How to keep your child's special day from getting lost in the holiday frenzy
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Birthdays are kids' most special day of the year; it’s their day to be a star! Everywhere they go, people are sure to know it’s their special day and say, “Happy Birthday!" At school, birthday kids have special treatment; at home they get their favorite food. Family and friends love to gather in celebration of their life!
So how are kids to feel when their big day falls during the holiday season? Some embrace it, but most are afraid their birthday will be lost and forgotten in all the excitement of the holidays. Their worst fear — getting a combo gift!
As parents, we wonder how to balance our child's special day with a friends-and-family party during the holiday excitement and, for better or worse, there is no one answer to this question.
Every family has to create its own unique tradition to make sure they don't forget the child’s birthday while they celebrate the holidays.
Parties with friends
Throw a party near or on the child's birthday!
Many parents and children feel strongly about celebrating their birthday with their friends close to the child's actual birthday. It means a lot to kids to know their birthday is important enough to be celebrated like “everyone else’s” and not be comprised because it's the holiday season.
Some kids enjoy keeping their “friends party” theme separate from the holidays. If it is important for your child to have a dinosaur party or a princess party, go for it! Letting your child experience his or her birthday for what it is and not as an extension of the holidays is part of what lets the child feel celebrated!
Other kids really like to integrate the holiday theme into their “friends party.” Depending on your religion or cultural background, you can incorporate festive foods, decorations and games, all related to your special holiday. Consider these options to make your life easier when planning your child's party.
Since an extraordinary amount of planning goes into the holiday season, planning another party may just seem too overwhelming. To make planning the “friends party” less stressful, try to start early — before winter vacation begins. Hand out invites before school lets out for winter break, and you may have a better turnout at your child’s party.
Consider having the birthday party either in late November or in January when life is quieter. In addition to your lower stress level, your child’s friends may have a better chance of RSVP’ing YES to the party!
Consider having your party at a kid’s party venue. It is one less thing you have to plan, and the kids are guaranteed to have a blast.
In case you just can’t wrap your head around throwing your child a party during the holiday season, celebrate your child’s birthday in the summer on or near their “half-birthday”!
Celebrating a half-birthday offers many benefits. Your child gets celebrated separately from the holidays and has an awesome party! With less competition for other commitments, more kids are likely to come. Also, your child won’t feel as though she is getting combo gifts. If your child is sentimental about being celebrated on the day she was born, have a small family gathering on their birthday proper!
See page 2 for answers to common questions about how to keep your child's birthday separate and special.