Have Yourself a Merry Little…Birthday?
By: Provided by Birthday in a Box
The month of December is a joyous time of year, full of friends, family, fun, good food, and great gifts. In the midst of all of this holiday cheer, however, many holiday babies get the short end of the peppermint stick. Instead of being thrown separate birthday parties, their celebrations often get lumped together with Christmas parties, Hanukkah dinners, and New Years Eve gatherings. Then there’s the ever-sore subject of presents, which are often doled out with the illogical logic, “Why buy two when one will do?” Even worse is when these “combo” gifts come wrapped in holiday paper—presented after birthday pie, no less.
It’s not surprising how often these holiday birthday missteps occur. After all, few people have money to buy twice as many presents or time to throw two or more parties during this hectic season. Even so, if you have a holiday baby in your family, you should always do your best to make their special day, well, special. Here are a few great ways to do this without breaking the bank or running yourself ragged:
If at all possible, plan a separate celebration around or on your child’s birthday, and invite a few of his or her favorite friends and family members. Select a theme and complimentary decorations that are very different from the standard red-and-green, holly-trimmed Christmas designs, or blue, white and silver, dreidl-imprinted Hanukkah designs. Instead, consider the birthday child’s favorite activity, story, TV show, movie character, or anything else that his or her heart desires. Be creative, and have fun with this process! (For other free theme-related decorating, game, and activity ideas, check out Birthday in a Box’s Party Planning section.)
When funds are limited, consider asking family members and/or friends to pitch in on one bigger gift that the birthday child has requested. Or, purchase a gift card with everyone’s contributions, and then plan your child’s special day around shopping for presents. Invite one or two of his or her closest friends, treat everyone to lunch, and spend the afternoon on a shopping spree. Wrap things up by taking the kids back to your house to make ice cream sundaes and watch a movie.
If you’re overwhelmed by the thought of having a house full of kids during the hectic holidays, have a small family gathering around or on your child’s actual birthday, and then throw a bigger party with his or her friends halfway through the year. Two parties are always better than one!
For a low-key and inexpensive home party, invite several of your child’s closest friends for a sleepover. Play traditional games like Telephone and Name That Tune, make popcorn, watch a movie, or tell spooky stories. Before the children leave in the morning, serve them Funny Face Bagels or Smiley Face Pancakes. (For more sleepover ideas, check out Birthday in a Box’s Slumber Party Guide.)
Take your child and a few friends on a birthday outing to an ice skating or roller rink, a museum, an aquarium, an arcade, a bowling alley, a movie theater, a salon, or anywhere else that the kids might enjoy.
- If worst comes to worst and you can only fit in a combination birthday and holiday celebration, make strides to single out the birthday child and make him or her feel special. Give your child a special hat or birthday pin to wear, hang a personalized birthday banner in the main party area, make a production of opening birthday presents (which should definitely be wrapped in birthday paper and given separately from holiday gifts), and serve a birthday cake in addition to other holiday treats. Make sure that at least one of your child’s friends is present if at all possible, too.
Whichever option you choose—whether its one of these or an idea of your own—just make sure you deck the halls with streamers and balloons instead of holly this December, and make this the first of many unforgettable birthdays for your holiday baby!