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Ah December, the birthday month.

December 6, 2011

Tomorrow marks the start of birthday season for my family; I’m not sure what it is about March, but December is our busiest birthday-celebrating month. There are 3 birthdays in my immediate family, including hubby on December 25th and countless friends and friends’ children’s birthdays as well.

As the sister, mother and wife to December babies, I’ve picked up a thing or two over the years. I’ve attended, planned, and screwed up many celebrations and I’ve learned from my mistakes. I’ve put together a list of handy tips that will help you if you’re celebrating a December baby. Because let’s face it, winter birthdays suck in general but for these guys there are a couple of pretty big events scheduled around the same time, mostly stemming from ancient solstice celebrations and you want to make sure that the person you’re celebrating gets their special day too. (Just try finding a company to install 40 pink flamingos on your lawn on December 25th – I dare ya). I’ll add in here that I also get that there are some awesome advantages to December birthdays – people are generally in a giving and partying mood, the sales are great so there’s a ‘more bang for your buck’ factor, sometimes people feel sorry for you and over compensate, and let’s not even talk about June 1/2 birthday celebrations! But still, lines get blurred on occasion and we don’t want the birthday girl or boy to feel like an after-thought.

Let’s start off with a technicality. Anyone born before the solstice (Dec 22nd-ish) is a FALL baby. Anyone after – winter, so let’s call it the season of cold and dreary, and full of white stuff:

Birthday gifts go in birthday giftwrap: is it decorated with snowflakes that spell out ‘Happy Birthday’ – wrap that sucker up!
or is it images of snow-covered evergreens with twinkly lights – hope you didn’t pay extra for that

Let’s see what the goodies are: A lovingly selected, meaningful birthday present – Shred the paper
or a combo gift bought at the pre-Christmas boxing week sales that appear to take place the entire month of December – Keep the receipt

My favorite part – the cake: Is it decorated with their favorite superhero – Get in my belly
or to save time you picked up a yule log – food fight!

Oh, you remembered/made a card: Is it a Happy Birthday card with a pretty red cardinal sitting on a snowy branch – marginal (watch that red and green stuff) but YES
you cracked up at the Merry Birthday card – OH NO YOU DIDN’T. (The only exception to this is for someone actually born on December 25th and you’re only allowed to do this once in their lifetime – really it’s not that clever the billionth time)

Let’s talk decorations: you managed to eke out a room of the house not buried in tinsel, threw up some balloons, broke out the noisemakers and hung the Happy Birthday banner – Celebrate it sister (bonus points if it’s an early December birthday and you refrained from decorating until the celebrations are done, triple bonus points if it’s a mid-December birthday and you use it as an excuse to decorate at the last minute)
You threw a birthday hat on each of the reindeer in the life-sized sled display, that’s got to count for something right – yep, a lump of coal

Getting the hang of it yet? Before you pick out that holiday-themed birthday item, stop and consider if it would be odd to give it to someone whose birthday is in October. Or May. If the answer is yes, then don’t give it to the December baby either. Their birthday is their birthday. It’s not a Christmas birthday. Now go forth and celebrate!

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