My sister is due with her first baby on Feb. 29. If my niece arrives on time, she will be a leap year baby. The due date is also within two weeks of my sister’s birthday, so the baby is a potential birthday buddy.
I happen to know a little bit about birthday buddies … my oldest and I share a July birthday. When she was born, I told my husband I couldn’t guarantee our next baby would arrive on his birthday and he said that was OK, he thought I’d be more comfortable toward the end of my pregnancy with a winter due date. And as fate would have it, our second baby was born the day after Christmas.
My husband and family members try to make sure I don’t get left out on my birthday, but it’s mostly about my daughter and I’m OK with that. (Growing up, my parents lived in different towns. Having a summer birthday, I had two parties almost every year, so I’ve had more than enough celebrations to be upset about sharing now.) Now, on our birthday, I get to choose the cake (pineapple upside down cake) on our actual birthday, and she gets to choose the cake (usually chocolate) for her party. She gets to take treats to class. I have amazing coworkers who decorate my cubicle.
Having a baby on my birthday has actually been less complicated than having a Christmas baby, and the little one is only 2!
Well, it hasn’t really been that big of a deal yet. (Other than staying up late after hosting Christmas dinner to make Elmo cupcakes for the next day. I can handle that.) This year, though, I had talked to her teachers about a class party, and they later scheduled the holiday party for the same day and when I reminded them they said, “We can celebrate both together!” Instead, I moved her birthday celebration. I wanted her to have her own day not associated with a Christmas celebration. I hope it doesn’t, but I’m guessing this will become increasingly challenging as she gets older.
I’ve heard tales of people who grow up to hate having a birthday near the holidays, or who insist all holiday decorations disappear before their birthdays. Some celebrate half birthdays (but with two family birthdays already in July, that’s not happening).
So I asked my Facebook friends how they handle their kids’ holiday and special occasion birthdays, or how they feel about their own.
The full responses are below, but here is the CliffsNotes version:
- Always use birthday wrapping paper
- Don’t give holiday-themed gifts for birthdays (ie, shamrocks, hearts, etc.)
- Thanksgiving, Memorial Day, Labor Day and Fourth of July birthdays seem to be the most favored of the holidays, but the only bummer is people being out of town
- Our oldest son’s birthday is 10 days after Christmas. Since he gets so spoiled at Christmas and he would never remember what we got him for his birthday, we decided that instead of a gift we would do a family birthday adventure. We’ve been to the zoo, aquariums, children’s museums, etc. For us it has been more about making a lasting memory and spending quality time together rather than a gift. We now do the same thing for our younger son and his birthday is in October!
- My son’s due date was Dec. 25, but he came early and was born on the 13th. He feels like he got ripped off by not having his birthday on what he considers the best holiday of the year. Now, he’s only 8. I see his opinion changing as he gets older.
- Having a birthday a week from Christmas was always great for me growing up. My parents always made a point not to combine it with Christmas. I think the only difficult part at times was trying to celebrate with friends because of family vacations during the holidays.
- When growing up, my mom would make my family wrap my birthday gifts in birthday wrapping paper instead of Christmas paper.
- My son’s birthday is two days before Christmas. I always make sure to wrap his gifts in non-Christmas colors/patterns. We do his birthday party with friends a couple weeks before (this year it was the 12th), just so people are in town and it’s not super crazy right before Christmas (for us and for potential guests). It also gives him a party that really feels all his. We usually do a family-only party at home on his actual birthday, and I decorate the dining room the night before with all the trimmings and NO Christmas decorations. Then, I always have balloons waiting for him his birthday morning. He hasn’t complained (yet), and actually talks often about how much he loves that time of year.
- We have many family birthdays at Christmas (nine in all) and when they were little, there was a half birthday clause for “odd” birthdays that started around 7. They got to have a pool party instead of a snowman party and everyone had fun with the concept.
- New Years’ day is a hard one for littles to have parties on, but I like the ease of remembering the date!
- My birthday is on Valentine’s Day and I’ve always hated it. People forget or, as a child, they would give me Valentine’s Day-oriented gifts. Going to a restaurant is impossible so we tend celebrate the week before or after my actual birthday. My husband is wonderful and buys me birthday flowers and Valentine’s Day roses every year to try to keep things balanced. Feeling special on a holiday birthday has always been a challenge, especially for a person who really values birthdays!
- My son’s birthday is Feb. 12 (I asked to be induced before the 14th). Since he’s just turning 6 he hasn’t minded the Valentine’s Day thing but I did email his teacher today to see when they’d have their party so that he gets his birthday celebration, too.
- My birthday is St. Patrick’s Day. It’s not a huge holiday so it hasn’t been too bad, but it does get old pretty quick getting something with a shamrock on it for a birthday gift every year.
- I realized the value of having a Cinco de Mayo birthday in college. Now I mix it up with the Kentucky Derby since it usually falls close.
- Mine is June 30 so I always had to celebrate my birthday earlier in June (with my sister whose birthday is 10 days before mine) and now as an adult I’m still a little bitter about it that everyone is out of town.
- Mine is July 3 and I always loved being so close to the 4th! Fireworks typically start popping on the third and I just figure they are for me!
- My birthday is July 5 and it’s awesome. It’s always been a huge party and I never wished it wasn’t near that holiday. I always felt lucky. However, that is one of the few holidays I think that can be said for.
- My birthday is always around Labor Day, which isn’t a major one but means two things:
- I have a three-day weekend that I get to celebrate with and
- Most people are out of town since it’s their last summer weekend
- My son’s birthday lands on Thanksgiving every three or four years and we LOVED it when it did! We hosted Thanksgiving for both sides and had his birthday cake and decorations up – it turned into an extra fun day for the kids and it wasn’t too much more work for everyone. Since we only do bigger friend parties on alternating years, he doesn’t ever feel like he’s missing out; he loves being the center of attention and getting the school break at the same time.
- My birthday is always right around Thanksgiving, but I loved it because it was a huge family meal that growing up felt like a birthday feast!
- My stepdaughter and I have the same birthday, she loves it. It’s our day and I’m still 25 because that was the last year I had a party for myself. Win-win situation.
People sure have a lot of opinions about their birthdays! How do you feel about yours?