How to help your child have a happy Christmas birthday

Having a child who's born in December doesn't have to mean that their Christmas birthday gets overshadowed by other celebrations. Joanne Mallon, author of Toddlers: An Instruction Manual, tells Supernanny what it's like to have a child with a Christmas birthday, and how you can make it as much fun as any other time.

When people hear that my daughter’s birthday is on the 27th December, they tilt their heads sympathetically and say "What a shame". But we don't think it's a shame at all. If you approach it right, a Christmas birthday can be one of the most fun of all.

The great thing about a Christmas birthday is that it’s very memorable – and that’s before your child starts reminding Grandma.

  • See it as a positive thing
    If you’re positive about it then your child will be too. Talk about how fun it is to have a birthday at Christmas, when twinkly lights and decorations are out. It's a really magical time, and that can make for a magical birthday.

  • Have a separate birthday celebration 
    It's important to mark your child's birthday, so you could do this before other Christmas celebrations, or by splitting the day into 'birthday time' and 'Christmas time'. 

  • Consider having a summer birthday party instead 
    Another popular option is to have a half-birthday party in June, or spread out the celebrations a bit by having your child’s birthday party in November or January. It can be hard to gather a crowd in the Christmas season and you will probably get a better turnout at another time.

  • Don’t use Christmas wrapping paper for birthday presents 
    You may find that some friends and relatives will use Christmas paper for both. Yes you could point it out but this may translate as ungrateful and you may be better to let this one go. 

  • Discourage joint Christmas and birthday presents 
    At the same time, make it clear that the presents can be smaller, since this is an expensive time of year for families. There may be some years that your child actively wants a joint Christmas and birthday present, so they can get something bigger than they otherwise would. 

  • Ask your child what they want to do 
    Often worries about Christmas birthdays is a bigger deal for adults than it is for children. As long as they get some special time of their own, your child will still enjoy their day. My daughter always looks forward to December, as she says that having her birthday then makes the whole season extra special.

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