December is not the best month to have your birthday.
As someone whose birthday is right on Christmas, I have always felt a little envious of people whose birthdays are on just some random day in April or August.
Sometimes I’m just being above-average selfish in taking the Christmas birthday thing too hard. So I decided to run a little survey to find out how other people feel about having a December birthday.
Their responses confirmed that I’m not the only one who feels shafted by having a birthday in December. It’s hard to feel like you get any special attention because Christmas overshadows it. As one respondent put it, “You’re Competing with Jesus for most notable birth of the month.”
Here are some of the reasons why, some other interesting comments that came up in the survey. Finally, in the conclusion I’ll share suggestions for how the rest of the populace can help overcome this .
Issue 1: Fewer presents
For most people, there are two dates in the year when they can regularly expect to receive gifts: Christmas and their birthday. But when your birthday occurs anywhere near Christmas, all your friends and loved ones are already tapped out. A few thoughtful relatives will make sure to give you double presents, or give you one extra big gift. Mostly, though, it’s “Happy Birthday Merry Christmas here’s your combined gift you get on your birthday it’s a $25 gift card.” Also, there’s the “Birthmas gifts” as one respondent called them which get wrapped in Christmas paper.
Issue 2: No birthday parties
Right up there with the presents problem is the party problem. All the good opportunities to throw a birthday party are taken up by office holiday parties, family get togethers, church sing alongs, etc. All your friends are gone on holiday vacations or have family obligations. Some people in the survey said the one thing they love about their birthday is the snow, but they are outnumbered by those who find cold weather on their birthday to be a bummer – and forget ever having a pool party.
The REAL Issue
Underneath the grouching about lousy presents and the moaning about no birthday parties, the real issue is clear: it feels like nobody seems to care. This is especially poignant in some of the comments people added to the survey:
Everyone including my own family forgets my birthday.
I haven’t celebrated my birthday in 8 years because it gets forgotten because of Christmas.
Everyone’s so worried about Christmas that it feels like my birthday doesn’t matter.
A simple request
If you know a friend, have a family member, or you are a parent of someone with a December birthday, please make a little extra effort to let them feel celebrated separately from the holidays. Birthday cards, birthday wrapping paper, or a nice bunch of flowers are nice ways to show you aren’t taking their birthday (and them) for granted. Set aside one day or evening for just their birthday, even if it isn’t a full-blown birthday party. Above all, don’t forget to wish them Happy Birthday on the day of, if at all possible.
For all my fellow December birthday babies, instead of resenting the holidays, try to see them as an extra bonus. Christmas will be inextricably tangled up with your birthday no matter what, so you may as well just own it. Then the rest of the year, hand out birthday presents wrapped in Christmas wrapping paper.