Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Making Sure the Holidays Don't Overshadow December Birthdays (Happy Birthday Megan!!)

It's hard to believe that my silly, quirky, joyful middle child is 11 today!!
Happy Birthday Megan!!

When I was a kid, I don't recall having any friends that had December birthdays. (Perhaps I did, but did't' pay much attention since I wasn't the one organizing the parties!). As I got older that changed a bit and, now as an adult, I have several friends and relatives with birthdays during the last month of the year. Some of them have told me stories about how their birthdays seem to get "lost" in the hubbub of the holiday season. One friend recently told me that once her family actually forgot her birthday because they were so caught up in preparing for a special guest who was coming to visit during Christmas. 

I never "planned" on having a December baby (those kind of things can't always be timed, you know!) and I cannot imagine ever forgetting her birthday entirely. From her very first birthday, I was determined to keep her special day as separate from Christmas as possible. I will admit, though, that adding "one more thing" to the December calendar is a challenge and it does sneak up on me sometimes. This year, I was looking at the calendar during the Thanksgiving holiday and suddenly realized that the best weekend for her party was only two weeks away! 

Over the past 11 years, I have learned a few things that have helped to make sure her birthday is not overshadowed by the holidays. If you have someone special in your life with a December celebration, maybe these tips will hep you, too!

  1. Don't forget!!! This may seem obvious, but as I mentioned, it can sneak up on you sometimes. Make sure you plan ahead and don't let it slip under the radar!
  2. Plan around Christmas - Since my daughter's birthday is near the beginning of December, I usually try to plan something as early in December as possible. If it was later in the month, I would wait until after Christmas or even into January. I've found the further from the 25th your party is, the more likely it is people will actually attend and the less stressful it will be.
  3. Over-invite- You are not the only ones who are busy this time of year and chances are pretty good that at least 30-50% of the people you invite to a party will not be able to attend. If you are prepared to host 10, invite 15. (This year, we invited 8 and 4 actually came.)
  4. Be mindful of other holiday events - This year, my daughter wanted her party to be at an outdoor ice skating rink the city sets up every winter. We scheduled it not realizing that the city Christmas parade was the same day and several downtown streets would be blocked. Fortunately, it turns out to be no big deal, but little things like that can but a damper on the party.
  5. Keep Christmas out of it! - Don't buy cupcakes with red and green icing. Don't wrap birthday presents in Santa Claus paper. Don't give ornaments and candy canes as party favors.
  6. PSA: DON'T WRAP DECEMBER BIRTHDAY PRESENTS IN SANTA PAPER! Plus a few other tips for celebrating Dec. bdays. @TheGoldenSpoons
  7. Go overboard - No matter how hard you try, you cannot escape the fact that the holidays happen in December. Stores and party venues will be decorated with Christmas trees and wreaths. People will be busy with parties and Nutcracker ballets. In order to make the BIRTHDAY stand out, you have to go a little bit above and beyond what you might do in any other month.
This holiday season, I hope you will make the people you love who just happen to have birthdays in the middle of the madness feel just as special as they deserve! 

**It should also be noted that my other two daughters both have birthdays close together in August. I always feel guilty that my middle one (the one with the December birthday) is left out then. This may contribute to my desire to make sure she gets her far share of the spotlight in December.

Do you or someone you know have a December birthday? 


This post is part of the Finish The Sentence Friday linkup hosted this week by Kristi of Finding Ninee and me! 

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