How to Celebrate a Christmas Birthday

A Christmas Birthday – How to Celebrate

Having a birthday that falls over the Christmas period can be a bit of a challenge. Everyone is so focused on Christmas day that birthdays in December are often forgotten. There are Christmas parties, Christmas dinner to plan, the gifts, family time, Christmas traditions to follow. So what if you have a child who has a Christmas birthday? How on earth do you celebrate a birthday in the midst of Christmas when you and everyone else has their Christmas hat on?

I have two kids, who’s birthdays are only 2 days apart, thankfully they are not in December otherwise that would be double the challenge. My husband’s birthday however, falls on Christmas day.

I’m big on birthday celebrations and always try to make them special. I’ve always made a big deal of his birthday. From the days we were dating and didn’t spend Christmas together, to being a married couple with kids. Although he’s a grown man and I know he wouldn’t mind so much if his birthday was just a normal Christmas day, I think he deserves the special attention of his birthday, just like anyone else.

Now that we have kids and Christmas has become so focused on the kids having a magical day, I try to make it even more special for him.

If you have a child who has a Christmas birthday, here’s the good and the bad and what you can do to make it special!

How to Celebrate a Christmas Birthday
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The Good Things About a Christmas Birthday

There are a few situations that make a Christmas birthday so special.

  1. Everyone is more relaxed and enjoying the Christmas holidays. Lots of people are off of work and able to enjoy the holidays, they might have been busy in the lead up to Christmas but with some time off of work, everyone is a little happier!
  2. Everyone is in the Christmas spirit. People seem to smile more, they are up for socialising and generally up for some fun.
  3. Christmas is always a special day! There will always be a big fuss on your birthday. It just can’t pass by like any other day of the year.
  4. You get a huge Christmas dinner! People put a lot of effort into Christmas dinner. Christmas dinner is one of the best meals of the year!
  5. Families come together. The one part about Christmas is it’s a great time to spend with family. If you’re lucky enough that you’re family aren’t at work (and you all get along!) it’s a time when you can all come together to enjoy the day.

The Not So Good Things About a Christmas Birthday

  1. Everywhere is shut. You can’t do a birthday outing or experience somewhere as everything is shut. You’ll have to have a fun day out before or after Christmas day.
  2. Your birthday is easily forgotten. With Christmas being such a focus, people often forget birthdays that fall around Christmas.
  3. Little effort is made (sometimes). If someone does remember your birthday, it’s easily combined with Christmas. Be it receiving a joint Christmas and birthday present or a joint card.
  4. Friends and Family are often busy. Everyone has their own plans for Christmas and the weeks around the big day are often packed with seeing friends and family. If you plan birthday celebrations, there might not be many people around to enjoy them with you.
  5. You can’t expect to see anyone on Christmas day. It’s highly unlikely that anyone outside of your immediate family will be able to see you for birthday celebrations on Christmas day!

With all that said and done, there are so many ways to make a Christmas birthday special. My suggestions below are focused on those who celebrate their birthday on Christmas day but most are pretty applicable to those with a birthday close to Christmas too.

How to Make a Christmas Birthday Special?

Split the Day into Two

Consider making the morning all about Christmas and the afternoon dedicated to the birthday celebrations. This could be that Christmas presents are opened in the morning and birthday presents in the afternoon. Or you could even throw a mini party in the afternoon after the Christmas celebrations are out of the way.

Have a Birthday Cake

We always have a birthday cake on Christmas day for my husband. Just like any other birthday in the family, there is birthday cake, candles and we sing happy birthday. I think this is especially important for children to have that special moment on their big day.

Separate Presents

This one is a must and one you hear often that is disappointing for those born in December. No child wants combined birthday and Christmas presents. Separate presents are a must. Even more so if they have siblings. If they see others receiving birthday presents and then getting more for Christmas they will want a few extra presents for their birthday too! OK, unless it’s an ultimate big ticket present. One which they would never have received as a separate presents but you can justify the spend if its combined then fair enough. If not, separate birthday and Christmas presents are a must!

Separate Received Gifts

There will likely be a lot of people who will give a combined Christmas and birthday present. You as a parent might feel disheartened and even a little put out, especially if the gift giver has children who you buy birthday and Christmas presents for. However, remember that Christmas can be an expensive time and many people won’t have planned ahead financially for your child’s birthday. You can always ask if the present is for birthday or Christmas and explain how your child opens each set at separate times of the day. This might even encourage people to buy separate gifts in the future.

Birthday Decorations

This goes right across the board. Firstly, make sure you have birthday wrapping paper and a birthday card! Don’t wrap birthday presents in Christmas paper for a start, it’s just not the same!

Birthday banners, balloons, a birthday badge or the like can add to the birthday theme at Christmas. It’s fine to buy items to match the colour scheme of Christmas décor. You might even be able to find some Christmas birthday decorations too. If these aren’t your style, go with the birthday theme of your choice. I always grab these items no later than November for my husband’s birthday. Any later and I struggle to find anything that isn’t green or red with Santa or snowflakes all over it. It requires planning ahead but it’s not as if I don’t know his birthday is coming!

Gift Experiences

As your birthday child is bound to get plenty of presents for Christmas, why not think of some experience gifts they can receive instead? This can be anything from a day out at a theme park, a trip to the toy store to choose a gift of their choice, a monthly subscription box could even fall into this category.

Continue Birthday Traditions

If you have any birthday traditions, you have as a family make sure you do this for your Christmas baby also!
This could be anything from a special breakfast to the way you sing Happy Birthday! You can even tweak any into a Christmassy theme if you must.

Celebrate Before or After Christmas

You could do the birthday basics on their birthday but throw a separate celebration the day before or after Christmas. This doesn’t have to be with those outside of your immediate family but just a way to put all of the focus onto the birthday child.

Plan an Early Party

Unfortunately, a lot of people go away during the holidays and many others too busy to attend a kids birthday party in the middle of their plans. Aim to have a party early December or even late November while the kids are still at school. That way they will still get to see their friends and have a party like everyone else.

Plan a Birthday Outing

Skip the party or gathering and head for a day out instead. Focus on a birthday experience with the immediate family. That way, there are no expectations from anyone else and your family can enjoy the day together. There are so many additional experience days during the Christmas holidays. While they might be focused around Christmas and winter they are still a lot of fun!

Have a Half Birthday

You could opt for a birthday in June! Choose a date half way through the year and plan a celebration for then instead. It might be less authentic but it can still be lots of fun. You could opt for a birthday party, a day out with a couple of friends or going somewhere fun with your family. Either way, summer is a great time to have a celebration and eat cake!

Accept and Acknowledge Christmas!

Don’t try to hide the fact that it’s Christmas! If you plan it well, and make their birthday special in it’s own right they will have a great time! Trying to ignore the time of year will likely cause negative feelings around having a birthday at Christmastime. Make sure your child has two lots of presents, a cake and a birthday celebration just like anyone else! Your child will know no different to having a birthday at Christmas. Their birthday comes along with Christmas trees, carols and days spent with family. It really is a special time of the year already, so all you need to do is add a little bit of birthday magic!


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  1. As a person born on 11 December, this post really spoke volumes to me. I can remember feeling as though I missed out a fair bit while growing up as the overwhelming focus during December was always Christmas, and I can remember often receiving birthday and Christmas presents as combined. It seemed to me to be a bit unfair. Having read this post, I can only imagine what your husband must have felt with his birthday actually falling on Christmas day! I just love the list of things you have shared here to help people recognise children’s birthdays in such a way that they don’t feel disadvantaged compared to their friends. You have really provided some wonderful advice here.

  2. I love this!
    My son’s birthday is December 21st and we always try really hard to find ways to separate it from Christmas.
    Thank you for some new ideas!

  3. Having a birthday during the Christmas period is definitely a challenge as most people are busy with their families. These are some great suggestions for how to keep this day special even with all the extra things going on. Separating gifts is a great idea, and I love the half birthday or the birthday outing so that your child can spend time and celebrate with friends (which is what’s most important!)

  4. I was just having this conversation with my husband who has a holiday birthday – he loves it! He said the same thing about everyone being on vacation and happy. I think separating presents is key – great tip.

  5. I actually have a few friends that their kids celebrate their birthdays around Christmas as well. It is a special time to celebrate both their special day, and Christmas. Birthday outings are always fun. I love these tips that you provided.

  6. A Christmas birthday definitely comes with its own advantages and challenges. I think giving gifts separately is key, and maybe having a birthday party on a different day. Most birthday parties aren’t actually on the correct day, for example if it’s a weekday, so it’s not that different from any other birthday in that regard. Your ‘half birthday’ idea is really cool, as well.

  7. I was never a fan of having a birthday anywhere near Christmas when I was growing up because it really did feel like a day to celebrate me was lumped into everything else going on, and it took away the special factor. Not to mention presents were also lumped into everything else too, and I hated that. It always felt like an excuse for my parents to not to have to buy me another present kind of thing. I do think the idea of a half birthday is fantastic though. That is a great way to avoid having our special day skewed by the holidays. Since the plague will likely still be a big issue when my birthday rolls around, the half birthday sounds even better.

  8. Subhashish Roy says:

    I have a few friends who have their birthday around Christmas and we seem to love it. We have a great time around those days. These are great ideas to really celebrate one’s birthday the best way.

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