Ho, Ho, Ho-ld On

4 Cardinal Rules For Making Sure Your December Baby’s Birthday Doesn’t Suck

No one likes to feel like their special day is an afterthought.

Updated: 
Originally Published: 
A family celebrates their child's birthday during the month of December.

There's something special — and equally sucky — about being a December baby. No matter where your child's birthday falls within the month, their big day will undoubtedly be affected by the numerous festivities notorious for this time of year (although the closer their birthday falls to November, the better).

Being born during the holiday season is tricky. I know this because I am a December baby.

I probably have one of the worst birthdays, having been born on December 26. My birthday has always felt like an afterthought: "Oh, right. There's Jesus, Santa, and then you." Birthdays were planned weeks (if not months) in advance and never took place on my actual birthday — with the exception of celebrating it alongside my parents, thank god — because people were just "too busy" around this time of year.

The last week of December is probably the hardest because everyone is pretty much tired of celebrating and just wants to get New Year's Eve over with so we can go back to our boring, routine-filled lives. No wonder I would get two-for-one gifts wrapped in leftover holiday paper, as if my birthdate was simply a bargain for tired shoppers.

Facts: December Babies Often Get Overlooked

That's the thing about being a December baby — our birthdays are rarely treated as a special occurrence. Celebrating amongst a Messiah, Santa, Kwanzaa, and Hanukkah is thought to be good enough, but that's like getting married on Independence Day and saying, "You know what, honey? I didn't get you anything this year for our anniversary because these fireworks that everyone else is watching and the hot dogs that everyone else is eating will do."

The sad reality is your child's birthday will be hijacked around this time of year. There might be fewer presents, and there might be fewer kids at their birthday party, but that doesn't mean there should be less TLC. Making their big day feel important and extra special might take some extra effort and creativity, but trust me, it'll be worth it (or else they'll grow up to be a middle-aged woman who still cringes at the sight of a birthday gift wrapped in Christmas paper).

Here's what you need to know.

1. Separate the celebrations.

While blending festivities together might seem easy and economical, Hannah Keeley, known as America's #1 Mom Coach, says that's the worst thing you can do.

"First and foremost, let's get one thing straight: No matter how tempting it may be, resist the urge to combine birthday and holiday events into one mega celebration," she says. "Each occasion deserves its own spotlight. You wouldn't wrap up Thanksgiving and Christmas into one grand feast, right? The same goes for birthdays. Trust me, your little munchkin will appreciate having their special day acknowledged separately from the holiday hullabaloo."

This is why my parents always planned a separate birthday celebration for me that took place weeks before the hustle and bustle of the holiday season.

2. Make their birthday party stand out.

In the same spirit, when you're surrounded by tinsel and gingerbread houses or other holiday decorations, Keeley says it's crucial to go the extra mile to make the birthday boy or girl feel like the shining star they are. "Personalize the decorations with a birthday theme, whether it's balloons, banners, or a custom-made birthday sign," she suggests. "Imagine walking into a room filled with 'Happy Birthday' banners amid the twinkle lights — talk about birthday bliss!"

Growing up, my birthday parties always had a distinctive theme or were activities — like bowling or laser tag — that were as far removed from the holiday season as possible to stand out. In other words, no Santa Claus visits!

3. Wrap your presents differently.

It may not seem like a big deal, but packaging is everything! "Encourage family and friends to wrap birthday presents in distinctive wrapping paper to distinguish them from the holiday gifts," Keeley says. "It's a small touch that makes a big difference. After all, who doesn't love the anticipation of tearing into birthday-themed wrapping paper?"

Trust me, it does stand out. I was 5 years old when I told my aunt to stop wrapping my birthday presents in holiday paper. Kids know and feel everything!

4. Don't forget their birthday cake.

When it comes to the sweet stuff, says Keeley, don't let your child's birthday cake get lost in the sea of holiday desserts. "Whether it's a festive cake topper, unique flavor, or a creative design that reflects their interests, make sure their birthday cake steals the show," she recommends. "After all, it's not a birthday without a slice of deliciousness topped with candles, right?"

Basically, when it comes to celebrating a child's birthday near the holidays, Keeley says it's key "to sprinkle a little extra magic on their special day. Keep it separate, make it personal, and let their birthday brilliance shine through the holiday sparkle. Remember, it's all about creating memories that your little one will cherish for years to come."

Happy birthday planning!

This article was originally published on