This past week marks my son's third birthday. His "birthday Christmas" (as he calls it) is a milestone he keenly reminds us of at every opportunity. And at the tender age of two, he's got it down that this means toys.
Late December birthdays typically mean one of two things: the birthday person is largely lost in the holiday hustle and bustle, or the family goes overboard in trying to overcompensate that it's the holiday season.
In our home, we've talked extensively about how to handle this issue before my son realizes the effect of a birthday five days before baby Jesus's. Here's how we opted to handle it:
1. Limit gift-giving to three items from the parents, possible extra gift from sibling. (We instituted this originally for Christmas, when by September the year my daughter was born I'd already gone a wee bit overboard.)
2. Be strategic in your shopping. My kids get a lot of "needs" for their gifts and a fun book or toy. They have enough toys, to tell the truth. At this age, they're just happy to open wrappings.
3. Be flexible in celebrating special days. Birthdays are marked with family gifts and dinner. A small celebration with important friends or family members can always happen in the weeks surrounding it. Having family members that have to travel to celebrate helps this considerably.
4. Realize a celebration doesn't have to equal "party." My little guy will be thrilled to go to the electric train exhibit at the local museum. It's special to him, his loved ones will share it with him, and that's what makes the moment.
I realize it's simple for now; I'm sure as my children age we'll have to get more creative.
If you have a December birthday in your home, how do you emphasize it among the holiday hustle - and without overcompensating with stuff?