19 answers

Birthday Party Ideas for Christmastime Birthday

Hoping for some help... I have a fabulous and amazing daughter who will turn 2 years one week before Christmas. Planning a party is difficult because it seems everyone has Christmas parties and/or shopping and in this economy their pocketbooks are pretty tapped. I want to have a party nonetheless and I'm wondering if any of you great moms out there have any suggestions. I need help with the following:

* Should I state on the invitation "gifts not needed" or something like that to motivate more attendees?
* What theme ideas do you have?
* What money-saving ideas do you have?
* And finally, I've heard of some in this predicament to have summer "half-birthday" parties. Any ideas for the future?

Thank you so much all of your help!

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

May I suggest no birthday party this year, or just family? She's 2, so she won't remember it and probably doesn't even understand it. Wait until she's old enough to really understand what a birthday party is. When she does, try to keep it simple, an send out invitations to the party early in December so people can plan for it.

My daughters b-day is the 17th of December. We celebrate her birthday on her b-day or as close as possible to her b-day. Last year for her 2 yr b-day we only invited family. We just did a light lunch and cake and ice cream. We had tinker bell for the theme since she LOVED her last year. They don't need a big party with lots of people for their 2nd b-day. Good luck

More Answers

I also have a son who will turn two the week before Christmas( Dec. 17). We gave him a big 1st birthday party 4 days before Xmas last year and it worked out great.

This year, since I am a SAHM and he doesnt go to daycare or preschool, we are going to have a small family only party in January, after the holidays. The no gifts is a great idea, but most people wont adhere to it. You might want to ask people to donate books or clothing that can be given to a womens shelter or something.

Since at 2 they still dont really understand what is going on, a large party may not be necessary. I gave my older ( a girl, 8 and son, 6) a big party when they turned 4 and it was fantastic! Instead of having lunch at your party, try just cake and ice cream or an ice cream bar- that goes over big with the kids!

Good luck!

I totally get where you are coming from.

I also understand that you are not just talking about her 2nd birthday, you are inquiring on birthdays forever.

My daughter was born on Christmas morning and though she will be three this year, I have tossed the idea around a lot.

Last year I bought her a little tree from Target, and decorated it with pink decorations. Hello Kitty and barbie, because she likes pink. All of her gifts were wrapped in Non-Christmas colors and set under the little tree. The tree is in the kids TV room and has small lights on it as well.

When Christmas morning rolls around no one opens gifts until she does. We all sing her happy birthday and then open our other gifts.

As for her parties when she grows up.. I've thought about *Leaving one room decorated in the theme of her party, that way she has ONE room that is only her birthday room. *Having 1/2 birthday parties *Planning something the weekend before (swimming party, etc) *Planning something the week after (a huge kids party on New years eve. Gives you something to do, and allows other parents to go out for the night!) (Or even better, a full day party with other kids and tell parents they can go shopping while you entertain the little ones)

Good luck with this, I know how hard it can be!

May I suggest no birthday party this year, or just family? She's 2, so she won't remember it and probably doesn't even understand it. Wait until she's old enough to really understand what a birthday party is. When she does, try to keep it simple, an send out invitations to the party early in December so people can plan for it.

My little one's birthday is the week after Christmas. I got a lot of good advice when I asked about ideas for her 1 yr birthday. All of the comments basically came down to this. It really doesn't matter about the presents, or how many people are there, just make it special for her. Put up special decorations that are not christmas themed, and make sure to wrap any presents that she does recieve in birthday paper. When she is a little older ask her want she prefers, celebrate big on the day or do the half birthday. What ever she prefers make sure you celebrate the actual day.

My cousins are all born around Christmas. They do the “half birthday” thing. Mainly it just means that any parties and gifts are given at the half birthday, not the real one. It was especially great when they were little, because they could have their b-day in the summer and have the parties outside, at the pool etc. It was also nice for the adults as it is better to plan for that then have to come up with Christmas, and 3 children’s birthday gift money in one month. It was always exactly 6 month after (or before!) their real birthday, that way there was no grey area and they learned what day was “theirs.”

Their real birthday was not forgotten however. They received a card and everyone in the family would call to tell them happy “real” birthday. They all are now grown, the youngest a senior in high school. One of them even told me that if she had a baby close to Christmas, she would do the half birthday thing. I got lucky, my little guy was born June 25th. I didn’t even realize that it was exactly 6 months from Christmas until my nurse (who incidentally shares my son’s birthday) said, “well it’s perfect, he will get a party every 6 months, guaranteed.” Good luck!

Half birthdays are fine. I kinda wish they would have done something like that in school when I was going because my birthday is in June and we were never in school for it. I was never recognized. They seem to be a lot better about that nowadays. But if you want to do it on her birthday, maybe try a theme unrelated to Christmas. Like a "beach party" or "Hawaiian" theme in December. People can come dressed in a Hawaiian shirt, and you can decorate with little paper flip flops and beach balls. There's a really cute beach ball pinata project on familyfun.com where you can make it out of papier mache. If you do it, use very strong string so it doesn't get knocked off the string before the pinata actually breaks. We did that one for my daughter's birthday that was actually in June. You can get some of those cheap leis from a party store to hand out as favors, and let kids gather pinata candy to fill their gift bags instead of little toys and such that cost so much and just get thrown away after a few weeks. I think it might be a nice change for people to attend a summer party instead of a Christmas themed party at Christmastime. And your daughter will still have her day. But I agree, at two, a big to do is not as important. For my daughter that just turned two, we only had one family come over to celebrate, and it was really just to eat dinner and have cake. I decorated the island counter a little with a birthday table cloth, the cake, presents and plates/napkins. We ate outside. She opened her presents, which were minimal. Just a few things that she really likes, like a Sleeping beauty doll, a little dress up box that I made things for and put in a cute little pink furry box for her (it had a wand, princess hat, pink tu-tu type thing, feather boa, bracelets, lip gloss, necklaces and a small princess doll), a couple of books and a bubble machine. It was very inexpensive, yet just the right amount of presents for her to open without being overwhelmed. Anyway. Just some thoughts.

I'm a little late reading my emails, and see you've already gotten many good replies, but I wanted to throw in a couple of thoughts too.

First, my son went to a friend's birthday party last Christmas (the friend turned 5 on December 27th), and they held the party at a place called Amazing Jakes (like a Chuck E Cheese) and that worked really well because the play place wasn't decorated for Christmas at all so the boys all focused on the birthday party and not on the holiday.

Also, my sister's birthday is December 21st and growing up we always had parties at home around Christmas time. Granted not everyone made it, but we always had a few of her friends there. And as she got older she really like celebrating her birthday in December, rather than a 1/2 birthday party, because then she could ask people to combine her birthday and Christmas gifts into one larger gift that she wouldn't receive otherwise.

I have 4 kids and 3 ofthem are in the winter. If you want the party go to chuck e. Cheese ,or an indoor fun plex type of thing, a rec center usually has packages for gymnastics as well as swimming.
There is your bait. But it wouldn't hurt to do it in early november or late january. Your right it's not about the presents, but it makes all the more festive for a two year old. It is all your choice and if peopl don't come you might think about spending 2-3 days of doing all her favorite things ang going to eat at all her favorite places.
We gave up the big parties and spend all the time and $$ on them. Good luck and god bless

I do dollar store parties for my kids and everyone loves it.

My son turns two a few days before Halloween. We are just going to have cupcakes in the apartment playground and let who ever comes visit. He will enjoy playing and will not care if it is a big to do.

If your family gets together for Christmas, you could do a small family dinner for her, and wait till she is older to worry about friends, or wait till summer to do the 1/2 birthday party with friends as every one is traveling around Christmas time.

She will be happy no matter what you choose. You do not have to go all out. Don't plan to impress others, go with what you want.

mother to Kai

My sons' b-day is just before Christmas also. What I try to do is keep it simple. We were going to keep the Christmas tree down until after his birthday, but it was so sad for me to not have my decorations up right after Thanksgiving :) And my son absolutely LOVES Christmas so he wants the decorations up also.

I am having a hard time trying to figure out what to do for my son this year, but here is what I have done in the past....
For his 2nd b-day we just had family and friends come over and don't get your feelings hurt if they don't show...I had to learn that one :)

For his 3rd we had everyone meet at Pizza Hut. We made them RSVP so that we could order enough pizza's and it turned out to be a lot of fun. It cost us $50.00 for all of the pizza's and we had 5 or 6 tables full of people.

For his 4th we did a coloring/spiderman birthday. I got big coloring pages and hung them on butcher paper along one wall. The kids loved that.

For his 5th we did a baking birthday. I took a recipe for chocolate cake and divided it down to individual size. Then each one had a bowl and all the ingredients to put in and make their own cake. I had them choose a sticker and put it on the bottom of their cake pan (I got the little foil ones) and they baked their own cakes. They got little chef hats and aprons and an Alpha-Bakery cookbook from Gold Medal Flour, it really didn't cost that much either...I was lucky and ran across chef hats and aprons at the dollar store!

Hope these ideas give you some encouragement :)

My son's birthday is Dec 18. Try Birthdayideas.com. They have ideas for every age, including invites, games, favors, cakes, etc. We ave my sons party early in December (usually the first weekend) Then on the 18th he opens his presents from us, and we have a cake, and his favorite dinner. I would suggest picking a theme (Dora, princess, etc.) and doing a party around the theme. It you do christmas things then it's christmas, and not her b-day. But that website is the best, I use for all my kids birthdays. you can also google birthday ideas, I'm sure there are other sites out there. Have fun

My daughters b-day is the 17th of December. We celebrate her birthday on her b-day or as close as possible to her b-day. Last year for her 2 yr b-day we only invited family. We just did a light lunch and cake and ice cream. We had tinker bell for the theme since she LOVED her last year. They don't need a big party with lots of people for their 2nd b-day. Good luck

I have to agree with Kristine C. My birthday is exactly one week before Christmas and I would have been a little hurt if my family decided to celebrate on a different day due to "inconvenience". I absolutely love my birthday! My mother never did anything to huge, but it meant a lot that we celebrated on my actual date of birth. Now that I am older, I try to plan things that are more fun for the kids. I have done cookie parties where I let the kids help make chocolate chip cookies, your daughter may be too young right now but bowling parties and movie parties are fun (there are ways to get discounts with the bowling and there are earlier showing of movies that are cheaper), I went to an ice cream birthday party where everyone met at Dairy Queen and ate ice cream treats. I love the ideas that everyone else provided (ie baking parties, making arts and crafts coloring) and I may have to use some of them on my next birthday to keep the kids excited!

Hi M.,
I'm in about the same boat, our little girl turns 2 on Dec 11th. My sister has twins that turned 3 last Dec 27th and she did the cutest thing (although maybe a little old for a 2-yr old?). They had a penquin theme (so still winter but not Christmas) and the kids made penquin cupcakes.


She even ordered a penquin pinata...


I kind of think that two is still pretty young for a big party. We might just have family and our neighbors (with a little girl a month older)...

Have fun and enjoy. AND kudos for planning so early!

First and foremost, a 2-year-old does not need a big birthday party. They just wind up hyped up on sugar, stressed out and melting down. Keep it simple, and keep it down to a couple hours.

My daughter is born on Christmas Day, which makes things doubly hard for us. She is turning 5 this year, so we are still trying to get into the swing of what to do for her. We had her first 1/2 b-day party this year, and she LOVED it. Having a half-birthday doesn't mean that you ignore their actual birthday - we had the grandparents over on Christmas Day for dinner and birthday cake, and we sang to her and gave her our presents. Then this July she got to have a Luau party with all her friends. Some people brought gifts, and some didn't. We did not give her gifts, since she got ours on her birthday. It was SO much less stressful for us, and she had a blast.

As far as the "no gifts," some people prefer that just to keep clutter to a minimum. However, if you only motivation is to increase attendance, I wouldn't put it there. One thing we do to control clutter is to have a de-stashing before any gift-giving holiday. I just tell my girls that there isn't any room for new toys, and if they want presents, they have to get rid of something old. They have never made a big deal of it.

As far as themes, you can do anything you want. It doesn't have to be a Christmas party. In fact, I would stay away from the Christmas theme. This is supposed to be a *birthday* party. Do whatever your daughter likes - horses, dolls, tea party, pizza party, a local inflatable bounce place, an indoor city pool, or anything else that strikes your fancy. You don't have to make it into a huge thing if you don't want to.

Best of luck,
S. L

Well, first of all, a 2nd birthday does not have to be huge to be special - in fact, none of them do. With little ones, I usually do a family party, with friends as they get older.

Second, my birthday is Dec 20. I would have felt really bad if we had not celebrated my birthday on the day. These 1/2 birthdays sound great on paper, but what you are telling the child is that their birthday is at an inconvenient time - and you want to re-schedule them. My nephew's b-day is Dec 28th and his mom always said they would have a 1/2 birthday, but then during the summer all his friends were on vacation.

Everyone is unique. Celebrate the birthday and tell them why that was a special day for your family!!!

I would do it early in December and have a kick-off to Christmas theme. Celebrate that your daughter was born at such a special time of year. Have Santa come, dress your daughter up like a little helper, have fun little stockings for the party favors. Oh yeah, and the best part, your house will already be decorated! = )

Kids and parents alike will love that they can see Santa and play pin-the-nose-on-the-reindeer and have one more visit (the trip to Santa) off their plate.

Good luck!

P.S. Don't skimp on Santa, this will be too special to have the kids wonder why daddy is dressed up.

I know this is REALLY late but I had to comment. My dads birthday is the 28 and my man is a xmas day baby. Growing up, we did the seperate tree thing for my Dad and he LOVED it. It made his day really special. My man loves having the 25th as his day....he always liked getting bigger "presents". I just wanted to say that once she is in school I think things will be easier as far as people attending. I have rarely been to a party that has been ON the day of the childs bday being most people do them on the weekends prior or after. My day is Nov 5 and Halloween always messed up my day ($ spent on halloween parties and costumes and people just burned out). I found that as I grew up I really only wanted my one best friend and my favorite friends of my parents, usually a group of about 8 ppl. They were the ones I loved the most and that is whom I wanted to share my day with....plus, they loved me so I could always count on them being there. They were the same ppl that would come to my Dad's bday party as well. Good food, great people and a night/day full of laughter....Just remember to invite the ppl that love you and your daughter the most.....I think the whole, invite everyone and have a big todo is a tad overrated and I never missed it and so far, neither has my son! Just saying.....Good luck

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