Birthdays in December: The Pros and Cons

Today is my birthday. It is exactly 2 weeks before Christmas Eve and happens to be right in the middle of probably what is the most hectic time of the year for most people I know. If I had gotten to choose, I probably would have chosen to have my birthday in any other month but December. I can’t tell you how many times I feel like I’ve missed out on birthday fun because it’s in the middle of winter. One year we didn’t get to go out to eat for my birthday because it snowed all day. Half the people we were supposed to get together with couldn’t get out, so the people that could picked up takeout and brought it to our house. Thankfully, it wasn’t a complete disaster, but I was disappointed to have been stuck in the house all day. Even if it’s not snowing, it’s usually really cold outside so I can’t plan to do anything that involves being outside without the risk of frostbite.

There are also too many other holiday gatherings going on to really plan any kind of party. It seems like people are so busy with work and family get-togethers and Christmas shopping that there is no time to get together for a birthday. My brother’s birthday is a few days after Christmas, so he has always had the same issue. Several times, I remember us all going out to eat in January for both of our birthdays lumped together and since he was younger, he usually got to pick where we went. I know it sounds silly, but it was always the tradition in our family that whoever’s birthday it was got to pick where we ate, and I think I missed out on that more than I should have. There was also the time a few years ago that I tried to invite people over for a game night just to hang out so I had something fun to do for my birthday. Every single person except for one had backed out on me by noon the day of the party (of course, after I had already bought all the stuff to make the food), so I had to cancel it.

Because it’s such a crazy and busy time of year, even if there are a few nights left open to schedule some kind of celebration, birthdays in December have a way of sneaking up on people because we are all so preoccupied with other things that are going on. Not to mention how impossible it is to get reservations for dinner any night in December.

But I guess it is what it is, so I try to make the best of it. There are a few good things about having a birthday in December, though. I always insisted that the Christmas tree be up by my birthday, and it’s kind of fun to have presents under the tree. I know it doesn’t have anything at all to do with my birthday, but I did always like having the tree up and I remember begging my parents to make that happen every year. That being said, I hated when my birthday presents were wrapped in Christmas paper. I know that’s kind of stupid, but they are birthday presents – not Christmas presents! So I always asked them to wrap my gifts in birthday wrapping paper. And then there are the lights up outside, so things seem really festive. Regardless of what’s going on, I do try to make time to celebrate my birthday, even if not everyone came make it. Just because there’s a lot going on doesn’t mean I shouldn’t get to enjoy my day!

What do you usually do to celebrate your birthday?


  1. My husband’s birthday is on the 19th, which was probably bad enough growing up, but his older brother’s birthday is the 26th! Can you imagine! I’d rather have it on Christmas Day, at least then you can pretend everyone is celebrating you! 🙂

    • Rachel says:

      My brother’s is the 28th, so pretty close, too! I’m sure whatever month you are born in, there is always something else going on around the same time.

  2. Happy Birthday! I know how you feel cause mine is Nov.27th and sometimes it falls on Thanksgiving and I have actually had some family members FORGET it was my birthday because it was Thanksgiving too! GRRR My nephew’s B-day is Dec. 16 and I am always pretty much broke from shopping for Xmas and I feel so bad!

  3. My friends birthday is Christmas eve and she has always hated it. I think for so many of the same reason you do. In August, my birthday is on the 1st, and sons on the 2,d and my anniversary is on the 4th. So I usually get a birthday/anniversary present.

    • Rachel says:

      It’s always something, no matter when your birthday is. My husband’s birthday is right around Halloween (and a week after our anniversary) and also happens to usually be right around the world series so he always talks about how when he was little, everyone seemed more interested in that.

  4. First of all…HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! I definitely wouldn’t want a December birthday. I also wouldn’t want to have my kiddos birthday in December either, so I’ll keep it in mind if planning for one in the future 😉 haha. I know what you mean about snowing on your birthday and ruining it though. My birthday is in March so I always use to think I never got to do anything fun for my birthday because it was still so cold. The worst birthday I had was when I was in school and it snowed so we had a snow day. You would think most people would jump for joy to get a snow day on their birthday. I thought it sucked. It was the loneliest birthday ever! I would rather have been in school and been with my friends all day than sitting home doing nothing.

    • Rachel says:

      I bet your birthday was sometimes during Spring Break, too! My son was born in early April, so I’m sure some years it will fall over Spring Break. That sounds nice but if he had a party and invited his friends, some of them might be out of town.

  5. Holly H says:

    I feel the same way, and it’s also true about early January birthdays. I am guilty of E’s birthday sneaking up on us more than once because we’re so preoccupied with Christmas that I forget it’s only two weeks later. I am also guilty of wrapping his presents in Christmas wrapping paper if I run out of birthday paper too – and that is something that annoys me about my birthday!

    • Rachel says:

      Birthdays sneak up on us in general, and I’m sure I’ve done the Christmas wrapping paper before, too, though I really try not to do that. I know people don’t think about it and they don’t do it on purpose.

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