Ginnie Graham: Make sure birthdays near holidays are merry, too
BY GINNIE GRAHAM World Staff Writer
Wednesday, December 26, 2012
12/26/12 at 3:27 AM
My devout Catholic grandmother loved that her birthday was on Christmas Day.
She was surrounded by her children and grandchildren opening gifts, going to church and having a feast.
Now that I'm grown up, I still think she came up on the short end of the celebration.
But not nearly as bad as people with birthdays between Christmas and the first of the year.
After feting the son of God, families are hard-pressed to gather again, and money is usually tight.
Making it special: Parents scramble to make up for it.
There's a rule in the home of Tracy Kennedy, spokeswoman at the University of Oklahoma-Tulsa: No birthday gifts at Christmas for her daughter, who was born Jan. 4.
And a Christmas present cannot count for both her birthday and the holiday.
"The one nice thing is that as they get older and have friend parties, most friends are around and ready for a party because it is right before they go back to school," she said.
My son is in this situation with a Jan. 2 birthday.
He missed the cool "New Year's baby" moniker, and his friends are usually still at Grandma's house on his big day.
So he gets to choose where to eat on his birthday, with a party promised after school starts.
Post-holiday birthdays have a couple of benefits - sales give a chance for good gifts and party locations may have discounts.
Tulsa mom Jennifer Merle takes down Christmas decorations right after the holiday to prep for her son's birthday on Jan. 7.
She always keeps Max's celebration separate with a party tuned to his interest. Last year, it was all-out football.
"Everyone showed up sporting their favorite team," she said. "We spray painted the yard to look like a field and had stadium food - hot dogs, nachos and all the fixin's. Best party yet."
Sharing is caring: The worst must be the Dec. 26 birthdays.
But my colleague, reporter Kevin Canfield, says it's not so bad.
He not only commemorates his birthday the day after Christmas, he did so while sharing it with a twin in a house of 10 children.
Plus, he had an older brother with a birthday Christmas Day.
His mother would throw a party for the three the week before.
"I didn't mind it because Christmas was a really big deal, and we all looked forward to it," he said. "I have good memories of Christmas."
But what kind of gifts did he get?
"There were 10 kids, so probably not much," he said. "But I still remember Christmas as a good time."
No short-changing: Maybe it's just the families concerned about our loved ones being shortchanged.
My sister will go DEFCON 1 on anyone lumping her husband's mid-month birthday with Christmas.
Some parents throw "half-birthday" parties in the summer.
Birthday trees are used to put birthday presents under, and gifts are never wrapped in holiday paper.
A co-worker with a December birthday said her mother never made these demands, teaching graciousness to accept all gifts with no complaint.
The focus was on the extraordinary feeling to be born near a religious holiday.
So maybe my grandma really didn't mind sharing her special day.
She certainly made us feel special just sharing that time with her.
Original Print Headline: Make sure birthdays at holidays are merry, too