Have you ever heard someone say that their birthday is on or near a major holiday, like Easter, Christmas, or Valentine’s Day? The typical response is usually one of pity, or feeling sorry for that person. You hear people say things like, “Oh, I’m sorry?” or “That must suck!” Then, inevitably, comes the question: do you get cheated on your birthday presents?
In my family we have several holiday babies. I was born on Christmas Day, I have an uncle born on New Year’s Day, a son born two days after Valentine’s Day, a sister born two days after St. Patrick’s Day, and a brother born the last week of May, which ends up being Memorial Day quite often. So, to say that I have just a wee bit of experience on this topic is a wee bit of an understatement.
Whenever I have found myself in the middle of a “sorry about your birthday? conversation, my answer has always been a resounding “no, not at all? I must give all the credit to my mother. She did an exceptional job of making sure our birthdays were special, regardless of when they fell on the calendar. Every year on Christmas we would get up , do the traditional opening of presents and other family activities. After dinner, however, we always had birthday cake, birthday presents, and birthday party festivities.
Here are a few tips for having a fantastic dual celebration for your loved one and your favorite holiday:
Don’t skimp on the birthday recognition.
No one asks to be born on a certain day. Regardless of when a person’s birthday is, they deserve to be treated and made to feel that they are important and special. They deserve just as much fantastic treatment as given to other people born on other days. With everyone celebrating the holiday, be sure the birthday doesn’t get overshadowed. Find ways to make it special for them. If you generally do a holiday dinner, then do a birthday breakfast.
Celebrate on their birthday.
This is especially true for people whose date of birth falls within the week of a holiday. When it comes to major holidays, there is so much prep work that goes on before the holiday, or recuperation after, that a birthday can be quite easily missed, or barely noticed. Make it a point to appropriately acknowledge and celebrate on the anniversary of your loved one’s birth. Consider it in terms of a pre- or post-holiday festivity. Even if it’s a small gathering of family and close friends, sing a verse of Happy Birthday while the candles are blown and presents are opened. It is very important to celebrate on the actual birthday.
Incorporate birthday traditions into the holiday celebration.
For example, if one of your traditions is that the birthday boy or girl gets to pick the dinner menu, then let the holiday birthday person do the same. There is nothing wrong with changing up the traditional holiday meal for something more non-traditional, if requested. One year, rather than the usual big Memorial Day BBQ, my brother requested a crawfish boil and it was a huge hit!
Do not combine gifts!
If you remember nothing else from this article, remember this! If you plan to give holiday gifts and birthday gifts to your loved ones at appropriate times during the year, then be sure to carry through on both of those with your family member or friend fortunate enough to share their special day with a holiday. The only exception would be if the one gift is so extra special (or expensive) that it could be considered two gifts under normal circumstances. For example, a really nice trip somewhere they want to go that includes airfare and hotel accommodations, a car, a house, or very special piece of jewelry. Even then, make sure you at least include a birthday card.
Be warned — separately wrapping items that come in a set, such as a lotion and body wash set or an earring and necklace set, does not constitute giving two gifts, in any situation!
Combining two major celebrations can take some creativity and extra effort, but it is worth it. For in the end, it will show your loved one that their birth was very important and they are very special to you. After all, isn’t that what birthday celebrations are all about?