Due in December

 If you are expecting a little one during this time of year, you may be thinking about how you’re going to juggle it all when your child’s birthday is thrown into the mix. So, we asked the mom of our Marketing Coordinator (and resident December baby) to share a few easy ways to make a December birthday special for your little one.  
Having a baby any time of the year is a gift but having a baby at Christmas time makes that gift a little more special.  My daughter was due December 13 but ended up being born on December 20.  Along with the typical advice that pregnant women and new moms receive, I was getting warnings about having a baby at this time of year.  Most of these stories came from people who were December babies themselves. I know these people felt their birthdays were just glossed over or completely forgotten during the hectic holiday season so I was determined that my daughter would not grow up feeling the same way.  Here are some ideas we used that I would like to pass on to make sure your December baby feels special as they grow up.
1.         The birthday comes first.  Even if the halls are already decked, be sure the emphasis is on the birthday.  We always let our daughter choose her favorite restaurant or home-cooked meal for her special day.  I’d always make sure to wrap her birthday gifts in birthday rather than holiday themed paper. And even though the house was overrun with holiday treats, we also made sure she had an actual birthday cake in whatever flavor and theme she wanted.   
2.         Consider waiting until after their birthday to decorate for Christmas.  This is much easier for those born earlier in December.
            This is what we did:  Since my daughter’s birthday is just five days before, the house would already be decorated.  However, when she was young, the “birthday fairy” would sneak into her bedroom the night before and decorate with birthday streamers and balloons.  We would also festoon her place at the dining room table.  She would get so excited when she’d get up on her birthday to see that there were areas of the house that were decorated specially for her. 
3.         The dreaded 2-in-1 gifts!  This is probably the most common frustration December babies have – the combo birthday/Christmas gift.  I’m sure I don’t need to point out that people born throughout the year get a present on their birthday and a present at Christmas.  December babies should not be penalized because their birth lottery number came up for this time of year.  However, it is hard to point this fact out to people without making you, as a parent, sound greedy. 
            I really don’t have any advice on how to get around this.  As a parent, I always make sure we give our daughter separate gifts for birthday and Christmas.  However, I do know that finances play a huge part, especially this time of year. If the parents are giving a large-ticket item, maybe an accessory or two can be suggested to family members. For example, my daughter loved American Girl dolls.  We got her a doll one year and family members gave her accessories for the doll.
            Your child may still only get a combo gift from people.  It’s hard for younger children to understand, but this can be a teachable moment.  Try to explain that receiving even one gift is a treat and try to assure them that not receiving a second gift isn’t a reflection of something they have done. 
4.         Celebrate early – For older kids born closer to Christmas who may want a party, consider having the party earlier in the month.  I found from experience that it is hard to get other kids to come to a party when they have familial obligations closer to the holidays.
You can be as extravagant or low-key as you want or as is necessary.  I think what’s most important is that your child feels as if they are as celebrated on their December birthday as anyone else during the year.  Above all else – this day is about them.  Ask them what they want to do. And remember to take some time for yourself to reflect upon what a wonderful bonus gift you received having your baby this time of year.  Happy Holidays!   
If you have a December baby, how do you celebrate?

One thought on “Due in December”

  1. I was due Dec 25 but arrived Dec 17. I’m an only child and the only grand-daughter on BOTH sides of my family, so I’m just a weeee bit spoiled! Fortunately, my birthday has ALWAYS been separate from Christmas. I’m currently 37 weeks (and a few days) pregnant with our first (and will be our only) child. Kamden is due Dec 22 but, like all babies, will arrive whenever he’s ready! As a December baby myself, Kamden’s birthday will be celebrated separate from Christmas. I love your suggestion about the “birthday fairy” coming in the night before to decorate the space extra special … that’s just a fun, personal, unique and special thing to do!!!!

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