How do you keep your baby’s birthday special if it happens to fall on a day when the rest of the world is celebrating something else?
By the time, your baby finally arrives, you’re probably not even sure what time of the day it is, let alone the actual date. Any day that a baby is born is special, and it doesn’t really matter which one it falls on. But what happens if your baby is born on another ‘special day’? How do you stop the lines blurring so that her birthday is as special as it would be on more regular days of the year?
All in the attitude
My daughter was born on Boxing Day, which is not Christmas Day, but it’s close. And while it has meant years of staying up late on Christmas night, baking cakes in the shape of a cat or a snowman, wrapping yet more presents, blowing up balloons, even assembling a toy kitchen, we have totally embraced the date and make it all about our daughter.
We never give combined Christmas/birthday presents, as tempting as that would be. And we never use Christmas wrapping paper. Again tempting, but no. On the day, we invite family and friends over for cake, which often progresses into dinner, and has now become a standing open-house invitation to those who are around at the time.
I’m always surprised when people pity my daughter for her birthday. She’ll only think it’s a bad thing if we tell her, but if we say how lucky she is having a birthday on that day, then that’s what she’ll believe. As a result, my daughter loves it, and funnily enough, it’s my youngest who finds it hard to cope as her sister has two days of presents in a row.
Not just one child, but three
Sydney mum, Nikki has three children all born just before New Year’s Eve, on the 27th, 28th and 30th of December. And despite being a time when everyone is either away or gearing up for New Year’s, she has made it work.
“The main thing is my children don’t know any different,” says Nikki. “It’s not like I have another child born in the middle of the year. It’s the same for all of them.” Nikki and her family are usually on holidays at this time, so the mood is already relaxed and festive. And while the kids don’t have individual parties, they meet up with both sides of the families on the 29th to celebrate the birthdays in one fell swoop. “With all the craziness of Christmas, it’s good to have a get-together, it’s a nice family time,” she says. “We call it the Festival of the Birthdays.”
What about your own birthday?
Gabriella, on the other hand, gave birth to one of her two daughters on her birthday. “It was my 40th, and all my family and friends had chipped in to buy me a Tiffany diamond bracelet,” she says. “But alas the bracelet was upstaged. In fact, it was completely forgotten about for a few days!”
Gabriella’s birthdays were all upstaged after that, as she focused on her daughter’s special day. “For the first few years, I was forgotten, which was a little upsetting,” she says. “But there’s no better gift than a beautiful baby girl, and I remind myself that’s all that matters,” she says.
With her daughter growing up, Gabriella can celebrate her day as well. “Now that she’s seven years old, I can separate it a bit more, organise a party for her another weekend, and do something for me a different night.”
However, at the end of the day, Gabriella wouldn’t want it any other way. “It’s actually so special to share a date,” she says. “I like the idea of my day living on in a new generation, and as she gets older, maybe there’ll be something unique we can do every year on that day, wherever she may be in the world.”