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Merry Birthday?

Do you have a birthday close to the holidays? Check out our managing editor's thoughts about celebrations during this busy time of year.

If your birthday happens to fall in either December or January you probably know what I’m about to ask: Is having your birthday better in December — before Christmas — or right after, in January?

I know some people whose birthdays are so close to Christmas that their birthdays are slightly overlooked, “doubled up” with the Christmas celebration or perhaps postponed to a later date. After all, December is a very busy month with decorating, shopping, wrapping, and parties. 

But what about January? My birthday is three weeks after Christmas and for the most part, I think it’s better than having it in December because the holiday season is officially over, decorations are down, and an event to celebrate is welcomed. However it’s also a time when people have recently bought you a gift, and they may be sick of shopping and have made the decision to tighten belts so they can pay their holiday bills. It’s also a time of year when many, including myself, decide to make a New Year’s resolution to cut out sweets and eat healthier, but then my birthday rolls around and I have to indulge.

I guess one could answer that another birthday is a gift in and of itself, no matter when it occurs, but I thought it would be fun to ask any of you who have a birthday so close to Christmas and the New Year. Did you ever feel slighted or wished your birthday fell at a different time?

Do any of your children have birthdays this time of year? How do you make it special? Share your thoughts here and if you happen to have a birthday this or next month …Happy Birthday!!

Sandi Duncan is the Managing Editor of the Farmers' Almanac. Click here to read Sandi's full biography.

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Mike

My Birthday is December 15th. Over the years I realized that every year it became more and more forgotten. My mother (94) still gives me a present as does my wife (December 7) but even she does not realize the closer you get to Christmas the busier the world is and like many of you, just give up. My siblings do not remember, my kids do not remember, only Facebook friends give me a shout out. My wife says get over it and many of you have suggestions like changing the date. Wish I did that years ago. Funny things we all have in common though: Birthday presents wrapped in Christmas wrapping, A combo gift WOO HOO, no cake or in a picture I have a Santa Cake! I like the birthday tree idea too! Funny club we have here, the parents who made sure that the date would not be overlooked. I get it, school is out, people are traveling, and Christmas is HUGE and should be. All folks in this thread I am wishing you all a Happy December/January birthday! Another thing I had to stop doing is spending the money I got for my Birthday on presents for my parents and siblings. I really never spent that on myself (bad spending habits and my allowance did not go so far, even with side jobs). I make sure to get a present for myself every year, usually something I would not buy for myself but I would like it as a gift! My son November 24 never had a problem even though Thanksgiving is his birthday sometimes, plus I would never impose on him what I have gone through, and a sister January 7th never seemed to be forgotten. I always find it funny to learn someone else is in this club and the experiences they had.

julia

No one can truely know which is better as no one can have the experience of having had both. Is the grass greener on the other side or not? In this case no one will ever really know for certain.

Jane Barrick

My daughter’s birthday is Dec. 19 and mine is Dec. 24. Growing up my mom made sure that birthday was birthday and Christmas was Christmas. She made a point that a gift needed to be specified birthday or Christmas but it couldn’t be both and 1 gift was plenty. I always had a party on the 24th. When my daughter came along we followed the same guidelines. I think having a birthday the day before is easier than the week before. We ran into more conflicts with her birthday such as church programs and other Christmas activities.

Mari

My birthday is December 12th and I never got a big party nor as many gifts as my sister did. I always felt less important as a kid. They were too worried about getting everyone else another gift than the one they got for their birthday to get me a birthday gift. Also I always get Christmas cards. Very rarely do I get birthday cards.

Janet

My birthday is Dec 30th. Smack between Christmas and new year eve. Usually people remember after the first of the year. Really and told why do I need anything for your birthday you got a Christmas gift

Holly Curtis

Actually the 28th of December is smack in the middle of Christmas and New Year’s Eve… that’s my birthday I feel like it’s literally the invisible birthday. Anyway, happy birthday to you!! 🎂

Betty

My son’s birthday is 12/19. I saw a magazine article when he was bout 5yo that talked about using a small (2-3 ft) artificial tree to set up & decorate with bows & ribbons as a “Birthday Tree.” The child’s presents go under the Birthday tree, which we always put right on the table where the food & such was served. No focus whatsoever was put on Christmas. He loved it! Even when he got to be around 14yo & I thought he wouldn’t want it out, he asked “where’s my b’day tree?” 🙂

Michele

Jan 1. First baby in county. Mom would always tell me I had too many presents at Christmas so she saved some for my birthday. Never had traditional birthday paper wrappings- always Christmas paper. The year I turned 13 my cake said Happy Birthday Pete! No one checked the cake before bringing it home and the bakery of course was closed!!

Amy Higgins

My birthday is 12/18 and my husband is on 12/28. It is terrible to have a birthday this time of year. I usually get flowers from the husband but rarely a present, unless I want to take one of mine from under the tree. We go out to eat once to celebrate both birthdays since my husband hates the crowded restaurants. My children in their late 20’s early 30’s have never given either of us a birthday present. We do get a Christmas gift from them and they get many from us. We thought of celebrating in June but our anniversary is then ( we don’t get each other a gift, nor from the kids for that) My friends have taken me out to lunch and given me presents so that is good. I even tried to plan my kids birthdays not to be in Dec ( one is in July the other the beginning of Nov).

Lisa

Me – Dec 8th, my daughter – Dec 26th, my niece – Dec 20th. I always celebrated my daughter’s bday separate from xmas. One year when she was about 5 or 6, she got xmas presents on the 25th & a birthday gift on the 26th, as usual. She woke up on the 27th & wanted to know where her gift for that day was lol

sue brincefield

Thank you soooooo very much for sharing and posting …having my birthday on Jan.11th and always being slighted and ignored , I really appreciate knowing now that I was not the only child who was overlooked and pushed aside . for their birthday while all my other family members had marvelous birthday celebrations . Thank you , thank you, thank you .
LOl, I will no longer wallow in my self pity on my special day ….maybe I’ll just start a new tradition and treat myself to something a little special.

Angela

Christmas baby. I always felt slighted growing up. Now I am just thankful that I have a family that cares. To be honest, I feel pretty special that I share my birthday with Jesus!!!

Judy Fritz

My birthday is December 7th. I always got one of my Christmas presents for my birthday.Never had a party let alone a cake. Never looked forward to that day because it was so disappointing.

emma

My brother’s birthday is on Dec. 13, so my family and I make sure to give him a birthday gifts and cards, we make sure to separate Christmas and his birthday out, birthday gifts wrapped in birthday wrapping paper and birthday cards. He never been cheated out of a birthday because he was born in Dec.

Gena Chavez

I am a Christmas baby. I absolutely love my birthday because I have a very large family and we always have a large Christmas party with 50 or more family members. I am very fortunate to have my family there when they sing me Happy Birthday and my sister always makes my cake. Family members know to wrap my birthday gifts in birthday wrapping paper and of course I always get more gifts than everyone else. I shared my birthdays with my aunt and it was always fun to be the center of attention for at least 1 hour before returning to the Christmas party. Three years ago my aunt passed away and the very first Christmas / Birthday party was hard to get through, I was very thankful my family was right there with me. However, my sister’s birthday is a week after mine and she doesn’t get the attention or gifts as I do so I always try to make her birthday just as special as mine.

Jennifer

January 1st – New Years Day. My parents always remembered and had birthday parties. Got cheesed by relatives with 1 present for both my birthday and Christmas from some relatives. My parents always gave separate birthday and Christmas gifts to their kids and I was very aware of it. A few times they would call after they were already late to my birthday party and say someone was sick.

sara

my son’s birthday is Dec 28th, although it is busy to plan a birthday on top of Christmas activities, I guess it is better than a January birthday, because people do buy him gifts while shopping for Christmas gifts…I feel that for January birthdays, people do forget because we just had Christmas & then everyone has to remember to get a gift, because my brother is a January bday and it always snuck up on us after Christmas…. .. I do make sure to include gifts my son wants for his birthday into his Christmas wish list- he has a Christmas/Birthday wish list. I guess its not that bad- I just buy Christmas & birthday gifts at the same time. When he was younger- we just had family over with Christmas décor still up, but as he got older – I didn’t want Christmas décor up in the background, and it was hard to have his friends over- running around with the decorations & tree up. So now we plan a birthday outing for him and his friends every year. Skating, Bowling, Indoor Bounce, Indoor Water park, then I don’t have to worry about putting away all the Christmas gifts and cleaning up the house after Christmas, we can go outside the house and enjoy his birthday. Although we still have the family over to have pizza or dinner food, not Christmas food, so they rather seem to enjoy that- non holiday food.

SUSAN

January 7th birthday. Sadly, growing up my parents forgot a couple of them. I remember my mom making a big deal about turning 10. I let her have “her day” and then told her I was 11 that year. The year before she had forgotten all about it and I remember waiting all day for someone to mention it and no one ever did. She tried to make up for it but its one of the stupid things one cant ever really forget. My kids have never forgotten my birthday. Only my husband ever knew about that story. He never forgot my birthday either.

Lisa

Christmas baby. For years, I felt slighted.I would be given 1 big present and told it was Christmas and Birthday. Then, Birthday presents wrapped in Christmas paper, but written in ink “Happy Birthday.” I started to complain as I got older. Finally, I started getting some “me time.” We did think about celebrating before the 25th and in June. Just didn’t work out. Years later, my husband planned a surprise birthday, that was awesome! I have 2 nephews born on 22nd and 23rd. I told them to always celebrate. One thing good for me now is my husband’s birthday is the 28th! Makes it fun for me.

Merry Christine

My birthday is December 25th. I have never had a party, have only had 2 cakes. Growing up my parents always gave me something special for my birthday, my brothers however would give me a pair of earrings 1 for Christmas and 1 for birthday. My husband now makes sure that I get something special for my birthday. His birthday is January 23rd.

Cid

My Husband was born on Christmas. I threw him his first Brithday party for him our first year of marriage. It was a surprise party we were at family’s house and came home to my cousin Ron there Chris asked what are you doing here he said I just stopped by to say Happy Birthday but One by One frends kept coming it was the best party I ever gave. We continued the traditon for several years as it was a way for our friends to be able to leave there families house early. My birthday is Dec. 11th and I don’t like it.

Sue

My birthday is the day after Christmas and I sharred with my sister who is one year younger than myself and has the same birthday! Over the years I have done several things: celebrate on my conception day, celebrate my half birthday, and now I celebrate it January 26 because that is when I was supposed to be born! I was one of 15 kids, as an adult I find it cool because if I am home celebrating Christmas with family everybody remembers my birthday and feel sorry for us for having such an awful day to be born ! It is what it is!

Beth

My birthday is December 27th. As a little kid, I loved it because I had a Christmas tree for my birthday! But, as an older kid and teen, it got rough. I had one birthday party in which no one brought any presents, that was pretty hard to deal with at age 9 when I had been to my friend’s parties and knew all the presents they got. Another hurtful birthday was as an adult fresh out of college. I had a friend randomly meet up with me to give me a birthday gift, I thought it was a nice, granted random, gesture until she made the comment that the gift was just a way for her to get rid of some items she was given for Christmas.
It is rough with a birthday close to Christmas, especially as a kid. I had a few that were pretty well forgotten just because of the hectic Christmas schedule with family.

Renee

Mine is dec. 24th and growing up my parents were very aware to keep bday and xmas presents separate. Even after all these years I never felt that I was slighted. Although for a time in my teens I got mad when someone gave me a present wrapped in xmas paper for my birthday or anything Christmasy for a birthday present our baby sitter now has her bday on the 25th morning is xmas and after lunch is her bday.
My best friends bday is Jan 2 and she was always forgotten.

Janet

My brother and I shared a Dec. 22nd birthday (we are 2 years apart) but growing up very poor, we also had to share a present quite often. We would get a glove and bat or a Pellet gun that we both shared, usually used. Being a girl, it used to bother me. But we grew up on a farm and as it turned out with my brother being my only playmate, it probably helped us to be closer as brother/sister. My family is scattered sow, so it is usually just dinner out with my husband and a present, which works for me. If a friend wants to do something special for me, it is usually lunch a few weeks before as they are pretty busy with their own holiday gatherings just before Christmas. I’m just glad they think of me, so I’m fine with that.

Thera

Our daughters birthday is Jan 3rd and we make sure it is completely seperate and no signs of Christmas or left overs (we take the tree down Jan 1 and pack away the wrapping paper etc.)
For parties we delay it a bit, as if we send invites before xmas break they get lost or ignored so we send them on the second day back to school for the weekend after the next.

Carol

My birthday is on December 21, I was always allowed to pick one present that was under the tree for my gift. But Christmas morning made up for just that one gift, Many, many very special memories of Christmas mornings. How I do miss them.

Sue

My brother and I were born on Dec. 21 and Mom came home with us on Christmas Day! I really don’t remember being slighted for our birthday but my brother feels we were. We had a large family (8 kids) so needless to say, my parents had their hands full with the holiday. I also have a brother born on Dec. 17 and a granddaughter on the 29th. We’ve always kept them separate from Christmas.
HAPPY DECEMBER BIRTHDAY TO ALL!

Carol

My Dad and I shared a Birthday on December 30th. That always made it extra special for me. We usually did something together as he knew how tough it could be. It’s a bittersweet day since he passed away 7 years ago but my husband makes sure we go out and celebrate it. I love hitting the after Christmas sales when he takes me shopping.

Lois

My daughter was born on Christmas Eve, and I always thought it was such a blessing, since I was told I couldn’t have children when I was 16. I ALWAYS had her birthday a few days before, made a big party for her every year, just like I did everyone else. As she got older, she demanded we celebrate on Christmas Eve. At first, it was difficult because people were celebrating Christmas Eve!!!! (Which is why I always had it a few days before) The past two years, we had a cake and birthday gifts after Christmas Eve dinner, before singing, and continuing on with Christmas Eve. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having her birthday celebration even a day before now, so it’s not bundled with Christmas Eve, but she STILL feels slighted, even thought she’s always had a huge party. ????? Last year, I told her if I knew I was going to be persecuted for having her on Christmas Eve, I would have had the doctor induce me!!!! LOL

George Karr

My birthday is on December 28, and as a kid I could simply say it sucked! Christmas present was always bundled with birthday, but that just ment that I was only getting a Christmas present and not even something a bit better than the rest of my sibbling. As I got older during the last days of my senior year in high school and early years of college; I tried making it a whole month ordeal…that was a no go! Now much older and “wiser” I look back at those day and feel very gratefull for any present I ever received whether it was Christmas or birthday. I won’t leave out the part where I also have a 9 year old going on 10 born january 13, and boy are gifts so much more expensive then I remember ever receiving!

Cat

I was born on December 29th. Growing up my mother used my birthday as an excuse to have HER friends over while the house was still decorated and the Christmas rush was over. I used to get soap and brooches.
Mom was a wee bit selfish.
Now I’m the mom and I make sure my 4 kids’ birthdays are special. I like to skip mine ‘cuz I’m too darn tired between Christmas and New Years. …. But my lovely husband and kids always make sure it’s my special day. Life is good. :0)

donna

Jan 3 here. People are sick of giving until it hurts and the bills have started coming in. Any present is wrapped in left over Christmas paper in an attempt to “get rid of it.” Bitrthday gifts were often well hidden or forgotten Christmas presents which were found after christmas. I got my brothers underwear one year yay me.

Trevor McGee

We must have the same birthdays, dear Author! I’ve never minded much. Once, in middle school, 13 or so, I tried to move my birthday to June. Everyone else I knew, could have some kind of outdoor party. But, I didn’t really like it. It didn’t feel like my birthday. As to presents, and that issue, I’ve always like activities, gatherings, better than things. So, we would all “do” something for my birthday, like go to the beach, or to the mountain. Then, it would benefit a greater number of us, somewhat justifying the expense. I’m still in the habit of this. This year will be no different. No gifts. Just the company of friends. Honestly, I’d rather buy my own things. I have a better understanding of what needs I have, and what needs replacing. And, what I won’t replace. I have over the years, collected from secondhand shops, a good & very useable collection of vintage, patent pending, cookware & appliances. I don’t know how I could graciously open a gift of contemporary, Made In China, Box Store cookware. I’m sure the giver would be so enthusiastic, thinking they were doing me a kindness. And sure, the internet is. Unfortunately, the product is garbage.

Mindy

i am two days after Christmas and it definitely gets pushed to the side. In fact, I have family with birthdays just before Christmas and there have been times that my extended family will make a special cake and gift giving for them during our holiday get together and then claim that mine hasn’t arrived yet…and guess what, in their world it never arrives. My immediate family knows this irritates me, so they always make the extra effort. Once the holidays are over. It really just depends on who is around. Some people don’t understand that birthdays and Christmas are two separate things. My son who was born two days after July 4th doesn’t get shunned because we just had a barbecue and fireworks…just saying. Lol

Julia

January 21. Often overlooked and forgotten! My children March,July, May,always got to skip school for the day ,and go someplace special,zoo,Smithsonian, beach,it was their special day!

Anne

My birthday is December 29th. As the only child of Depression-era parents, having my birthday ‘slightly overlooked’ is a gross understatement. My parents were happy to HAVE another birthday and were not at all into celebrating. This has made me overcompensate and want a really big party with everyone there ON my birthday…….and for them to remember hat it’s my birthday without any prompting from me. Everyone is either out of town, partied out, or forgets my birthday. It has been really hard for me not to take the lack of attention personally. I will be 55 years old next week and I STILL struggle with my birthday every single year.

Tara

My birthday is December 10th. I think December birthdays should be illegal. It always turns into “HappyMerryBirthdaymas”. UGH! You have to wait ALL YEAR to celebrate anything and then it gets lumped into one. I did it correctly. I have only one child and her birthday is October.

Ken

Mine was on Dec.8th we had some celebrations when I was young. Used to get gifts and still do. I think it was far enough before Christmas.

Julie

My birthday is December 27th. When I was a kid we always had a party with the relatives on my birthday with separate gifts, cake, etc. even though it was an extremely busy time. We saw the family on Xmas Eve, Xmas day, the 26th for my great grandma’s birthday and then the 27th for mine. I don’t know of a birthday any other time of the year, so obviously I don’t miss something I never experienced. I would say the only drawbacks were that I was never able to celebrate in my school classroom AND since I grew up in Wisconsin if I got roller skates or a new bike for Xmas or my birthday I had to wait a very long time to use them. But again, I can’t complain as a December 27th birthday is all I know and there are much more important things in the world to worry about.

Tim

I was allowed to choose one of my Christmas presents for my birthday on the 24th. No cake. No party. My sister Cherie and daughter Katie always give me separate birthday and Christmas presents. That is very sweet of them, I think!

Jenn

My birthday is December 26. If I wanted to have friends over for a party, it was several weeks before Christmas. If I didnt have one, it was cool having Christmas presents, then birthday presents the next day. I have never gone to school or worked on my birthday yet, so that is always a bonus.

Rhianna

My birthday is January 5th, my Mothers was the 2nd. By the time Christmas, New Years and Moms birthday were dealt with, no one wanted to put any effort into my birthday, fair to say I held a lot of resentment for years over that. Any party I did try and put together usually got cancelled due to snow storms and over the years I have ended up working most of my birthdays. Last year I turned 55 on the 5th and treated myself to a week in Cuba on the beach……best birthday ever! Should have thought about taking a tropical holiday on my birthday a long time ago!

Carol

I always hated my birthday…..lived in NE Ohio and if we did have party no one could get there.I had 2 gifts that were store bought in the first 12 years of my life. With all the Christmas Holiday my mom was recuperating and would remember the night before my birthday and would hurry and make me something .As a child of the 50’s my mom made most of my clothes. So I almost always got a dress. The year I got a new pair of blue jeans I was so excited….all cotton in those days, the first timed they were washed….they shrank and became my sister’s . I have a grand daughter born Jan. 11 th and I always try to make it her special day.

Halley

My birthday is January 4th. I found my parents always did a good job of seperating the two when I was a kid. As an married adult I find they get blurred together more often. Often times we’ve over done it on Christmas, especially now having kids that the budget is tight come January. I always found it harder to have a birthday party because my birthday is so close to the to New Years and people tend to be partied out by then.

Erika

Wow! I never knew I shared a birthday with so many! I’m a 12/26er too (2:15 am!) and didn’t like my birthday when I was a kid. I only had 1 birthday party and that was 2 weeks before the actual day. My parents always did a good job of separating to 2 and I also loathe when people try to combine gifts. It shows a complete lack of forethought and originality! Totaly agree with the birthday paper and always tell people with kids who’s birthdays are in December to make a big deal about them. I had a coworker who’s b day is the 28gh and her family NEVER did anything for it… As an adult, I don’t mind my birthday, but it still hurts when people forget it. That reminds me! My parents 39th anniversary is tomorrow!!

Bev

My birthday is January 3rd. Most times my folks were so over extended by the holidays, my special day was overlooked. I used to share my bday with my sister in law and her bday was January 1st, but now she’s passed on and it’s just me…

Jen

My sisters bday is dec 28. Growing up we always made it a separate occasion but she still felt slighted. As an adult she made the decision to change her bday. So now we celebrate one month after- on Jan 28.

Elle

This questioner slighted Dec. 25th Birthdays. I am one. Pre or Post Xmas…lol
Never wrap a Xmas birthday girls present in holiday wrap make it special and use birthday wrapping paper. 🙂

Tabitha

My birthday is on Jan. 10th. My family was not big on parties so as a child I always felt cheated. I always remembered wanting a different birthday so I could have that great experience like others that don’t have birthdays around Christmas. But I am now 36 soon to be 37 so it’s all good now. It was definitely a childhood phase.

melanie moore

My son’s birthday is January 1st 1977, on New Year’s Day. He was the First Baby of Grayson County Texas, born right after midnight and had his picture in the paper. I always told him he is extra special to have been born on New Year’s Day and even to have been the 1st! I hope he still believes it.

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