Holiday Birthdays Mean Some Kids Get Shafted At X-Mas, And That’s Fine
Parents of kids with holiday birthdays have a very fine line to walk. On one side, there’s the risk of letting your Yuletide baby feel like their birthday has fallen by the wayside. On the other, there’s the very real possibility that a month-long toy-purchasing extravaganza will turn your child into a Charlie and the Chocolate Factory character.
Our twins’ first birthday fell on Thanksgiving this year, which unfortunately puts them just past the holiday birthday cutoff. Since they’re only one and have frankly no idea what the big deal is all about and why everyone keeps trying to take their picture, we have a little leeway still to figure out how to handle the negligible number of days between their birthday and Christmas, but so far, plan A is to make their birthday a BFD and to let Christmas be a somewhat more subdued affair. Sorry, kids, Santa works in mysterious ways! And one of those ways is making sure you don’t grow up as entitled as Prince Joffrey.
I don’t plan to tell grandparents, aunts, or uncles what to do (except maybe my mother, who I think packed up the entire interior of a Toys ‘R’ Us for my kids last month), but as far as presents from Santa “Mom and Dad” Claus? I think we’ll get a lot of mileage out of the old classic socks-and-chocolates stocking combo. Throw in one small toy apiece, some clothes, and some books under the Christmas tree, and we’ll call it a very good day. When they’re older, maybe there will be a Befriend-An-Animal certificate from the local zoo, or a Heifer International envelope stuffed with pictures of geese and ducks. The version of Santa who visits the Ogden household will be one who is reliable, consistent, and not overly endowed with imagination. Much like, coincidentally, my husband and I.
My kids might grow up confused over the version of Santa that’s bringing their friends salami of the month subscriptions with monogrammed napkins or Coach steering wheel covers for their Google Cars or whatever is the cool thing to get in fifteen years. (Rainbow Looms?) But I’m okay with that, if it means they get their own special and altogether separate day. Canceling Christmas completely isn’t on the radar, but our kids are definitely not wanting for toys (see also: the ACTUAL BALL PIT they got for their birthday).
And especially since our kids are twins, who are going to grow up extremely experienced with the concept of ‘sharing’ – I’d rather let them have a big day at the end of November and then keep things on the chill side as the year runs out. There’s plenty of Christmas magic to be had in baking cookies, decorating, singing carols, and beating the Christmas log till it poops candy – I’d just as soon skip the mooning over toy commercials and the Toys ‘R’ Us catalog and the multi-page letters to Santa.