December is touted as the “Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” but parents know it’s really the “Most Jam-Packed Time of the Year.” With Christmas parties, winter recitals, and travel plans galore, it’s a wonder that any family can fit in holiday traditions, much less plan and host a birthday party. So, how can parents of December babies be intentional about celebrating their kids during this busy time? If you’re the parent of a December-born child, try these tips to help your child feel special on his or her birthday.
Make Their Day
If holiday commitments can’t be set aside on his actual birthday, designate another day in December as the “substitute” birth date. On the designated day, fill his room with balloons, let him choose every meal or take him to his favorite trampoline park or fun zone. Play his favorite (non-Christmas) music during a birthday breakfast. The goal is to make sure your child feels seen and loved amidst the craziness that is December, and that can happen on any day that works for your family.
While you are the most important influence in your child’s life, there are plenty of others who also think your child is pretty great. Whether it is a grandparent, family friend, or even your child’s teacher, reach out for help to make the day memorable. Care and love don’t have to come in wrapping paper—ask your friends and family to give your child something as small as a Facetime call or birthday card in the mail. It will remind your child that he isn’t forgotten in all the holiday bustle.
Make Gift Requests
To try and avoid the combo Christmas/birthday gift situation, remember to make specific requests of family and friends. Don’t be afraid to tell family members to designate their gifts specifically for birthday or Christmas, and don’t set the birthday gifts under the tree. While you’re at it, make sure your friends and family know to wrap birthday gifts in birthday paper. While it may seem like a silly detail, we promise your kid will appreciate it.
Setting the Date
People are partied out in December, so when you’re planning a December birthday party, remember: the further away from Christmas Day the better. If your child’s birthday is during the first few weeks of December, plan a party right after Thanksgiving before the focus is all on Christmas. If his birthday is during the second half of December, consider planning a party for the first week of January when friends are more likely to be in town. Whatever you do, send out your invitations early so that your child’s friends can get the date on their calendars ASAP.
December in Austin is typically mild enough for an outdoor party. (In fact, most native Austinites have childhood memories of wearing shorts on Christmas Day.) After weeks of candy, cookies and hot cocoa your guests will appreciate some outdoor time. Choose a theme that isn’t related to Christmas so that your guests don’t feel like they’re at another Christmas party. Just remember to have a backup plan in case the weather turns sour.
Order Party Supplies Early
Experienced parents say it is surprisingly difficult to find birthday party supplies in December because most retailers switch their merchandise to holiday themes. If you’re little one is dead set on a cowgirl-themed birthday party, start shopping for supplies in November. If nothing else, getting your supplies early will keep you from running around town the morning of the party or ordering overpriced cowgirl plates off Amazon.
Consider A Summer Party
Finally, consider skipping a winter party altogether. Ask your child if he would like to host a half-birthday party in the summer. This is a really fun alternative for December babies who have always wanted a pool party. Just make sure your kid is truly on board with waiting six months for a party and
No matter how you celebrate, just remember the goal is to make your child feel seen and special during one of the busiest seasons of the year. A little intentionality goes a long way in making December “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” for December babies.
Catherine Michalk is a native Austinite, writer and mom of three. You can follow her family’s adventures at www.catherinemichalk.com