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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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)

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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.

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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.

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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!


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Hi S.,
My father was born on Dec. 25th. I once asked him if he felt jipped as a kid about being born on Christmas (he was around 66 when I asked this question). His response was "no." That he was the only kid who got a cake on Christmas and that the extra attention was great. All his family was in attendance, including his cousins and that was cool to him. For his 50th birthday, we decided to throw him an "early" surprise party in Aug. while we were on vacation. We happened to be houseboating, so when he went out fishing, we decorated the boat, had a cake and presents. He came back to the surprise. I don't think he appreciated it. Although he was gracious about it (sort of!), it was obvious he thought it was weird and it didn't feel like his birthday. Another year we had him pick a number out of a hat representing the last 3 weeks of January. The date he picked was the date we celebrated his bday. He went along w/ it, but again, I don't think he appreciated it. He liked his bday on Christmas! I have an almost 1 yr old and I am starting to learn that having a kid in the mix has opened up a whole pandora's box of weird stuff w/ family especially the in laws. I am trying really hard to just go w/ the flow and let them do whatever it is they are going to do and to stop wasting my time, thoughts and energy on being annoyed. Good luck!

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Let everyone know that the December celebration is very very small. Give you son a cupcake and a SMALL gift to celebrate the day and then give the larger gifts and the full size cake when you have the whole family/friends gathering in January. Let everyone know that only a very small gift is appropriate in December and that you would like them to hold any other gifts till the January celebration. If he starts to get a larger celebration in December then the other kids in the family are going to start feeling like they are the "lesser" cousin/brother/neice, etc because they only get one birthday and Thatcher gets two FULL birthdays.

Now, if the family is not on board with these wishes you have only one thing you can do at that point...start having his party before his birthday and a full week away from Christmas. This is what we always did for my dad who was born on the 22nd. Whatever the weekend was before Christmas is when we'd celebrate his birthday and then have a second celebration at Christmas. Yes, there were people that he saw on Christmas who would hand him a birthday gift but people started to understand that his birthday was going to be celebrated AWAY from the holiday so he was special and it was NOT going to be lumped into the holiday celebrations.

Just stick to your guns and make sure that the family learns these boundries now when your son is small enough not to really understand that you are laying down the rules for your family now.



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I think that this year is your trial and error year. Let everyone do as they want and then decide what to do next year. He is too young to remember and as long as you get plenty of pictures it won't matter anyways. My son is born on Dec 29th. We've tried several ideas out now and what we've decided is best for our family is to celebrate Dec, 29th with just Mommy, Daddy, and siblings. Then we celebrate in January with the extended family. When he gets older we will give him the option to pick a date to celebrate and if he chooses Dec 29th then that is when we will celebrate and if it is July 4th then that will be the date. Something fun and no one feels jipped or left out.

Good Luck and enjoy his first birthday!

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Dear S.,
This is a subject close to my heart.
First of all, I want to say that I know how important it is when we have our first baby to think down the line about all the traditions we will have and observe. And bless your heart, you are right to think about these things. I was so hypersensitive about things when my daughter was a baby. I could say it's because I was told I could never have children, but I really think all mommies are that way to an extent. I stood in the bakery crying like a mental patient the day I picked up my daughter's first birthday cake and it said, "Happy Birthday, Angle". How could they not know how to spell Angel? Was it a sign? Her birthday is the day before Halloween so that came with it's own delights and issues. As she got older, we often had to wrangle dates for her parties, etc. When she was really little and an only child, she had her b-day with family and then got to go visiting the next day and people gave her things. I think she was about 6 before she realized she just wasn't on a roll every day for the rest of the year.
I am the oldest child of two in my family. I was born 9 days before Christmas. Three years and 11 days later, my sister came along 2 days after Christmas.
My parents didn't always have a lot of money and couldn't afford all three things at once. And I only remember ever getting one true birthday party because everyone was out of town or too busy. It was the same for my sister. I think it was actually easier for me, because we would go and get the Christmas tree on my birthday, so I always thought of that as a present. Mom always baked us our favorite cake and made our favorite dinner on our actual birthday, so it was celebrated to an extent. But, what our parents did, and I so love them for it....it was my Dad's idea...we had was was called our "Un-Birthday" every single year on June 21. The first day of summer. There was NOTHING else going on with the calendar other than that and we had parties and friends and sleepovers and got to go camping. We never felt jipped on our birthdays. And we always looked so forward to our "un-birthday".
My parents remembered it without fail.
Especially our Daddy, who we just lost in September, even after our parents divorced when I was 16.
I just turned 46 and he never forgot an un-birthday for my sister and I.
The main thing is for you to let your son know that he is loved. And try not to look at things as him having to "deal with disappointment" later.
My parents always told us that we were the best gifts THEY ever got. They did the best they could and we never felt we had to compete with the holidays.
Now that I'm older, I'm thankful that my birthday is at this time of year.
I know you are trying to figure out how all this is going to work, but this is your baby's first birthday and Christmas. My advice is to enjoy it and relax. Let people give what they want to give from their hearts.
You have another year or two before your son even gets what's going on. This is a family time of year so just go with it and see what happens. You can figure out how you want things to work for next year and the years to come later.
It will all get sorted out and you will find a tradition that works.

I wish you the very best.
Give your little one a birthday kiss on the cheek from me.

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I would let the ones that want to give twice do it. Your child is young enough he won't know the difference if he does not get a gift from someone the second time around.
When he gets older, it will be harder to have things on his birthday so close to christmas. Our daughter was born on Dec 18 and has had a hard time with friends not giving gifts, or not being in town to come to the party.
I hope all goes well and have a merry chirstmas.

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Hi S.,

It looks like you have plenty of opinions and I didn't read through them all. My sister and I are both near Christmas (I'm 2 weeks before and my sister 5 days after). Although it's not the best month to celebrate, I wouldn't want to celebrate my birthday a month later either. I think you should celebrate on the 23rd, the day your wonderful baby came into this world. It was a special day for your family and it will be forever. Good luck.

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Seems to me like you have put a great deal of thought into your son's first birthday. I like your idea to keep it simple with cake on his birthday. I think it makes sense to separate it from Christmas, otherwise someone will only give one gift to cover both events. That is not fair, as none of us pick our birth date.

My youngest son was born on January 13. At first I thought to give him less at Christmas, since his birthday comes 3 weeks later. But I considered the fact, that this is not fair to him. It is not fault that he was born this close to a holiday. So from that point, on, I treat Christmas and his birthday, like they don't come close together.

I think you are wise to give your son a special birthday party towards the end of January. For now, you can celebrate his birthday however you want, that suits your family the best. As he is older and comes to understand the date of his birthday, he will tell you if he wants to change the way it is celebrated.

For now, just keep it simple on his birthday and save the main celebration for January. It is his first birthday and you don't want the significance of that, to be lost in the Christmas celebrations.

If you decide, in the future that you want to handle it differently, that is fine. Sometimes because people are busy, a birthday celebration can regularly be scheduled for weeks prior to the event or weeks afterwards.

Just give your family and friends, advance notice of the plans.

Another idea, is to give a birthday party, in early December, before the hustle and bustle of Christmas.

You may have to talk to your family members about this.
Let them know you don't want Thatcher to be short-changed.
It is not his fault that his birthday and Christmas are within days of one another.

If you and your husband, are on the same page, about the birthday plans, it will go a long way in making it a smooth celebration.

When your son is old enough to understand, the relationship between his birthday and the holiday, he'll let you know his preferences about the celebration. You have many years, yet before he will be voicing his ideas.

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Our first daughter was born on December 29th and that is when we celebrate it. We have never felt the need to have big celebrations. Usually it is just a nice meal that she usually picks and then cake. She gets cards, sometimes money and phone calls on her actual birthday and she has always been fine with that. I think that there is way too much of an emphasis on gifts when it comes to birthdays. Whoever would like to give a gift, by all means let them, this may be their way of showing their love. And the people who do or cannot give a gift don't sweat that either. It will teach your child to not expect too much. We now have 4 girls with one boy on the way, and they have come to see their birthdays as a time to spend with family and not about what or if they receive anything. It teaches them to truly appreciate their family for who they are and not for what they give them. If I were you I would celebrate his birthday as close to his birthday as possible and not worry about gifts. I don't think that he will feel "jipped", that is more of what we are parents feel for our kids. Hope some of this helps. Merry Christmas

Here's an idea! One tradition you can start is exampling to your son that there are other children who have birthdays close to Christmas who are not as lucky as him. Take him shopping and have him pick two toys, a birthday gift and Christmas one. then donate them to an orginazation, like Toys for Tots, that collects and distributes toys to poor children. You could even call a local orphange or "home" for mothers and children, and see if there are any Christmas birthdays and donate the gifts there. You can even make birthday cards or a banner, and deliver or mail the cards with the gifts. Being that you love do do crafts this shouln't be to difficult! Be creative! If your son is "overlaoded" with gift, thinking of others and what they DO NOT HAVE might help him realize and appriciate just how LUCKY he is!!!! AND DO NOT forget the thank you notes!!! Writing thank you notes I think is a great opportunity for child, (and adults) to sit down and really think about what they recieved. When my childre (7,5,4) write them I always say, "Fnd at least one good thing about your gift" This gets them thinking. Sometimes they don't really care for what they recieved so their good thing they come up with is, "Thank you for THINKING of me!" "Remember gifts are not a "have" to but rather a thoughtful gesture!" I tell them.
I hope this helps. ENJOY his birthday, and Merry Christmas!!!!

No kids ever remember their first couple birthdays. Your son would have no idea whether it is Dec 23 or Jan 24. They dont really understand the whole birthday thing anyway until they are about 5. So I dont really see a big deal in moving the date, BUT let me ask you this. If his birthday was July 3rd or Dec 30 or any other day before a holiday, would you change the party to a month later? I have a friend whose daughter's bday is Dec 24th. She has always had her bday on her date of birth and there were no problems. They just seperate the two celebrations so she still has a special day. An added bonus about having a bday party on Dec 24th, sometimes when she rents a jumpyhouse she gets it for 2 days for the price of one because no one wants to pick it up on xmas day. :)

Dear S.,
I am writing as someone who also has a birthday on Dec. 23rd, and a retired school teacher. I think it is VERY important that you celebrate your child's birthday on his birthday. He needs to feel special ON his birthday, just like every other kid! Make it clear that it is his birthday with a party for friends, family that evening, balloons, cake (tell the baker no poinsettias), ice cream, and gifts wrapped in birthday wrap (no Xmas wrap)....just like everyone else's birthday. My folks ALWAYS took time during the holiday for a proper celebration, and my family now does the same. Friends and family showed up, (I think friend's parents used the party time for last minute Christmas shopping!) and I received gifts from everyone. If Grandma or others "jip" your child, you have two choices--speak to them, or teach your child that life isn't always fair, and it's better to give than receive. This will only be a problem onece your child is older, and you set the tone. In return, point out how lucky your child is to have a birthday during a season when the "world is alive with color, good will, and happiness." I love my birthday on the 23rd. Happy Birthday Thatcher! NancyA.

Hi - I know this doesn't respond to your question directly, but as a New Year's Eve baby myself, I wanted to comment on your idea of "starting a tradition" of having a small recognition on your child's actual birthday, then having a big celebration in late January. I totally understand where you are coming from and that you have your child's interests at heart, and I think the idea is superb for his first few years. However, on the flip side, once he understands the concept of his birthday I think your child may feel that it's patently unfair that he would be expected to wait a whole month to have a big celebration rather than around his real birthday like all the other kids. By that point in time it seems like the "tradition" is more for your convenience and that of others, rather than for your child's interest. I would have felt resentful for sure, if that was going on in my household growing up - I have always been about celebrating my birthday in its own right despite what day it falls on. Then again, if your child goes along with it, then that would be great!

Let your child determine the tradition in the future, rather than imposing it on him.

My daughter just turned 5 yesterday. I usually have her party two weeks after christmas. i also considered doing it two weeks before if my niece is not doing anything for my great niece early december. we do something small for her on her day with just us (mom, dad, brother and sister). We will bake cupcakes for us and maybe got out to eat. This year, we went to build a bear and ate at the mall. I won't get her another gift for her party. The bear was her gift and having the party too.

I push the party out because I know others are busy with x-mas and spending money for that. Two weeks or more rest for others, I think is appropriate. Grandma does come to bring 1 gift for her b-day and brings the others at her party. She usually checks with me and wants to know what I want to do, but I leave that to her and I don't take that from my daughter. My other kids understand and don't want her to get ripped off for her b-day. So, maybe you can suggest one for his b-day and the rest on his party.

I think I would tell everyone, extended family included that you will be celebrating his birthday in January and to give gifts at that time only. On his birthday your immediate family (people living under your roof) can have a special dinner together/ do a family activity together. Keep it small though because if your next child is born in the summer you don't want that child feeling like big brother gets two birthdays.
I applaud you for thinking ahead and trying not to start something that will cause difficulties later for your family. Now is the time to put your foot down and set your own family "traditions".

I did not totally follow what you were asking but my mother's bday is Dec 8, my son's is Dec. 19th, my daughter's is Jan 2.
My mom is a grown up and yet we always manage a small get together. My son was to have had a party (age 6) and got sick so we postponed until Jan and my turning 3 year old daughter only knows small family get togethers. Going forward, I am going to take my mom somewhere over Thanksgiving weekend, after all Christmas is set up to avoid the overly scheduled month..I will tell you that as your son ages, school events, other siblings, parties and many other people's bdays in that month ( we have had 3 other bday invites, plus 4 school events! 1 neighborhood get together and sadly, a death and services...) I am going to move my son's bday celebration to earlier in the month
and push my daughters to the 2-3 week of Jan. Both of my children were preterm deliveries whic means they were expected in January....I am not sure what to say about the gift issue. I can tell you it will change and you cannot control what people feel comfortable with...In the thick of all of this, my kids prefer to give and bake for their friends at a shelter downtown...I think it takes pressure off them and of coure teaches that giving is better than receiving. Other people get gifts on Jesus's bday as well. I give them gifts and celebrate their day on their day at home of course. We set the table, streamers, balloons and have a cake and it is special in our home no matter what. That is the day they were born. It is always sentimental and special that day, a chance to reflect on their growth and sweet moments that strung themselves together over the years. I am not sure if I have helped as I was not clear on what you wanted but hope some of what we do will be useful.

My sister started celebrating her twins' half birthday in June as the big event instead of their regular birthday in December (which was just for their family). The weather is much nicer and it spreads the gifts out over the year for them rather than bunching them all together in one week.

Sad to say, if you celebrate the birthday in December or one month later in January, you'll get people giving one gift for both occasions. My birthday is March and I have to say from experience, the "this present is for both Christmas and your birthday" was disappointing for me as a child because it didn't ever seem any bigger than what others got for Christmas alone.

AS a Dec. 22nd baby I can tell you I never got jipped. I have to credit my mom, she had to kids around the holiday(my sis is the 29th) her secret was to keep it simple and seperate. We did not have huge parties, but our birhtdays were always special and she kept it very seperate from X-mas. we always got seperate gifts on our birthday. I have always loved having my b-day around x-mas, it feels like everyone is celebrating with you. As for the gift thing, grandparents are always going to do pretty much what they please, my in-laws have their own way about gift giving that drive me crazy,tred lightly. you can either make a big deal of it and maybe cause a riff or you can let go, let them get it out of their system and just be laid back about it. !0 to 1 it will mellow with the years, it is pretty fresh if your child is just turning 1. I know it has mellowed with my family. Good luck!ps. celebrate on his b-day, make that his special day that it is!

I have a December Birthday and have always had to use my birthday money to buy people Christmas gifts or get combination christmas/birthday gifts. but, It is hard on people around Chirstmas to come up with multiple gifts, It can be very expensive. So I would recomend making his birthday special, with a cake and gifts like anyother kid and then when he is old enough to have a party with friends have the party in Late January so people have recovered from Christmas shoping and the parents of friends will be more willing to spend the money on a gift and be able to send their children to a party with holiday things out of the way. As far as family, I would encourage them to give him one gift on his real birthday, that is the day you want to make special.

Hi. My son was born on Thanksgiving day, so he is exactly one month before Christmas, and even though it's a month people still short change him at times because Christmas is less than a month away so it doesn't really matter if it's before or after christmas. It's how close the holiday is to his birthday. I always try to have a seperate party for him, even though we all just got together for Thanksgiving, and we are getting together for Christmas. He seems to like that. I know they don't realize it now but people are not going to want to give him presents on several seperate occassions. As they get older it gets to be too expensive, like you said it's not a big deal now but later it will be. My son is 9 now and his gifts are getting more and more expensive. Oh and another idea you could do that I've heard of is wait to have his party in the summer, so he can have a pool party or whatever and then he really gets his own special day. We might do this next time because of the weather we never get to rent a bounce house of have pool party for him so this would be something extra special. I know the relatives don't understand but just stand your ground for your son, he'll look back on it when he is older and appreciate it. Good luck, from a mom of our very own Thanksgiving turkey! LOL!

I was born on 12-29 and my hubby on 12-27, our parents never jipped us out of our birthdays by rescheduling a party month later. It's his birthday, just give it to him. Relax.

Hi there. My b day is Dec. 26th, so I have been dealing with the Holidays and my b day for 33 years! Let him have his birthday and just make it a point that that is his day and that Christmas is separate. My parents always made sure I had my day and that there were not Christmas wrapping on my gifts. It is not my fault when I was born. Just make it special for him, and your family will do the same. He doesn't know now since he is so young, but once he is a little older he will and will want his day. Hope this helps. Tell him Happy Birthday for me!

Hi S.,

I would have a cake and gifts from you on your son's actual birthday and let anyone in the family who wants to be there come. If you have family members who can't be there then celebrate his birthday with them when you can. If necessary have a second celebration on a weekend day with family and friends. You don't have any control over what gifts are given, it is up to the person who is giving the gift. If they want to give gifts at both celebrations it is up to them. When your child is old enough, let him decide how he wants to celebrate his birthday. As a child I got to pick my favorite meal on my birthday. Kids don't have to have huge parties or multiple parties every year!!! If they do they will learn to expect it.

My daughter just turned 3 Dec 2nd. Every year we have had a family bday party for her the day or 2 after Thanksgiving when people are in town for the holiday. Our family is not large so it's not a big deal but it allows her to have a special celebration w/ grandparents and uncles and aunt if they're in town. Then we have had a small playgroup-friends type bday party when we're back in town. My daughter's best friend's bday is on Dec 25th! Her parents have a birthday party for her w/ friends and family on her half birthday (June 25th) which is when she is given her birthday gifts and has a cake, etc. Fortunately my daughter has not started asking for gifts or saying "I want" so I don't feel that its' a problem that she gets a lot of gifts close together. This will probably change as she gets older however!

I too have a holiday birthday(Dec 20th) I however was raised JW so our birthday were not celebrated anyway when I was a child. As an adult my husband is about the only one that remembers my birthday.

I think whatever you decide will be great. I had a friend with a holiday birthday that her family celebrated in June. She loved it. Just realize that you cannot alway dictate how your family will celebrate it. Chances are that as your child gets older the family will get used to celebrateing his birthday in Jan. I think it is good to still make his actual birthday special. Just don't worry so much on your little one feeling bad. If you do go with the Jan celebration he is going to feel special for having 2 birthdays.

Hi Sophia,
Why not start a tradition of the special night out for kids birthdays. In our family we do not have birthday parties (to many kids). We have the birthday star pick a restaurant or special meal and we go out. Afterwards we come home and have one or two presents (not wrapped). As Mom I get to stand behind the STAR and the child closes his eyes. I bring out a present and everyone else "ooohhhs and ahhhhhhs" then they open their eyes and get the present. We also have a cake (my kids like baskin robbins) but as they get older(teens) the younger the cake gets. No child misses their birthday on the day of their birth. For Christmas kids or summer birthdays we might have a VIP day where friends and family can come. Sometimes these are combined with several kids and all their friends.
Hope this helps.
S., mom to 13

Hi S.:

I do not envy your position but I like your idea of moving his birthday to January. I think that's fair. My girlfriend does a "half-birthday" in July so that his son can get a party in the park and also so his friends can come since there are too many holiday parties to go to during Dec.

As far as getting the short-end of the stick re: gifts, I think that is up to you in terms of what you can do to help him understand and also what kind of personality your child has - is he particularly sensitive? If not, perhaps this is a "wait and see" thing.

Best of luck to you.

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.

I've always felt that if people want to give gifts, we just accept them and say thank you. I do explain when gifts are not necessary or encourage them to keep it simple, but for some, the giving is for them too. We are appreciative for whatever they want to do.

We've had family members that bring gifts whenever they come for a visit (out of state). And although I'm sure they will continue this, I always set the kids up to not expect gifts. I have to prepare them for the day when that will stop. And make sure they know that people don't always bring gifts and if they do we say thank you and if they don't then that's just how it is.

If you want to avoid having people bring more than one gift, then you shouldn't give them the opportunity to do so. I know his birthday falls at a very difficult time (my husband shares your son's b-day, so I'm well aware of the late December birthday challenges), however set a Sunday afternoon aside a week before and have his party with everyone. Then the day of his birthday just do it with the immediate family only and that's when you do the presents from you two and any future siblings. If you celebrate his birthday with everyone closer to the actual day, then maybe they won't feel the need to give him two gifts. It's almost like they don't want him or themselves feeling like they've missed his big day by having to wait a full month after the fact.

If they have the opportunity to give a gift close to his birthday, there won't be a need for a second b-day present. That's how we do it for our kids, regardless of the time of year. Family and friends are on a Saturday close to the actual day. There are plenty of people there and no need for the birthday girl to open additional gifts from me and my husband, so those we do privately on the special day, with cake, dinner of choice, etc.

You'll probably have him push back as he gets older about having to wait a month to celebrate anyway.

Good luck. It is a hard time of year for a birthday, but that's when it is, so do your best to make it special, regardless of the hectic schedule Christmas brings.

Hi! Take it from someone who was born on christmas. Don't wait until the end of January to celebrate his birthday. It's just not the same. Here is what my parents did for me while growing up. First thing christmas morning was all about me. My siblings were not allowed to leave their bedrooms until I woke up. And then when I did wake up we all went straight to my parents bedroom. There my family sang happy birthday to me and gave me my birthday presents. I was able to take as long as I wanted and play with my birthday presents. We celebrated it in my parents bedroom so it was seperate from all the christmas presents and decorations. When I was ready, my dad would lead us to the tree and we would open our christmas gifts. I of course always got to open the first one. My parents always made sure that I had a birthday and christmas. They always made sure that I got just as many christmas gifts as the other kids. Because they worked real hard to make me feel like we were able to celebrate both on the same day, it made it real fun for me growing up. My mom would sometimes put my birthday presents under the tree during the month which made it all the more excitng for me because I would see it all month long and have fun trying to guess what it is. I was always surprised on my birthday and I always had fun. My suggestion to you is to do the same. Make his birthday a fun day and make sure you always seperate it from the christmas. My parents would often have to work it into their budget to get me birthday and christmas, but they did it and to me it was worth it because it made me feel like it was also important to them to celebrate my special day. because of their determination, I have never resented having my birthday on christmas day. I hope this helps. good luck with everything and hope your holidays are Happy!

i think he should get one big present on his birthday or go to a movie or something while hes young..when hes older he can get one big gift....my sister birthday iS dEC. 23 mines iS dEC. 30 && my little sister iS dEC. 31 and my brothers is jan 24th...S0 we always got one present for our birthdays but more for christmas and when we was young we didnt realize it but wen grew up we understood...but i feel u should keep them seperate. and give him the one gift he wanted the most on his birthday.


Happy first birthday to your baby boy!!! And congrats to you for making it though the first year =O) I have a friend who is actually born on the 25th, she HATES it! She said she always got happy birthday/merry Christmas gifts. However, I have a cousin who has two boys, her oldest birthday is tomorrow (22nd) and her youngest is the 30th. They've never had that issue. My cousin always has a party for the boys (we call it birthdaypalosa since there's always a jumpy tent, games, etc) around the 22nd and everyone has fun. She sets up a table of candy and has all the kids and adults decorate gingerbread houses (which in turn are the gifts the kids get to take home at the end). I think the whole birthday/Christmas thing is so well known now-a-days that most people try not to do the combo gift thing to kids. This is the first year I gave them both happy birthday/merry Christmas gifts, only because they were gift cards. I said, do you want 1 $30 gift card or 2 $15, they both said 1 $30 would be fine.
I realize that's not your plan, but thought I'd share what my cousin does.
As far as your issue goes, I would try to let it be for the first couple years and see where everything falls. You could go through all this, just to have someone move away or you move and it's no longer an issue,or even have your inlaws realize it's sill to give two gifts if everyone else isn't. I do think it's best to focus on having family and friends around as the ultimate treat, not the gift though.
best of luck!

Hi S.,

My brother is a 12/28 baby...turning 51 this year...I would not move the birthday out a month...I would just make sure the birthday is the birthday...balloons, birthday paper, cake and celebration....then Christmas....the respective families need to know the two dates are seperate events...and its not about the presents...its the presence...if the family can't figure out how to properly budget its their issue and maybe they can be taught over time...I have five children of my own...and have managed to not get caught up in the commercialization of christmas...birthdays are the big deal in this family...a day to honor the life of that one special person...they got to be king or queen for the day...choose their breakfast...and dinner...and of course what the cake would look like...the family comes over...lots of laughter...You are blessed by each year that passes...there are many parents on the planet who are not so lucky...Make your rules that fit your family and carve them in stone...the inlaws will come round...sooner or later....

My heart to yours,

I am also born on the 23 and what we did growing-up was I looked at the calendar and picked a good weekend that month and planned my party usually the second or third weekend of the month so it was close to my birthday, every kid wants their party near their birthday. I loved having my birthday near christmas and never felt jipped. I just had my party this weekend, family and friends over for cake and a small party game and then on my actual birthday we will have a small cake with my kids because they are 3 and 5 and already know the difference from the day their party is on and their real birthday and they want to do the same for me. What we do for them, and their birthdays are not near christmas, is not give the presents from us at the party but give it to them on their actual birthday, they get enough presents at the party. Then they get some in the mail throughout the week from faraway relatives. You are not going to be able to limit the gifts and cards to one day. Let him enjoy his birthday it is just as special as anyone elses. He will only feel jipped if he is treated different, if your next child's birthday is in June will he have to wait until July to celebrate. Think of traditions you would want to have for any child.
Congrats on his first birthday, relax and enjoy it,

I am a Christmas baby. Dec. 16th and my son is Dec. 17th. So we celebrate on the first week of Christmas because you will find that most parent (far down the line) will not come to parties unless you hold it early.

I have one question: Who are you most concerned about and work from there?

It is not about the presents it is about feeling special and it is about the celebration of someone's special day even if moved up. I would be afraid that if you start something and try to change it later then there could be problems.

A little about how it feels: Horrible. It hurts really bad to not feel special. However, my mother became a fierce advocate so it did get better. I am a fierce advocate for my son. In fact one year my mother told the whole family that they would only recieve one present a year and it would be a "combo" gift. I have not had to do this because I always talk about how wonderful my mom was about separating my gifts out. People get the hint. So celebrating later works for us.

I wish luck.

My cousin was born on Dec 27th. My aunt always made sure that he had a birthday party before school got out for the winter break. That way they could invite his school chums. As he got older they had it on a week end day closer to is actually birthday.

Great responses by all so far. Andrea had some great points.

He is a lucky boy to be celebrating his birthday along side the king of kings.

My stepdaughter just turned 14 on dec 20th. We have always made a big deal about her birthday and kept it very seperate. She loves that she gets tons of presents in Dec (toomany for my taste at times). She has a birthday party and Christmas with her mom and then she comes to our house and has Christmas and we have another birthday party for her with her dad's family. It does seem like a lot but she has it difficult with her parents not always getting along that everyone wants to know that she is loved. For her birthday party we always insist that
a) presents are not necessary
b) that it is better to give two small gifts (one for xmas and onefor her bday) then to combine it into 1 gift.
c) and birthday presents need to look like birthday presents (no xmas wrapping paper).

She has 4 other siblings and they all get hugh birthday parties for there birthdays. Since she is the only one that travels between the two families, we try to make it extra special for her.

Dear S.:

This is a tough situation. MY niece was born on 12/28.. after christmas..yes, but same situation none the less because every one always tries to either give her birthday presents ON christmas OR they just get her something a little more expensive and combine birthday and christmas. I say (and have done) both differently. I think it should ALWAYS be kept different because you are recognizing two different events. Yes, people will try to throw you curbs with this, but as long as his immediate family has a little something for him and celebrates both with him, I think he will be alright. Hope this helps (i know it's alittle late, but I hope you can find a happy medium)

Hi S. - My daughter was born Christmas day. She is 11 and so far has no problem with being a December baby. We have her kid party (family party right after) about two weeks before her birthday. Of course we all tell her Happy Birthday on Christmas, but we keep the two gift giving things separate. This year is the only year she's gotten a combined b'day/xmas present, and it was at her request. Good luck with the family, I know how it is with all the differing opinions. Take care, C.

Yes, it may feel extremely unfair for your son in the future not to feel special on his birthday just because it is close to Xmas. Come on, he is a little boy whom everyone loves, let them send gifts, and be grateful to say thank you. And let them do it when they can. Even if they combine Xmas and birthday gifts, what is the harm to your son?

Have his special family party right on the day of his birthday. When he is school age, it mat be important for him to have a friends/extended family party right before school breaks for winter holidays. Janine had good advice on that. YOur son needs to be special because he was born on that day, and not feelspecial bcause he can get five times more gifts in January than in on his actual birthday.

But don't start the January thing now! You can't control how people feel about your son, so stop feeling you can "tell" them to send gifts to him or not. It can come across as very demanding and selfish, which I don't think you are intending to portray. So, feeling "jipped" is not the line you should be thinking, that DOES come across as manipulating!

Teach your child not to expect presents every occasion. Yes, you said it might be hard, but it seems like you are too scared to try. While you are starting this lesson, you also need to teach your child to thank people for gifts he does not appreciate, and to say thank you sincerely for thinking of me when he receives only a card or a conversation and no gift at all. Surely these lessons are more useful to him in life than how many presents he receives.

I read in the weekend paper that the people who receive most gifts are those who remember to send thank you cards every time. I guess such thank you cards reinforce the love we feel for someone when we are moved to give gifts.

Happy birthday to your son!

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.

Growing up our neighbor had a Dec 24th birthday. He had a small family celebration on Dec 24 and a friends' birthday party on his "half-birthday" June 24. He loved it and felt very special because no one else celebrated their "half-birthday".

Hi S.,
I am also a Christmas baby - not quite as close in time as your son -but always felt gyped as a child...as gifts were always given "for Christmas and your birthday". My experience as an adult and mother from friends whose children have Christmas birthdays is to simply celebrate the birthday as it on whatever date it occurs, in whatever way you would at any other time of year. As for the gift part - in a way this makes it easier for the child, who might get fewer gifts for either Christmas or birthday to learn that the gifts are secondary - it is the day of your birth that is being honored! I sincerely believe that celebrating on another date for the convenience of other people is a mistake - it will make the child confused as he grows - what is really being celebrated?
Anyway, I wish you well S.. Don't worry about other family members - this is really a decision for you and your husband to make - NOT anyone else! Others can either celebrate with you and your child or not - that is their decision.
J. Birns
Educator/consultant, mother of two

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 daughter just had her birthday party. I just let the grandparents, relatives and friends dote on our daughter for now. One of my co-workers suggested that I have a party either right after Thanksgiving or New Year's Day to make it really special for her birthday as she gets older. I can also have a b-day party after school ends for Christmas break. Personally, I grew up getting one gift for my b-day, since I had my baby few days before my b-day. My hubby and I will make sure she gets 2 gifts from us growing up. We will just teach her that it's part of life. Most people will only give you one card and/or gift for both Christmas and birthday, unless they are really close to you.

Let other people, grandparents and whomever, do whatever they want to do. You cannot and should not control others' gift-giving, and your kid will live without more gifts from them.

You, however, should celebrate your child's birthday separately from Christmas. Your child's special day should be celebrated. Do it however you want. If the birthday competes with Christmas you could start a tradition of celebrating it at a different date. Maybe earlier would be more fun. Ask your kid to pick a date. Nothing HAS to be done exactly on your child's birthday.

I have always taught my children that "life isn't fair." If one child got something different than another, that's just life. I was not going to try to make everything "even" for them. If grandma or uncle didn't give them a gift one year, I'd just say grandma or uncle isn't giving them a gift. I don't make a big deal out of it. As teens my kids now don't have "entitlement" issues.

(So rereading your question I see you have an idea for a later date. Sounds good. Do it.)

People should be allowed to give him gifts when and if they wish but children or adults for that mother should not be taught to expect things and they won't be let down when they don't get them. Just give him one party in January for family and friends and just a little celebration on his avtual birthday with only the people that live in your house. He will understand better when hes older.

Hi S.,
Let him open presents twice. My birthday is 12/24. My mom made a point of Christmas Eve being MY birthday (as best as she could). What that meant was that we did not (and still don't) celebrate Christmas on 12/24. I opened presents on that day, ate birthday cake, and had a special dinner. I would usually get a birthday party earlier in the month w/ my friends & some family & I would open presents then. My parents & grandparents always gave me a christmas & birthday present. Some family members & friends just didn't get it & gave combo gifts. That is where the lesson of presents isn't important comes in. Explaining to your son that it was nice that they thought of you at all. When he starts to notice that some cousins may get more gifts than he does for Christmas, that is when you have the conversation of things not being fair. Yes.. there are some things about a birthday this time of year that aren't the best. I have found that there is something special about having a birthday this time of year. Usually people remember your birthday & ask all kinds of questions about what it is like. It's kind of like a novelty. Start your tradition & if people want to give him presents on his birthday & then again at his party, let them... It will all work out. Don't loose focus on the point of celebrating the birth & addition of your little boy to your family. One more thing... he is not ever going to know any other birthday. He doesn't have anything to compare to. It will take him years to figure out that other kids birthday's are different.

I have to admit that I don't have these problems because our family lists in the Midwest, but if we all lived in one place and we had plans for traditions....

I say it is your child and your tradition to create. You and your husband need to be on the same page and move forward. If you are having an "immediate family only" event, then stick to that. Kindly and politely tell everyone you are celebrating in January and leave it at that. In fact, send out the Jan. invites 4-5 wks before the date.

MIL, BIL, SIS, and anyother _IL needs to go along with your plans. Not the other way around.

I say, cancel the party this year. He's only 1 and will NOT remember it. Schedule a fun day. Take him to some place that will make him happy. When our daughter was 1 we took her to the train museum in so. Cal.(We lived there at the time.) because she enjoyed her Thomas the Tank trains and had received an Elizabeth car ,her name. (We bought all of in cars in stock and she gave them with birthday presents to her friends, who were into TT too for several years.)

The point being, make your tradition and live it together as a family.

Good luck,

I like Andrea's response as well. I believe that you should celebrate your son's bday on that day with your immediate family and gifts. In my family we had 4 birthdays in the month of December (grandma, mine, brother, and mother). My mom was born on Christmas and she told me she was jipped, so I make it a special point to give her double presents. I'm sure he'll have a wonderful first birthday.

My birthday is Dec. 22 and sometimes I feel like I am overlooked because everyone wants to give the Christmas/birthday combination. I think you should always celebrate the day the child was born and give him something special even if he is young. He is the joy of your life and you would never want that to be stripped from him. Celebrate twice it means he is doubly loved and important. I have a 2 month old girl and I celebrate her everyday by doing special things with her or buying her gifts. You can never love a child too much. Hope this helps.

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