For those with a child whose birthday comes at Thanksgiving or Christmas, deciding how to celebrate in a way that focuses on them and not the holiday can be a challenge.  For years, they’ve had to endure being upstaged by a major holiday, but clever parents have found ways to let them know “this party is for your birthday” by doing any number of fun and creative things.  Here are a few you might keep in mind:

If your child’s birthday falls within a few days of Christmas, you can decide to have a half-year party in the summertime when more friends are likely to be available.  When the actual Christmas birthday arrives, be sure to separate the two occasions.  Some families have a birthday themed breakfast, then open Christmas gifts later.  For a significant milestone, one family decided to use Groupon coupons to shop Advance Auto Parts and leave hints about the gift they were preparing to give their son for his 18th birthday.  After receiving packages for two days leading up to his December 23rd birthday of items like a set of jumper cables, a gift basket with an air freshener, set of wrenches and emergency flares inside, he could hardly wait for the big reveal and nearly lost it when he saw his new car in the driveway on Christmas morning.

Most parents agree that keeping the birthday gifts and the holiday gifts separate is key to making the child feel special.  This is especially true when the birthday falls just a few days after Christmas.  By then, the relatives have returned home, the decorations are old hat, and the excitement has worn thin.  But making a big deal of the day leads to higher self-esteem and confidence.  They need to know they matter.  Most parents say that as their children get older, they don’t need the separation as much, but that’s because they’ve grown up knowing how special they are.   If care is not taken, years later, you’ll still hear them talk about feeling slighted.  Therefore, many parents who are faced with this dilemma chose to have a half year celebration to clearly put the focus on their child’s birthday and significant milestones.

If you find yourself faced with separating the birthday/holiday overlap, know that you are not alone.  There are plenty of adults who went through the same thing and are healthy, well-adjusted folks today.