Before I had my fourth child, I never really paid much mind to birth dates. My oldest son was born at the end of May, my oldest daughter in early April, and my little girl in October. I had to look it up to see what astrological sign she was. (Libra, in case you were wondering.) But my last baby was born right before Christmas, and it sucks.
My due date was December 13. Close enough to the holidays but not so much as to cause any kind of conflict. But his intended arrival date came and went, and there was nary a sight of him anywhere. (I know, I checked.) No contractions, no water breaking, nothing. Each day, the calendar crept closer to Christmas, and then I started getting a little concerned. I really didn’t want to have a Christmas baby because, well, that would put a crimp into our holiday plans. Thankfully, our son was born at 2:34 p.m. on December 21. Two days later, we were home, just in time for the holidays.
So, let me just state this straight from the start. Any time you have a healthy, happy baby, (and you’re both doing well), is a complete and total blessing. It doesn’t matter what day on the calendar your baby makes his or her appearance. Christmas Day, Valentine’s Day, April Fool’s Day (which I narrowly avoided by delivering my oldest daughter on April 2, thank you very much), even somber days like September 11 or Yom Kippur. That said, there are some negative aspects to having your child being born so close to Christmas. Here are a handful.
Everyone Is Sick
There’s no getting around it. When you have a baby so close to the holidays, someone (or many someones) are sick. It might be one of your own kids, the birthday child himself, gasp, you. There’s an unwritten rule that someone has to be on antibiotics right before the holidays, and this means that there’s a good chance that you’re just waiting for the entire family to get infected.
The Weather Is Lousy
I live in Connecticut, where by Christmas we’ve probably had our eighth snowstorm of the season. And while having a white Christmas is definitely dreamy, bundling everyone up in snowsuits and getting them around town isn’t. The kids can’t really play outside (especially if there’s a swirling storm of snow happening), and more often than not, it’s dreary. Plus, bad weather leads to the fact that…
No One Is Coming To Your Kid’s Party
I tend to go a little (OK, a lot) over the top when it comes to my kids’ birthday parties. But for each birthday my son has had, our guest list got completely decimated. The phone calls and texts usually start coming in around 8 a.m. the day of the birthday: “I’m so sorry, Michelle is sick and can’t make it,” or “I have strep and don’t want to infect your family.” Having gone through it twice already, I know the drill, and I get it. People are either too sick to come, or they’re out of town and can’t make it. Either way, it stinks.
Your Kid Get All His Presents At Once
Sure, it’s nice to get a birthday present, and yes, you should be thankful for receiving it. Thing is, getting all your gifts in one shot — and then nothing for the rest of the yea r— is kind of a bummer for a kid. Our families always give my child a combo gift, but then you try explaining what a “birthmas present” is. Further adding to the confusion is that fact that 99% of his gifts are covered in holiday wrapping paper, which prompted my then 4-year-old to ask why her baby brother was getting all the Christmas presents. See, it’s messy.
No One Remembers Your Birthday
My little guy is still too small to realize that his Abuelita (Grandma in Spanish), forgot his birthday. Yep, it was a scene straight out of Sixteen Candles. And while grandparents live for that sh*t (to loosely quote Samantha Baker), everyone, including the abuelos, will most likely forget especially if your kid has a holiday birthday. I’ve found that a short and sweet Facebook post is just enough of a prompt that people need to remember his big day.
OK, So Here's The Silver Lining
Yes, yes, there are bunch of bummers when it comes to having your child so close to December 25. But then, there is a bright side that having a baby right before Christmas brings. In the midst of all the craziness, of the hustle and bustle that comes with the holidays, having my son’s birthday on December 21 means that for one day, we intentionally stop. We slow down. We put the holidays on hold and focus on our little guy and, really, our family. We make plans for the New Year, we set our intentions, and mostly, we are grateful for each other. So if you think about it, our son’s holiday birthday might just be the biggest gift of all.