When Your Child Has a Christmas Birthday - Real Mom Recs

When Your Child Has a Christmas Birthday

Long story short: two of my children are what I consider “Christmas babies”. My son’s birthday is within days of Christmas so he was my original Christmas birthday baby.

Three years later, I went into labor with Elle on Christmas Eve. All I could think was, get this baby out before midnight so she doesn’t end up with the worst birthday of the year! She ended up being born at 2am on Christmas Day. AKA the worst birthday of the year.

So now I have TWO Christmas babies.

Over the years I’ve learned a thing or two about how to manage these unfortunately-timed Christmas birthdays.

how to celebrate your Christmas baby's birthday

Your Child’s Christmas Birthday: DON’TS

1. Don’t let your child hear you complain about their birthday 

It’s been 8 years for my son and 5 years for my daughter, and they are still completely unaware that their dates of birth are the actual worst. I have successfully brainwashed them into thinking a Christmas birthday is extra special and fun.

You can complain to your mom friends about how horrible their birthdays are, but never in the presence of the kids.

2. Don’t let their birthday party be an afterthought

December is so busy and stressful, I can relate to the temptation to just put off having their party until January. But think about the days leading up to your birthday as a kid. It’s basically as torturous as the end of pregnancy. Don’t make them wait extra long!

I always err on the side of doing it early, because no kid ever minds getting presents early. Also, it does feel special to get presents before Christmas. After all the holiday hoopla, having a birthday party in early January is going to feel anti-climactic.

3. Don’t make their birthday Christmas-themed 

The whole month of the December is Christmas-themed. Let their birthday be a birthday! That means no Christmas wrapping paper, no Christmas party decorations, none of that. If your kid is into trains or ponies let them have a train or pony party like all the kids who were born in the other 11 months of the year.

Christmas birthday
The two on the right are the Christmas babies, but their party themes include rainbows and the Wiggles

Your Child’s Christmas Birthday: DOs

1. Do talk to family members about keeping the birthday separate from Christmas 

Of course it’s always up to the giver what type of gift they want to give, but some relatives might need subtle hints about how Christmas babies truly appreciate not having their Christmas and birthday gifts meshed into one (or skipped altogether).

2. Do keep it small and manageable (if you have to)

Only bite off as much as you can chew when it comes to throwing a party. The last thing any kid wants for his birthday is to see Mommy have a stress-induced meltdown. Remember it doesn’t need to be huge (or Pinterest-inspired) to make your child feel special and loved.

If you can’t handle hosting during the holiday season, why not celebrate with family at your local pizza joint? Or bring a car full of your kid’s friends to the movies or bowling alley. It can be low-stress without being low on fun for the birthday boy or girl.

3. Do carve out some special time for the birthday child

A one on one lunch date with Mom or Dad doesn’t take much time out of your busy day but it will make a big impact.

When my son’s birthday falls on a school day, I join him for lunch in the school cafeteria. It’s 30 minutes out of my day and he feels like a superstar on his birthday. If your school doesn’t allow lunch visits, ask if you can come in as a mystery reader and read a book to the class.

Other simple ways to squeeze in some special time could be a family game night, movie night or just letting your child stay up past bedtime hanging out with Mom and Dad.

A Note About “Half Birthdays”

People have suggested to us that we shift our kids’ birthdays away from the holidays by celebrating their half birthdays in the summertime instead. While this seems to work well for some families, I’ve always felt like the day when their age changes is a big deal for kids and needs to be acknowledged. I have a hard time getting on board with just saying “yesterday you were four, today you are five and we will celebrate that in six months.”

That said, my children’s opinions are the ones that really matter so if they ever decide they want to move to half birthdays, I would follow their lead.

If your child is a Christmas baby (or if you yourself are!) I’d love to hear from you!

What are the biggest challenges of birthdays during the holiday season? What have you tried that works for your family?


Adoptive mom, biological mom, slacker mom, Disney mom, and above all things a REAL mom. Fan of blogging, sleeping, and pretending not to hear my kids fight.


  1. My husband is a Christmas baby. His birthday is 12/25. I know growing up, his parents always made sure he had separate birthday gifts and Christmas gifts. In the morning, he got to open birthday gifts first. They usually went out a day or two before for his birthday dinner only because most places aren’t open on Christmas Eve or Day. We also have cake for dessert after Christmas dinner. He said he has never minded his birthday on Christmas, I always say it’s harder for those of us who get him gifts because we have to come up with birthday and Christmas ideas all at once!

    1. My nephew’s birthday is a couple days after Christmas so for Christmas I always give him something for us to do together (like tickets to a play, indoor water park, sporting event, etc.) and for his birthday a toy.

  2. My son’s birthday is Christmas eve. I always wanted him to feel like his birthday is special and would celebrate his birthday early. This year he is turning 5 and we can not have a lavish birthday party like we have had in the past due to limited finiances. Instead we plan in doing something special as a family for his birthday.

  3. My birthday is exactly two weeks before Christmas. While I agree with keeping the day Birthday themed, one of my favorite memories is of a “Snow White” cake that had a “christmasy” theme. Also, I have a sister whose birthday is nine days before Halloween and because of that she LOVES witches and all things Halloween. My grandson’s Birthday is Dec 26th and he gets more excited about his birthday than he does Christmas. Great tips, I enjoyed your article!!

  4. Christine’s daughter was born on the 21st, and yeah, it’s tough. But loving the tip about not letting the kiddo hear you complain about their birthday! That would be a tough pill for a little one to swallow.

  5. I have a 5 year old who was born on Christmas Day…4 weeks before his due date. Since my FIL was also born on Christmas Day and I have spent many years hearing him complaining about that, we have handled things a little differently. We celebrate the fact that his birthday is Christmas. In fact, my other child who was born in March is jealous. He happily announces to everyone we meet when his birthday is, especially in December, and everyone always tells him how lucky he is. He thanks people for putting up all those beautiful decorations for his birthday. We do most of our Christmas celebrating on December 24, and by noon on the 25th, we have switched to birthday mode. We don’t do a Christmas dinner, but let him choose whatever he would like for supper. Last year, we stayed in a hotel with a pool and a water slide. This year, we plan on taking him to a movie. I told him he has to take advantage of the “free XYZ on your birthday” at various restaurants that are closed on Christmas Day by going on both Christmas Eve AND Boxing Day to get 2 free things! LOL. Also, my Dad’s girlfriend is Polish and they celebrate Name Day instead of birthdays, so we have adopted this habit. My son’s “name day” is in January, so we do another celebration on that day and typically have his birthday party closer to the name day (really, is there any point in trying to schedule one in December?) And as a mother, I LOVE having a Christmas baby. It has revolutionized my Christmas experience.

  6. My baby was due on 22nd December and the day came and went with out a contraction in sight.
    My waters broke on Christmas Eve but she clung on all day. Santa brought me my Betty present on Christmas Day 2018.
    Now I want to cry every time someone mentions Christmas as I feel so guilty!
    I lived in the Falkland Islands for a while and we celebrated Christmas on the 25th June as that was the middle of winter and we called it Fixmas. So I think she’ll have a Falkland island birthday celebration and we will try and think of something for her to feel special on Christmas Day?

    1. I felt so guilty for my Christmas baby too. Now that she’s old enough to have her own opinion, she LOVES having such a special birthday and the reaction she gets from everyone when she tells them her birthday. No more guilt here 🙂

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