59 answers

Should He Get B-day Presents Twice? Opinions Wanted.

Hi Mommies,

I need a little reality check here. My hubbie and I are not sure what is best for our son...we thought we knew but his family is making me doubt.

My son was born on Dec. 23rd, (it's his first birthday). I am planning on having a little immediate family celebration on that day, with no gifts. We are having a big celebration on Jan. 24th, so all his new friends and extended family can come and celebrate (specifically my parents they live 2 hrs away). I thought of this idea, so he wouldn't have to compete with the Holidays. We would start a tradition of just having a small recognition of his birthday on his birthday (with a cake and maybe a small gift from us, and in the future his siblings), and then we celebrate at the end of January (there are no other birthdays in our family that month). My MIL and BIL want to come,and his Grandma (MIL), stated that she is grandma and she gets to give him presents on his birthday. My BIL said the same thing. They feel they GET to give him gifts...my BIL said he would also give him something at his party in Jan. And I am sure he will do this for the next couple of years, but what about when he gets older? And the gifts get more involved?
I don't think this matters right now, but in the future when the kids get older and start to notice getting forgotten at birthdays and christmas - it will matter. I don't want him to feel less special than the his cousins - and that is directly related to Grandma.
I have spoken with many people who are Christas babies and they say they always got jipped when their Birthday came.
And we saw it last night at our family party, when the other kids got multiple presents and he only got a two from Grandma...because she has another gift for his birthday.

So here is the philisophical question: Should he get gifts twice? Won't that be taxing for people? Should we just teach him that presents don't matter, I am not sure that is such an realistic task. Or should we just let him deal with the disappointment later, if or when he notices? Let our extended family just do whatever...I am not sure they "get" it. Obviously they love him and they want to be apart...how can I make them feel apart and start a tradition that is best for Thatcher?
Just curious as to what you all think. I am looking for opinions for or against...or your experience in this area. What to do...what to do.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thank you mom's for the outpouring advice on my son's birthdays. It really made me feel I was making the right decision for him. I explained to my MIL that his actual birthday is a day of celebrating the day he was born, and it was to be an intimate/small non-commercialized celebration. And it was. She was great, and we had a great time. It was just his uncle and cousins, aunts, and his grandma. He had a great time getting chocolate cake everywhere! It was really fun.
And in January we will have his party with friends and extended family.
Again thank you for sharing your stories, feelings and honest opinions. This is a great forum for honesty.
Happy New Year!!

Featured Answers

S.: This is what my daughter-in-laws Mother did for her birthdays, She was born on Dec. 27th, so her mother gave a a 1/2 birthday party in June or July, that is where she would get 1/2 of her presents then and the other have on the 27th of Dec. Since she also got gifts for Christmas. She told me about this when she was dating my son, she said it was great, and she now does it for my 14year old granddaughter who was born on the 14th of Dec. That way the family does not feel so stress about gifts in Dec. They have already gave her 1/2 of what they would of done for her birthday in Dec., and then Christmas is not to bad. Hope this helps.

My birthday is December 28th. I never felt jipped and I never recieved the 2 in 1 gift. My grandparents gave money for birthday and a gift for Christmas. You could set up an account and suggest that for family. But as long as a child recieves a gift from family, and has a party with friends...the rest won't matter. Let the chips fall where they will. The harder you try to prevent what you don't want, the more chances you will create exactly that.

My opinion, being a holiday birthday myself, celebrate his birthday and then celebrate Christmas. The fact that there are two days apart should not matter. They are two distinct celebrations. Don't move his celebration to another month. As he gets older and in school, you can have the birthday party earlier in the month, on a weekend with his friends. Lots of kids have their party's on a different day due to busy schedules, but the actual day is still recognized by immediate family (mom, dad, and siblings). Also, if MIL and BIL want to spend their money, let them. It is their money and don't stress over which grandchild gets what.

More Answers

My son turned one two days ago (Dec. 20th) and we faced the same dilemma. I also made the decision to separate his birthday from Christmas and we had his party on the 13th. I thought that would be enough time between his birthday and Christmas. My husband's relatives all live out of town and only his mother sent a birthday gift. So sad! I assume the rest will give him presents at Christmas but I have no idea if he will get two presents from them or if they are combining them or not giving him a birthday present at all. We celebrated by going to a restaurant and looking at Christmas lights on the 20th with just our family (my spouse, older son, and 1 year old).

As for presents, I had my son open a couple presents a day from his party. That way I got thank you cards out right away and he got to play with a couple new toys each day.

In years to come I think I'll continue to separate his birthday from Christmas. It made it easier on me too to organize his party first and then think about Christmas.

Happy 1st birthday to your child!

1 mom found this helpful

I think you should just have his birthday on his birthday (or event the saturday befor). As someone else mentioned, when you have more kids and they get older it might get a little sticky if your son is getting "two" birthdays and they only get one. You just have to make it clear to everyone that Christmas is Christmas and his birthday is his birthday. Just let them know that they should buy gifts as if his birthday were in some other month. But at the same time I think you should start teaching your son early on that it's not about the gifts, it's the thought that counts and that the important thing is that those around him that love him are celebrating with him.

1 mom found this helpful

It looks like you have a lot of advice so far but I just thought I'd add my 2 cents. I personally believe, even if your family has all the money in the world, that giving two gifts is excessive. We have always had a no gift rule for the kids birthday party with friends-whenever that may be. They still get a few gifts from grandparents, aunts and uncles etc. and there are always people who don't follow your no gift rule and bring a gift anyway. This way they get maybe 5 or 6 gifts which is plenty. I would tell your family that you really want the birthday to be more about celebrating your child's life than the gifts and that you don't care which gathering they bring their presents but that if they chose to get your child a gift they just bring one gift to one of the occasions.

1 mom found this helpful

It's a tough situation. My daughter has an 11/27 birthday and this year (as will be other years to come) that was also Thanksgiving. I have a feeling that many late-November-born folks get a little shorted at Christmas too.

As my daughter gets older I'm hoping that we will begin to celebrate Christmas not with gifts but by travelling or doing volunteer work, so that the holiday is more about people and helping others, rather than about what is under the tree on Christmas morning. But for now, while I'm figuring it out, I'm dealing with the tree too. And this year, that's tough!

One of my siblings has a tradition of giving the kids only a single present at Christmastime. So there is a present from Mom, and a load of gifts from other family.

We have a lot of years ahead of us to help our children understand that tangible presents are not nearly as valuable as "presence".

Good luck to you in developing your family tradition, and :) Happy Christmas!

1 mom found this helpful

I feel your pain!! My little guy was 6 weeks early on CHRISTMAS DAY... Talk about a yucky birthday! and yes they will get jipped. I have learned that there is nothing you can do about it but teach him to appreciate what he gets. We do a separate party for his "birthday" in Jan. and we also do birthday cake on Christmas day after Christmas dinner followed by a couple bday gifts from mom/dad and grandma/grandpa. This seems to be working for now...he is 5. I have contemplated celebrating "half birthdays" when he gets older?? Who knows. Good luck! BTW if the family WANTS to buy multiple gifts...it will be just fine. I would just let everyone know that it is not expected...they will make their own choice.


PS...I HAVE ALWAYS TOLD TJ THAT HE IS THE BEST CHRISTMAS PRESENT I HAVE EVER RECEIVED!! and he says to tell Thatcher HAPPY BIRTHDAY from a fellow christmas baby! (12-25-03)

1 mom found this helpful

remember that 'jipped' is in the eyes of the adults, not the children. thatcher- so far- has no emotional feeling about gifts or how many to expect or why people even give them. he will LEARN all of this from you. so first, adjust your own attitude about gifts and and what they mean, etc. he does not have to feel like he is getting less. you can teach him gratitude for getting ANYTHING AT ALL. he does not have to expect quantity. teach him that celebrating his birthday is about the wondrous day he came into your life. instead of gifts on his birthday, why don't you give him an experience? things fade, experiences become the best memories. and anyway, he will get gifts for christmas. take him to a wildlife rescue for his birthday. or with all the holiday art fairs and classes, you can take him to a kids' clay or ceramics class when he gets older. i know in or around lodi they recently had the crane festival. take him for a hike in nature, a short trip to a state park, etc. i know all this seems odd at one year old but everything counts, all the time, every age. show him beautiful things. celebrate his birthday with experiences of the world arond him, instead of toys and things that will be forgotten and given away.

1 mom found this helpful

I am a Christmas Baby (not quite so close) but I will tell you what bugged me. Getting birthday presants in xmas wrapping, and getting a birthday/xmas combo gift. For me, my birthday IS KING. Christmas is a holiday that everyone gets and your birthday is really your day. Make it his day. Dont combine it. I would always rather skip out on a christmas present for a birthday present. Mabye keep Christmas small in your family and make birthdays really the gifts giving time. Christmas can be more about the food, the gatherings etc. GOOD LUCK!ps I know I once tried to celebrate my birthday at another time and it was not really fun because it did not feel real.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi S.,

Have you thought of an alternative to presents for your son's birthday in December? Perhaps for the month of December, you can sign up with a charity and your family members could give donations instead of gifts. Then, they could save the gifts for a bigger party in January. This way, they can still give gifts at both times, your son is not buried in gifts and he learns the real gift of giving from a young age. A popular website for the families in our area is:
They set up a page for donations for their childrens' birthdays. Good luck!


1 mom found this helpful

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