You celebrate birthdays to celebrate the person.
You don’t throw parties, hire clowns or rent bouncy houses to show off to your friends or make yourself feel like you got a #parentingwin.
The season is upon us. You are probably assuming I am going to talk about the Christmas season. However, the blogging hemisphere is saturated with holiday posts. And because I don’t normally do mainstream anything; this post is about the birthday season. Yes, did you realize that people actually also have birthday’s this time a year?
My husband and I decided before we even had kids, we did not want to have a child around the holidays. I listened to the stories told by my grandmother whose birthday is December 24. She’d tell me about this one doll she got for her birthday. But that doll turned into being the only gift she got for Christmas annnnd it was the only gift her two other sisters got as well. So she had to share her birthday/Christmas gift with her two sisters. She hated how it never seemed like it was her day because it was always overshadowed by red and green everywhere. I swore I would never do that to a child. My son’s birthday is December 17th. God has a very good sense of humor.
There are a lot of issues we have ran into when trying to celebrate a child with a birthday around the holidays. Luckily, I learned a lot from my grandma and that was don’t mix the two.
Lesson One is never wrap birthday gifts in Christmas paper. So we don’t. We will do whatever we can to avoid that. We actually thought we finished wrapping everything last night and ran into another gift with no birthday paper left. So I dug deep into my stash of tissue paper and gift bags to find a boy birthday bag. I found one and everything was saved. If I hadn’t found it we simply would have run to the store at 11pm that night.
No short cuts here. I don’t care that in the next 24 hours he will rip the paper off and not realize the stress I went through trying to find that bag or running out to buy wrapping paper. But that’s the thing; he shouldn’t. He shouldn’t know that we try so hard to separate his birthday from the holidays because who else during the year has to struggle with Christmas vomiting on you as soon as you walk into a store? I don’t want our son to realize that it’s a bother to be born this time of year.
However, there is a larger issue and it isn’t about the time of year he was born. The issue is actually with birthday parties.
There is the fact that so many families leave for vacation around this time of year. His birthday always falls on the eve of winter break starting. Throwing a parting gets put on the back burner. We could send out an invite to every child in the class and over 95% can’t make it. Furthermore, over 3 kids and our son wouldn’t even want to go himself. It’s one of those Autism things for him.
There is the other fact that we ain’t made of money. If I remember correctly, nobody has yet to find the money tree. Even if you held a party at your house, with home made everything and did nothing- it would still cost you your first born. And I kinda like him.
When he was younger we threw a large party for his birthday. There were over 20 people outside, kids bouncing off the walls of the bouncy house and more running around from sugar highs. However, our son was inside our house, under a table, eating the frosting out of the jar. He wanted nothing to do with his own party. We were so sad for him. But he was so happy. We learned even though we loved celebrating big for our kid, he did not. From there on out, we only invited 2-3 kids and “kept everything low key”.
In the past decade since my children have started school; schools have started demanding that everyone in the class is invited to parties to avoid the feeling of disclusion. They want every child to be invited. Yadda, yadda, yadda. I get it.
I will openly say I will never invite every child in my kids class to my children’s birthday party. Suck it up buttercup because it won’t happen. It won’t happen on the behalf of the happiness of my son.
Like I said before “a birthday is to celebrate the person”. Throwing a party with every child invited would make my son extremely uncomfortable (including my bank account). My job as a mom, isn’t to please the schools demands, but to bring joy to my child.