The challenges of December birthdays

Originally printed in the pages of Simply Family Magazine’s December 2017 issue.

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Now that December has rolled around, won’t you join us in a moment of reflection for the young ones who are living the life of the December birthday? Now, I’m a summer baby, and I grew up jealous of my classmates who had during-the-school-year birthdays but let's be real, if anyone is drawing the short end of the birthday stick, it's December babies. (Okay, and very early January…And let’s go ahead and throw Leap-Year babies into the mix, while we’re at it). But to the point at hand, December/early January babies are just not entirely living the birthday dream (and neither are their parents).

The challenges:

  • An already overscheduled month – It can be a real fingers-crossed, hope for the best situation when it comes to the planning of December birthday parties. While I’ve long let the ship sail on sending out actual invitations to our daughter’s party, we do try to get her party on the calendar with her people earlier rather than later to increase the odds of attendance.

Except then you have to worry about…

  • The weather – Sure, we all love a white Christmas, but sub-zero temps and an overzealous falling of snow can put a damper on the whole attendance factor for a birthday party.
  • The combo packaging of gifts – While potentially swell in theory, I don’t think my June birthday has ever resulted in a birthday-Christmas gift combo package. It’s not like we’re saying that it’s only about the gifts, but if we’re keeping it real it is a realistic expectation, no?
  • A Merry Birthday to you – When our girl was born four weeks early, two days before Christmas, the nurses made us promise that we would not commit the cardinal sin of wrapping her birthday gifts in Christmas paper. And we never have. That's not to say I don't have a little fun using Christmas wrapping/bags year-round for the rest of the family. A merry birthday to you, indeed! 
  • Double the list-making – When all of the family members start looking to you for gift ideas in October for your kid, it can make your head spin trying to satisfy ideas for both of their lists…While still keeping some for you.
  • One-ish and done – If the birthday and Christmas are super close together, you have this double whammy of anticipation, and then you blink and both special days are gone. It’s an onslaught of merriment gone in the blink of an eye.

If it’s any consolation, though, to those that might be expecting, or new to the land of December birthdays, our girl actually loves being a December baby. Admittedly helped by the fact that she shares the date with her cousin counterpart…Just a note to the newbies, do yourself a favor, don’t sign up to provide treats for the December class parties, you’ve already got a day of birthday treats to tackle. Don’t be a hero.