When a Birthday Happens in DecemberCasey Mullins
Addie’s birthday is 11 days before Christmas.
If you believe December birthdays and the holidays should be kept completely separate then you’ll know how much work goes into doing just that. Last year I wrote an entire post about keeping December birthdays special and one of the biggest complaints of grown-up December babies is that their parents combined birthday and Christmas gifts.
No. No no no. Unacceptable.
I would never give my other daughter a birthday gift in May and say “Now, this counts as your Christmas present as well.”
This means that Addie gets several gift cards for her birthday and Christmas, so she can decide what she wants and when she wants to get it. It also means that one corner of my home stays “Christmas free” so her birthday photos don’t have Christmas decorations in the background. It also means that shopping for presents can be kind of a giant headache, I either have to plan ahead and shop early in the year, hoping I actually get her what she wants, or brave the crowds or online sales hoping that what she wants is still available.
December birthdays are hard.
One of the best things I did for myself last year was keep an envelope with every receipt of every gift inside of it. Outside was written what I had bought her throughout the year and from where. That way if any duplicates showed up from grandparents or something I bought in July became pointless come December, I could easily exchange or return the item. The envelope also keeps my spending and shopping under control since I can actually SEE what she’ll be getting instead of just thinking about it. The envelope stayed in an old dishwasher out in our garage along with all her gifts, thankfully she’s never caught on that the dishwasher holds a whole lot of magic.
This year we’re going with the gift giving advice of something she wants, something she needs, something to read, and something to wear. Another excellent way to keep gift giving and spending under control.
Addie has never had a big birthday party, which kind of bums me out, yet at the same time I can’t bring myself to make other parents work a birthday party into an already busy holiday schedule. I’ve made a huge effort over the last eight years to make sure each birthday is memorable, and so far I think I’ve done pretty well. And come April? We’ll be having a really big 100 month birthday party for Addie.
Expect it to be the next big thing in parties.
Do you know a deserving family, school, or charity this holiday season? We’re giving away one grand set of 20 toys from Target, including those mentioned in this post! To nominate, simply comment and tell us why you’ve selected them!