more one to think about for the future!
Make birthdays special
This goes without saying! We all want our children to feel special and loved (all of the time!) but especially on their birthdays. It’s about celebrating another year, another milestone. It’s about making them feel proud of who they are, about feeling extra special and loved. It’s not about having a more extravagant party than their peers, or more expensive presents. It doesn’t and shouldn’t cost lots of money or become a huge stress for everyone.
Keep it simple – make a cake and buy a few small gifts. Have a small tea party just with the family, or a couple of little buddies, or do one of your child’s favorite activities. The most important thing is simply that your child’s birthday feels special to them – whatever time of year it falls.
Do you have a holiday birthday child? Do you have any tips for spreading the celebrations?