Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Birthday vs. Christmas

Now that Halloween is over, we have 2 significant events that we're looking forward to - Emmett's first birthday and Christmas.  It's kind of funny, I had told Annika that after Halloween was Emmett's birthday, and then Christmas.  So the day after Halloween, she woke up and the first thing she said to me was "how old is Emmett?"  I had to laugh (quietly, so she wouldn't be embarrassed by her mistake), and then explain to her that his birthday wasn't right after Halloween, but in about a month - many, many days.  :)

Anyways, Emmett's birthday is coming up on December 2nd and of course, Christmas is on December 25th.  I had never planned to have a December baby, and in fact, it was the one month that I really didn't want to have a baby in.  But I guess God had other plans, because here we are with our December baby and I wouldn't trade him for anything.  My due date had originally been December 15th, and I prayed and prayed that he would be early, or at least not late, so that his birthday wouldn't be overshadowed by Christmas.  And he cooperated!  Actually, he was not just 2 weeks early, but 4 weeks.  After he was born, the nurses at the hospital told us that the due date was wrong, and he was actually about 4 weeks early.  We had had fetal assessments in the month leading up to his birth (due to high blood pressure and the fact that I was measuring small), but they figured everything was okay, since he was already weighing about 7 lbs (which was his birth weight - can you imagine if he had stayed in for 4 more weeks!!  Yikes!).  However, the nurses could see signs in his development that told them that he was a bit more premature than we thought (despite the fact that he was a decent weight).  Luckily everything turned out fine (other than some initial feeding issues and unpleasant glucose-level testing), and he was able to stay in the room with me and we could all go home together.  So, even though I now had a December baby, at least he had picked a day that wasn't too close to Christmas and everything worked out okay.

So now that his first birthday is approaching, I'm making plans for it, and also getting ready for Christmas.  I don't know why - maybe it's all the stuff in the stores - but I felt like the day after Halloween was over that I should start getting ready for Christmas.  Now that there's a little snow on the ground, it feels even more Christmas-y.  I'm one who likes to have Christmas decorations up for quite a while.  Last year I think we put up our tree in mid-November already, although that was due to different circumstances (I knew I wouldn't feel like putting up a tree after the baby came, so I wanted to get it done beforehand).  However, I was thinking about it the other day, and I came to the decision that I will not put up any Christmas decorations until after Emmett's birthday (I can do other Christmas prep, like baking and shopping or listening to Christmas music, but not decorating).  I want his birthday to be about him.  There's lots of time for decorating, and enjoying the Christmas season, after that.   I think this will probably be how I do things from now on.  This year presents a challenge with Christmas decorating anyway - with Emmett crawling around and "exploring" everything (i.e. pulling things apart, putting them in his mouth, throwing them around), I don't think we will have a Christmas tree anyway!  We will probably just put up a small one in our wall niche, or somewhere out of his reach.

So that's my plan.  Does anyone else struggle with the dilemma of birthday vs. Christmas?  How do you make it work??  I'd love to hear some other ideas, especially when it comes to gift-giving.


liane said...

Simone's birthday is Dec 3 and like you I made the decision not to decorate for Christmas until after her birthday. I didnt know how much this impacted her until one year she came home from a friends party and she thanked me. At the party the house was totally Christmas and Tue only thing birthday was the cake. Simone was always happy that I made the distiction. I am too.

Andrea said...

I don't have a December baby so I can't really speak from experience - but I do have an opinion (sort of).

Since his birthday is so early in December, it's not that 'strange' (for lack of a better word) to put off Christmas decorating until his birthday is over.

But on the other hand - if birthday decorations were done ON TOP of the Christmas decorations (i.e. not *just* a birthday cake), it might still seem just as birthday-festive as any other time of year??

As for the topic of gift-giving - when he's older you could ask him what he would prefer. My birthday is 3 weeks *after* Christmas, so I get a big haul in those few weeks and then go through a big drought the rest of the year. Sometimes (as a kid) it was hard to wait an entire year to get more gifts, but for the most part it didn't really bother me. But I have heard of some people celebrating their birthday in summer instead of right around Christmastime just to spread things out more evenly. (although still celebrating the actual birthday at least a little bit too!)