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12 Ways to Separate Birthdays and Holidays (And Keep Any Birthday Special, Period)

Birthdays are a big huge deal to me and I believe that there should be a firm separation between Birth and Holiday. Obviously with Addie’s birthday being December 14th, our competing holiday is Christmas — but no matter what holiday your kid’s birthday falls close to, I believe every effort should be made to distinguish between the two. Maybe it’s because my dad’s birthday is in December or because mine is sometimes making out with Easter or Mother’s Day.

Since Addie was born, I’ve developed some practices that keep birthday memories exclusive and super special without spending too much. Cody thinks I’m silly, but I’ve been told by those who have December birthdays all my efforts will one day be appreciated.

 


  • We don’t do big parties 1 of 12
    We don't do big parties
    It's 11 days before Christmas. The whole world seems to be in this uptight fury about money and gifts and all the wrong things. December birthday parties are not well-attended in my experience, so we save the party for her half-birthday when it is warm, sunny and school is out. (We do, however, let her pick a friend or two to go out to dinner with us and have cake and a special activity. Last year she chose a carriage ride.)
  • No holiday music 2 of 12
    No holiday music
    December 14th is a Christmas music-free day. Taylor Swift reigns supreme in this house.
  • Leave the Christmas tree out 3 of 12
    Leave the Christmas tree out
    If you can, wait to put up the tree until after their birthday, if you can't, then at least leave it out of all the birthday shots. The only reason I remember this as a birthday shot is because I had her hold up her hand for five years old.
  • Balloons 4 of 12
    Balloons
    And lots of them. Nothing is less Christmas-y and more party-y than balloons. Fill your house with them. The $20 helium tanks at party stores and superstores are perfect for this. Also mylar balloons from the $1 store are equally amazing to turn a winter wonderland into party wonderland.
  • Use balloons all over 5 of 12
    Use balloons all over
    Next year I may try to fill her room with balloons while she sleeps but this year I made her a balloon curtain to walk out of when she woke up.
  • Have a designated birthday area 6 of 12
    Have a designated birthday area
    If you have your tree up, only put birthday presents under it. Otherwise, set up a designated location for birthday gifts and balloons where there is no holiday decor encroaching.
  • Birthday wrapping paper 7 of 12
    Birthday wrapping paper
    I know, you already have so much Christmas paper, and this one doesn't look *that* Christmas-y, right? NO. Get birthday paper. Not only will it keep the occasions separate, it will help you later distinguish what was going on in photos if there happens to be a Christmas tree in the background.
  • Keep those balloons in the background. 8 of 12
    Keep those balloons in the background.
    We tie them to chairs and I make sure they're the backdrop of every photo. This isn't just for December birthdays either, this is just good birthday practice.
  • Take birthday photos 9 of 12
    Take birthday photos
    I know, you just took photos for your Christmas card, but snap a few of the birthday kid without siblings or holiday themes surrounding them.
  • Go all out on the cake 10 of 12
    Go all out on the cake
    Sweets abound in December, so it may be tempting to slack off on the cake or fill in with alternate treats. Don't do it. She has probably already forgotten this birthday if she even remembered it at all, but she'll never forget this photo. (Mostly because I keep reminding her I stayed up until 3 am making it.)
  • Get the candle shot 11 of 12
    Get the candle shot
    Again, just good birthday practice. Keep the holidays out, let your kid be the centerpiece and let it be an annual photo, it's fun to line them all up later.
  • Don’t combine gifts 12 of 12
    Don't combine gifts
    Imagine if on your birthday in April you received a totally amazing gift and were told "This is your Christmas present, too, so enjoy it now." and then getting nothing for Christmas. I'm not saying Christmas is all about the gifts — neither are birthdays. But they're a pretty big deal and to combine the two isn't fair.

Looking for a unique cake for your child’s birthday? Try these fun alternatives!

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