In Others' WordsIn Others' Words

Friday, December 12, 2008

Handling a Holiday Birthday

Eight years ago, Christa, my caboose kiddo, was born on Christmas Eve.
And I was thrilled.
I loved having Christmas music playing in the background while I labored. (Go ahead, call me crazy.) I loved how the nurses fed my other three kids Christmas cookies while they urged me to deliver before their shift was over. (Like I had any control over that!)
As happy as I was about Christa's special birth day, I knew it could be a tricky situation for her. Several weeks earlier, I'd read an article in the paper where people told stories about how their holdiay birthdays ruined their lives. They hated having a birthday on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.
One woman recounted how one year she wanted a pair of leather boots. She got one boot on Christmas Eve (her birthday) and the second boot on Christmas Day. Another person said all her birthday presents were wrapped in Christmas paper, year in, year out.
As I held my newborn, I determined she would never regret being born on Christmas Eve. Birthdays are about celebrating a person's life--and that should happen no matter what the birthdate.
Eight years into celebrating Christa, I would say so far, so good.
My family celebrates Christmas--acknowledging it as the birthday of Jesus. The presents under the tree are wrapped in Christmas paper.
We always try to set aside some time on Christmas Eve to celebrate Christa's birthday--usually early in the day. Her presents are wrapped in birthday paper--as they should be. We are celebrating her birth, not Christmas.
Earlier in December or later in January we host a kids' birthday party for Christa. It depends on whether we're traveling or not for the holidays. We don't want her birthday to get lost or ignored, so some years we've postponed the party. Christa's okay with that, especially if we have a family celebration on Christmas Eve.
A holiday birthday isn't a tragedy in the making. You just have to be intentional--to not let the busy-ness of the season cause you to overlook your child and their need to feel valued.



At 7:50 AM, Blogger Patricia said...

Hi Beth! I really appreciate this post. Of my 4 grandchildren, 2 of them have Christmastime birthdays. Gavin will be 2 on the 19th and Tabi will be 16 on the 26th. Gavin is clearly too young for this to be an issue for him, but with Tabi, I began celebrating her half birthday several years ago on June 26th - sending her a gift, as though it were her birthday. Somewhere I read where one family would make a half birthday cake and make everything that day in halves. What fun that would be. Tabi's parents give her a friends party sometime over the Christmas holidays and on her birthday they always do something special just as a family. Please tell Christa that I will be thinking of her on Christmas Eve and wishing her the merriest of birthdays.

I am guessing that this is why you named her Christa? I have a friend with a Christmas Day birthday whose name is Joy.


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