Bethel’s birthday is the 25th. Yes, she came eight weeks early and gave us a surprise Christmas present. When (adult) people find out, they immediately groan and make some sort of comment about how terrible that must be.
She’s now three. She doesn’t mind at all. However, since we’re aware that it could be a sore spot in years to come, we’ve been brainstorming some ways to keep her birthday from being lost in the shuffle.
One of the things we’ve done is make a birthday date with Daddy a big deal, an idea given to us by my sister-in-law Rebecca. On Christmas night, Lee took Bethel out for dinner. The other children will get a birthday date, too, but on Christmas, only Bethel has that day. There are other birthday privileges, too, like choosing dinner and desert. If that means we get macaroni for Christmas dinner, then so be it! These non-gift traditions make a clear distinction between birthday and Christmas.
When we do parties, I take away all Christmas decorations. I suspect from her personality that she won’t care too much, as long as she has balloons somewhere, but I do want to make sure that Christmas decorations don’t become a stand-in for the birthday decorations. That means no Christmas wrapping paper for presents.
We’re okay giving her presents on her birthday, but if she wants a birthday, she may not get a Christmas party. We’ll have her party on Thursday this year, but I think as long as she makes the choice, I don’t see it as being a problem. We’ll give her her birthday presents the day of the party.
Any other ideas? I tend to think that children take their cues from the adults around them. So if you talk to Bethel about her birthday, don’t tell her how terrible it is to share a birthday with baby Jesus. We tell her it’s a wonderful thing! Knowing Bethel, I suspect she’ll take it all in stride.
We’ll be back with our regular Wisdom Wednesday next week. I’m stuck on all the Proverbs I’ve been thinking through the last month or two, so if you want to share one, please do!