How to Celebrate Birthdays Around the Holidays

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When I found out I was pregnant with my second child, the first thing I did after jumping up and down (we had been trying for a year), was to dig out a due date calculator.  Last period March 21.  Due date… December 25?  Oh no!

My mother often relayed stories about my own birth.  I was also due on Christmas day, but held out in my cozy quarters.  I missed Christmas day, missed tax deduction day (December 31), missed New Year’s Day, and didn’t arrive until January 4th.  Although it was the 10th day of Christmas, it was still in January, so I didn’t feel as though my birthday was too close to the holidays. 

My daughter was not so lucky.  During my obstetrician visit on December 1st, my doctor informed me that I was already 2 centimeters dilated and that she would come any day.  After hearing this same news during my first pregnancy, my son was born three days later.  But my daughter, like me, had no intentions of coming out.  The weeks of December ticked by until my last scheduled appointment at 39 weeks.  The doctor informed me that the office was closed for the holidays, but that she was on duty at the hospital the day after Christmas.  I went for a check-up on December 26 and found that I was now five centimeters dilated.  “It’s time, let’s get her out,” my doctor said.  After a few short hours of induction, my daughter was born.

I always call my daughter the best Christmas gift ever.  Being 9 months pregnant, we planned no activities, travel or guests for the holiday week.  It was a very quiet, peaceful time, with only my immediate family and my mother present.  Since it was my second child, there were no anxiety attacks about her well-being, just the feeling of being truly blessed for the holidays.  (And yay, we got the tax deduction!)

This year, my baby turns six years old.  We’ve had mixed success with her birthday parties, with winter storms and holiday activities hampering turn-outs.  This year, we scheduled her party with her new Kindergarten friends before Christmas.  But what are some good activities for a bunch of giggly girls cooped up inside?  Turns out there are a ton of holiday-themed activities.

First, they played “Pin the nose on the Rudolf”, using a Santa hat as a blindfold.

Pin the nose on the Rudolf

And then there was making, decorating and eating spritz (cookie press) cookies.

Making cookes

We also made gingerbread people, snowmen and stars, and decorated them with seven colors of icing (quite messy and not as appetizing)!  If you’re not inclined to turn your kitchen into a huge explosion of cookie dough, colored sugar and icing, there are craft ornaments that both boys and girls would enjoy.  You could also play the dreidel game.

The amazing thing about having a birthday around the holidays is that you never feel bad about it.  A birthday is a birthday and it doesn’t matter when it falls.  My daughter absolutely loves having her birthday on the day after Christmas.  She wouldn’t have it any other way.  And my birthday is perfect for stretching out the holidays into January, Lords-a-leaping and all.

Contributing editor Angela blogs about over-ambitious parenting at mommy bytes.

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