This is a post written on behalf of all of those with birthdays during the holiday season. You all probably know someone with a Christmas or Christmas Eve birthday, or perhaps a few days before/after. As soon as you find out, you can't help but ask the same questions every time:
*Was that hard growing up?
*Do you get fewer presents?
*Do people forget about your birthday?
Well, I am here to set the record straight and layout some guidelines for you regarding birthdays in the holiday season.
1. DO NOT EVER GIVE A GIFT AND SAY IT IS FOR CHRISTMAS AND THEIR BIRTHDAY!!! You would never give a gift to someone with a June birthday and say it was for both occasions, and you would probably be offended if it happened to you. There are probably some special circumstances, such as someone receiving a house or a college education, but that is probably settled with the old "Don't expect any gifts at all for the next X years" cover-up. Totally acceptable. Also acceptable: Just one gift. Sometimes, there may be someone that ou would give a Christmas gift but would not give a birthday gift. That's fine! Than don't give them a birthday gift! I assure you, they do not expect you to give them extra gifts just because their birthday is near the birth of Christ. The key is to be confident in not giving them a birthday present. If they seem expectant for another gift, that is their own atrocious manners; resist the temptation to tell them that the gift is for both!!!
2. People with birthdays during the holiday season do not expect all festivities to go on hiatus to make time for a birthday. Just make the effort to quietly remember them. I don't think anyone is trying to upstage Jesus on his special day. Essentially, let them know that they haven't been completely forgotten. A Christmas party does not need to be double-themed just because someone happens to have a birthday. In fact, don't double-theme it; that can fall into the same category as doubling up on gifts if you're not careful.
3. Don't get eaten up with guilt for forgetting that Christmas/Christmas Eve/etc is someone's birthday as well. It is a well-known fact that people forget birthdays all the time, and brains are a little more frazzled than usual during the holiday season. It's ok. They understand.
4. Try not to wrap birthday gifts in Christmas paper. That's just a personal pet-peeve.
5. Don't put birthday gifts under the Christmas tree. That's just common sense.
6. I am not sure how universal this emotion is, but a lot of people with Holiday birthdays actually enjoy them! It isn't considered a "bummer" or a "cruel dealing of fate" to have a birthday in late December. It is such a happy time of year, so full of celebration! It's much nicer to have happiness surrounding your birthday than to have it fall on a drab, emotionless day of the week during some arbitrary month. Plus, for those with birthdays especially close to Christmas, you practically never have to go to work/school on your birthday and you're almost always with loved ones.
7. For those of you who wish someday to have children, and one of them happens to be born in late December, do not give them a Christmasy name. Most of those names are silly, and the name should be picked based on the person, not the season, right?
There you have it, world. I am fairly certain that most people in the not-as-unique-as-you-might-think situation of having a birthday near Christmas would concur with most of the points I've made. Ok, the last one was definitely personal preference. If you want to name your Christmas baby "Carol Holly" or "Nicholas Joy," that's your call.
jo (christmas eve baby)