Making December Birthdays Special for a child can be challenging especially if their birthday falls near the end of the month. Holiday festivities, travel out of town, so many parties to attend you lose track. Now you need to wedge your child’s birthday in there somehow and try to make it just as special as a birthday for a child at any other time of the year.
So how do you make a child feel their December birthday is special?
Making December birthdays special takes no more effort than any other time of year. You just need to add a dash of flexibility and a little bit of creative problem-solving to pull it off.
A lot of parents start out planning a December birthday party from the standpoint of “how am I going to get ALL this done?” Yes, it can be more challenging given the time of year, but because so many folks are in a festive mood and ready to do festive things at this time of the year, why not use that to your advantage?
Many a parent have “piggy-backed” their child’s party on some other holiday event they were most likely going to do anyway regardless of the birthday. This is where it pays to be flexible in your planning.
Do not get bogged down in trying to juggle what are sure to be the hectic schedules of the families you want to invite. If you can make this a “must-attend” event in the spirit of the season that will go a long way towards making December birthdays special.
Without further ado, here are some tips to help you navigate the sometimes turbulent waters of making December birthdays special.
The making December birthdays special checklist
The holidays can be stressful enough so do not get overwhelmed in making December birthdays special. I have put together some ideas that will, I think, go a long way in making the event fun and memorable, while helping to keep your sanity in this busy time of year.
So here is a summary of what I have on my checklist:
- Start planning well before the month of December starts
- Have some flexibility with the date you choose even if it does not fall on the actual birthday date
- Do not be afraid to jump in another special holiday event for the party
- If you can, try to do it on a weekend right before Christmas
- Let your kids know that there still may be some kids that cannot attend
- Don’t skimp on the “party” part, go all out
- Kids with December birthdays already feel “screwed” they may only get one gift for their birthday and the holiday but just gently remind them
- Keep yourself motivated
- This is for your child so make sure it is memorable
Now, this list is in no particular order, but it covers some of the essentials in making December birthdays special.
Start planning in advance to make December birthdays special
The further you can start your planning for the party the better. Most kids have two weeks off from school for the holidays and that is a prime time for families to get out of town. That does not mean you need to be checking in with families all year to keep up with their holiday travel schedule. What it does mean is that after your kids have eaten their Halloween candy, it is best to start getting an idea of some potential dates that will work that fall (hopefully) near your child’s birthday.
Be flexible with the date
In my last post, I talked about how my youngest son has SIX classmates who all have December birthdays. The solution was one party for all of them. As it just so happened, the party is tomorrow and his actual birthday is the day after.
That worked out well for me but for some of the parents, that meant a party that was as much as two weeks from the actual date of their child’s birthday. The upside?
This means you can have the big party with all the kids and then have a second party of whatever size on their actual birthday. Show your birthday boy or girl how this is a “win-win” for them and they may start to see a December birthday as better than one in any other month.
Piggyback another holiday event
Maybe you plan on taking your kids to some sort of holiday-themed event like meeting Santa or going to some sort of holiday wonderland.
In my neighborhood, there are three or four blocks where the homeowners go all out on both Halloween and Christmas. Why not pack up the car with kids and take them there and then take them back home or to a kid-friendly restaurant to round out the party.
Date creativity to make December birthdays special
If you can, stay away from the weekend that starts the kid’s holiday break. There has probably been a lot going on in that last week before school lets out so kids, or maybe even more their parents, probably do not want to go to a party the first day off from school.
The party we are having for my son is the weekend BEFORE the last week of school-perfect!
As a fall back you can try for a weekend after New Years’ and while kids who are bored and mad that they are back at school may love it, exhausted (and possibly cash-poor) parents may feel a whole lot differently.
Maybe they cannot all come
It is important to explain to your child that maybe not all their friends can come to their party. A big part of making December birthdays special is being able to have all the friends you want at your party.
With all that is going on at this time, you may not find a date that works for EVERYONE. So come up with the best compromise and just explain to your child that some of their friends may not make it BUT it will still be a great party (because you will make sure of that, yes?)
So make it memorable
Because there may be some compromises that need to be made for your kid’s party, that makes it even more important to go “all-out” when it comes to their party.
At this time of the year your energy level, patience, and wallet all may be stretched pretty thin. I will not tell you how to prioritize any of those things, but just do not let your child’s birthday come last on any of those lists.
This is especially true if they have siblings that have birthdays at other times of the year. It is not your child’s fault when their birthday lands so do not make them feel like they are getting “ripped-off”, especially in comparison to the parties for their siblings that seem much more special simply because there is not as much going on during that particular time of year.
When it comes to gifts, it is the thought that counts to make December birthdays special
Did your parents ever tell you that when you were a kid? Did you believe them when you felt like the gifts you got were not up to what you expected?
This is always a tough one because you do want to make December birthdays special but you are also probably teaching your kids that life lesson when it comes to receiving gifts.
I do not think there is any one way to tackle this issue. Just make sure that you are making them feel special on their big day and that will probably go a long way towards making the type and number of gifts they receive less important.
It is always darkest before dawn
I won’t lie, this time of year is stressful for everyone. When you add in all of the planning and execution of a kid’s birthday party it can sometimes feel like it is going to push you over the edge.
Take a few moments each day for yourself and always remember that you do all this for your kids to make their special days the best they can be.
That is probably good advice at any time of the year, but it is especially true at this time.
To sum it all up…this is for your kids
Yeah, it is going to be a pain at times but it is all worthwhile when you see the look on their faces blowing out those candles. Focus on the positives, do your best to weather the setbacks, and before you know it you too will have accomplished making December birthdays special.