I don’t know what they’re putting in the water come autumn, but it must be a little shoo-wop shoo-waddy-waddy yippity boom-de-boom, because when we were trying to conceive, before you could say chang-chang changity-chang shoo-bop, we would have a Christmas baby on the way to the manger.
In fact, this [weird non dinner table conversation] festive fertility must be an inherited trait because we have an absolute glut of Christmas birthdays in our family, making the end of the year a veritable treasure trove of credit card debt and midnight present wrapping sessions doused with alcohol and my own tears.
When pregnant with my twins, who had a due date of January 1st, many people lamented with [at] me the disappointment of having “Christmas babies” on the way. And with all the youthful, looking-on-the-bright-side exuberance of a person who had not yet had 5 years of long showers and uninterrupted sleep deprived of them, I discounted everyone’s irrelevant theories [as I did with most things baby related because like many non-parents, I was an ~expert] and told myself with all the authority of someone who knows absolutely nothing, that a yuletide birthday would be nothing but completely awesome for a child; December is the month for parties, everyone’s in holiday mode, potentially with time off work and looking to celebrate. [Spoiler alert; children’s parties aren’t really the kind of partying people are looking to do].
Nonetheless, I went on my merry, Christmas-loving way, wistfully contemplating theme naming my child Holly or Noelle or Angel or Gabriel [and can we all take a moment to thank six pound little baby Jesus that my husband vetoed that idea].
I’ve learned a lot about so-called Christmas birthdays since my twins were born [on December 30th] and to a lesser extent, our third [late November] baby.
And, as with all my little wisdoms that should probably stay tucked within the bony cortex of my [somewhat breezy] neurocranium, I’m going to share them with you. Because it’s what I do.
1. Don’t be an asshole. This is probably a safe stance to take for most things in life really [and one that I fail at regularly]. But specifically relating to the topic at hand; don’t be an asshole and do combination Christmas/birthday gifts.
None of the December born people I know embrace the idea of this… bon anniver-share… if you will. It’s basically the equivalent of saying “remember that gift I got you back in June? Yep that was also your Christmas present! Surprise! You. Are. Welcome”.
Birthmas presents suck balls. Even as a May baby myself, I get it. So for my kids, I try to separate the two events, because for every other non December child, a birthday is treated as a separate celebration so it probably shouldn’t be any different [and what isn’t eaten Christmas Day equals party food the next, what’s a bit of salmonella between friends].
And I know, I know Christmas isn’t all about presents. Except it is. YAY PRESENTS.
2. On that note, don’t use Christmas wrapping for birthday presents. Even if this means wrapping your child’s birthday gifts in tea towels, tissues or old Better Homes and Gardens recipes. It costs literally $2 to buy wrapping paper with balloons on it! You can do this!
Except I can’t.
So if you are one of the 4.7 people [that isn’t one of my children] that I buy a Christmas gift for and your wrapping paper is plain silver with a self stripe; now you know why. I can’t Christmas because birthday.
3. Still on presents. Regifting; the literal gift that keeps on giving. We’ve all done it. If you’re like me, you may even have regifted a gift to the person who regifted it to you in the first place [it’s gone so far I don’t know what that even means][I’m confused][Hold me].
For a child that has a post Christmas birthday that is not your child, this can be all kinds of awesome because if your own kid gets something they [you] don’t want for Christmas you can pass it on to some poor other unsuspecting
shmuck kid who has a birthday 3 days later.
Except don’t do that to my kids.
Because I will know 😏.
And I don’t want your purple mechanical hamster that runs on its own wheel and squeaks.
4. Depending on whether your child’s birthday is pre or post Christmas, think about not putting Christmas decorations up until or taking them down before aforementioned birthday occurs. This works particularly well for people with a child born before Christmas because you can avoid adorning your house with ugly sparkly red crap for longer. If you have a two year old this will be particularly easy because they will take the decorations off the Christmas tree immediately after you’ve put them on anyway.
As good an idea as this is in theory, I’m waaaaay too lazy for the kind of shenanigans that requires foresight and forward planning, since my kids are born a mere five days after Christmas and generally the tree doesn’t come down til July anyway. #winterchristmasanyone??
Besides, if The Block has taught me anything other than that Shaynna Blaze is a bogan from Wantirner, it’s that indoor plants are currently on trend. Who needs a fiddle leaf fig when you’ve got a fucking pine tree in the corner of the room man!
5. Along with thinking a child would just have to fit itself around my life instead of me fitting mine around the child, and that I would ever be on time again, pre-parent me thought having a birthday party for my kids was not only a good idea [🙄😳] but that it would be easy, NAY fun to organise around the birth of Baby Jee.
In actual fact it’s a minefield of declined RSVPs and hungover last minute excuses and no shows. What also hadn’t occurred to me is that it’s school holidays and people actually go away! Or have family functions they want to attend and aren’t looking for an excuse to get out of [this person is not me].
Or their head is hanging in the toilet from the night before.
Or they’re tired and fed up from all the family and just want to lie on the couch and binge watch Peppa Pig on YouTube.
Oftentimes, as it so happens, hanging out in 35 degree heat watching other people’s children [and possibly your own] narrowly avoid injury on a bouncy castle and get hopped up on wizz fizz at a kids birthday party isn’t necessarily everybodies idea of New Years Eve fun. #gofigure.
So the internets, where I go to for all wisdoms and professional medical diagnoses, tells me that what I should be doing is arranging my children’s birthday parties a month earlier or later.
The internets has obviously not met my children.
I’m not sure this is going to fly.
But, nevertheless, google is never wrong ever, so this year I’m giving the “we’ll have your birthday party in a month instead of New Year’s Eve when no one can come” idea a whirl and with any luck they’ll forget altogether and I won’t have to do it at all.
We’ll see how that goes. #watchthisspace
6. For those whose child shares a birthday with the big J-dawg himself, I have some sage advice.
At the first available flagrant disregard of “this is your last warning” CANCEL CHRISTMAS and just do BIRTHDAY instead.