A kid in my neighborhood was born on the 24th of December. As long as he was a toddler, this didn't matter but he’s starting to notice that other kids have separate birthdays from Christmas and get gifts twice.

No later than next year, the parents are going to want a solution for this little dilemma and we've been discussing it but I don't have really good ideas. What’s a good way to handle this?

  • Celebrate his birthday in the summer... Dec 3 '13 at 16:59
  • 1
    Celebrate Christmas in the late spring / summer when Jesus was born. Dec 21 '13 at 4:13
  • Maybe you celebrate name days and you could use that as the birthday. Sep 17 '14 at 18:55

My birthday is Christmas Eve and it's never been a problem for me!

When I was little, my parents made sure that all the Christmas preparations were done by 23rd Dec, so the celebrations could start on 24th Dec and they weren't using Christmas Eve as last minute panic rush buying.

They also used to give me a kind of "half birthday" in the summer - no party or anything, but I would sometimes get an outdoor toy like a swingball set or whatever that would not have worked in the middle of winter.

I often used to get a trip to the pantomime for my birthday and the panto stars would read out my birthday along with any others in the audience. And when I had bigger (whole-class or similar) birthday parties my friends' parents were always really glad to get their kids out of the house for a few hours on Christmas Eve :-)

A few people used to give me "joint presents" but it never bothered me. My parents always made sure I had separate presents from them, birthday presents wrapped in birthday paper and Christmas wrapped in Christmas paper; and I always had a separate birthday cake not just "Oh, we've got lots of Christmas cake already so we won't bother with a separate one".

Long story short - I think kids like their birthday to be special for them and it's perfectly possible to do that on Christmas Eve, just maybe takes a tiny bit more forward planning!

[Aside, my daughter was born on New Years Eve and I think between us we've got the best two birthday dates in the whole year! She'll always have a party on her birthday! Much better to have a birthday right before a big general celebration when everyone is in celebratory anticipatory mood, rather than right after when everyone is hung over and fed up and on the down slope after the big bash!]

  • Gosh, please pretend I didn't use quite so many exclamation marks...
    – Vicky
    Dec 3 '13 at 11:59
  • 6
    for me, as long as there's no more than one per sentence, you're ok;)
    – Dariusz
    Dec 3 '13 at 13:30
  • My Mom's birthday is just before Christmas so we always decorated on her birthday - even now, despite knowing better, she feels like the decorations are for her :-) Dec 3 '13 at 13:43
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    For any other American English speakers who were confused by "a trip to the pantomime": en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pantomime
    – Kyralessa
    Dec 3 '13 at 19:46

My own mother deals with her early January birthday by having a "birthday - observed" party much as royalty celebrate their birthday on entirely different days that happen to be convenient. She typically moved it to March. This might not work for a small child where the date has some magic to it. The neighbor child I know did half birthdays in the summer for a long time, and then eventually epic teen birthday parties on the 24th or 26th, when many teens were thrilled with a chance to escape Family Celebration Time for a few hours and listen to loud music in a basement. It's also a great time of year to do tobogganing or skating parties if your weather supports it.

If you are giving both birthday and Christmas presents, wrap them differently, and have a traditional birthday cake even though you're surrounded by so much Christmas feast. If there's something that is always done on the other kids' birthdays, do it on this one too, perhaps one day early or late. (Eg some families allow the birthday child to choose dinner that day, or to have no chores.) Don't dilute these benefits because of what day the birthday happens to be on.


My brother was born on the 23rd December, so he had similar issues. As our culture does celebrate Name Day, which is usually a lesser celebration as either Christmas or a birthday, it was common for him to have a larger party at his Name Day, which was at the other half of the year.


My mother's birthday was near Christmas (though, admitedly not on Christmas Eve) so her family always waited until her birthday to decorate. It made her feel like all the decorations were really for her - we still decorate on her birthday to this day!

Of course, we also try not to give her one present for both (unless it is really special) and her parents made sure she always got birthday gifts and Christmas gifts from themselves and her siblings.

I think she likes having a Dec. birthday, except for the fact that often friends are traveling and busy so Birthday Parties were always difficult. Her parents usually did an "experience" for her instead - something she offered to my sister and I as alternatives to birthday parties when we were kids (Our birthdays were in the summer - another time when friends were often traveling). Instead of a party we could choose something, cool, fun and special to do with ONE friend and our family members like attending a Ballet, going to an amusement park, taking in a game at an actual stadium (all three of which meant a pretty significant trip for us to get into the city. . . ) The "experience" could happen at a convient time, and really, was way better than a typical birthday party anyway - my sister and I often chose this option over birthday's.

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