life stuff

Anyone else out there with a festive season birthday (not counting You Know Who…) ?

Today is my mum’s birthday. A friend’s birthday falls on Christmas Eve. Mine is just after New Year. So I’m no stranger to arguments about which is the worst birthday to have – just before Christmas, or just after.

As someone with a post-Christmas birthday, I’m convinced that if your special day comes before all the fun, you have a better time. In fact, your birthday is part of the fun. There’s the sense of anticipation, your home is decorated and looking great, the tree still has needles (!) and a pile of enticing parcels beneath it.

You may have family who are excellent at keeping the two events separate, but not everyone makes the effort at such a busy time. Birthdays presents that come wrapped in Christmas paper are strangely depressing. Then there’s, ‘It’s a birthday-and-Christmas present combined.’ (Yeah, right.) Or, ‘Your birthday present must’ve got lost in the Christmas post.’ (Ditto.)

But if your birthday is after Christmas, or even worse, just after New Year, everyone’s: broke, tired, stuffed with Christmas cake and chocolate and feeling slightly nauseous, completely drained of festive cheer, all-partied-out, still away visiting the relatives, back home but caught flu from the relatives, sticking to virtuous New Year’s Resolutions, on a January detox, for goodness’ sake!

To top it all, the weather’s often dreadful. I can recall freezing fog, floods, storms, black ice – but not the thrill of a fresh snowfall.

Presents sometimes have the whiff of a battered sale bargain, or have clearly been “re-gifted”. But I have to confess that I don’t exactly help. When people ask for birthday present suggestions, I’m all out of ideas. And knowing everyone is pushed at this time of year, I never ask for anything extravagant (that I might really want).

And as a grown-up whose birthday celebration revolves around a nice meal out, I’ve discovered that the week just after New Year is the time many restaurants choose to close down for a much-needed staff break and deep clean!

The only plus-point I can think of is that, irrespective of what day of the week it fell on, my birthday was never a school day.

Anyone else with festive season birthdays? We can swap misery stories and have a good laugh!

18 thoughts on “Anyone else out there with a festive season birthday (not counting You Know Who…) ?

  1. My birthday is Christmas Eve and my wedding anniversary is New Years Eve. I love it. Best week of the year and everyone remembers the dates 😉

  2. My friend, Kath, has her birthday on Christmas day! As a wife and mother of two children, it gets swallowed up in the festivities, it is sometimes late afternoon before they remember to say “Happy Birthday”. They celebrate properly on 25th January, but she says its not quite the same as celebrating on the proper day!

    • That’s so true, Carol. It would be too cheeky. But when I tried to hold my birthday in June instead, people ‘couldn’t remember’ if they’d already given me a present in January…and I felt a bit mean to insist that they hadn’t.

  3. My son Jamie’s birthday is New Year’s Eve – we always go away for that week up near Loch Rannoch and celebrate his birthday with fireworks up on the hill at midnight – it’s fabulous!

  4. My birthday was yesterday, that is on the 17th of December. Whenever I try to organise a birthday party, people are almost always too busy to come because they have ‘Xmas stuff’, office-parties or whatever. Gods I HATE IT when they give me a combined Xmas + Bday present. They try to justify it by saying it cost more – honestly, who cares how much a gift costs? It sounds so crass too. They wouldn’t give me one gift for both events if my bday was in February or May, so why do they do it? Is it a question of spending less time to decide what to buy, or actually economise on both gifts by buying something ‘in the middle’ – that is more costly than one usually spends for one bday present, but less costly than two gifts? Meh part of the beauty of bday and Xmas is unwrapping gifts, but when they do this I have LESS things to unwrap 😦

    • Oh, the party business – I was going to write about that, too. When I was little lots of my friends had birthdays in December and January; in fact I thought that was the only time you could have them. So lots of parties going on over the weeks but at least we didn’t have work do’s to compete with :-). I agree with you about loving gifts to unwrap. I think they look at their most exciting when piled up – under the tree for Xmas ones – and as-yet-unopened. After that they turn into socks. Not that I don’t love snuggly spotty socks (that’s a message to my family!)

  5. My husband’s birthday is Christmas Eve and he often got not only joint presents when he was small (which he didn’t mind too much) but sometimes joint cards. Even his mum used to ice one corner of the Christmas cake “Happy Birthday”… so mean!

    Ever since we have known each other I have baked him his very own cake when I could 🙂

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