Holiday Birthdays: Do You Have One? Does Your Child?


This weekend we went to the Train Park. Everywhere we looked, birthday parties and their accoutrement – balloons, streamers, piñatas and frosting-smeared table coverings – added a festive feel to an already spectacularly gorgeous February day. I couldn’t help but feel a familiar flutter of anticipation as I noticed that nearly every family had chosen a red, pink or Valentine color scheme for their party decorations.

c'est moi, turning 5

You see, my birthday is February 14.

My mom says that when I was a toddler, I believed all the decorations, parties and gifts were about ME – I didn’t understand the coexistence of my birthday and Valentine’s Day. In elementary school I felt a little disappointed that everyone else got to bring in cupcakes on their special day, while anything I brought in seemed to get lost in what was already a sugar-fueled and manic classroom party. But overall the upsides to a Valentine birthday have always outweighed the downsides, and I’ve enjoyed having a reason to celebrate on February 14th above and beyond/instead of/alongside the mushy gushy romantic stuff.

(Yes, it puts added pressure on my husband to pull together a birthday and Valentine’s Day all at once, but after ten years he’s a pro.)

c'est moi, turning 30 (with my daughter, my mom, and a 6mo prego belly)

As Scottsdale Moms Blog contributor Kirsten so brilliantly wrote a few months back, once you’re a mom most of the birthday focus goes into celebrating your little ones’ big days. My adult-sized birthday expectations are pretty low key, and as the kids get older I’m pretty sure that all the treats and trimmings of Valentine parties at school will overshadow my own celebration – and that’s totally okay.

All of this makes me wonder: what will my kids remember about their birthdays when they’re grown? What part will the time of year, the season, any coincidentally nearby holidays, play in their memories? Maybe our late April baby will remember beautiful outdoor weather, baseball, and spring (sometimes Easter) decorations. Maybe our early June child will associate his birthday with the end of school, Memorial Day long weekends, the NBA playoffs.

Yes, I’m a grown-up now, but there is a part of me that still gets a little giddy when the Valentine decorations come out – a freckle-nosed pipsqueak who wants an M&M cake and still thinks all the decorations are JUST for her. 

Do you have a holiday birthday? Does your child? How has the time of year shaped your birthday memories? How do you approach kids’ birthdays that fall at tricky times of the year?



  1. Mt daughter’s birthday is Veteran’s Day and so far its been great because we will have her birthday off, but i suppose that means that she won’t be able to celebrate at school on her actual birthday ever, but she will probably enjoy the day off more.

    • Yes, those 3day weekends are great as a working adult – with a Valentine birthday I usually get President’s Day weekend right after – perfect for weekend getaways too! 🙂

  2. My son’s birthday is three days before Christmas. We do his birthday party with friends in either early November or late January. My dad, mom, and grandmother’s birthdays all fall from December 20th to the 27th. Landing my kid right in the middle just makes the whole week of Christmas a big celebration. That’s the way we like it and my son thinks it’s fun to have his birthday right next to Jesus’ birthday!

  3. My son’s birthday is 6 days before Christmas, so he always has a Christmas tree up for his birthday. We make a huge effort to keep his birthday separate from Christmas. We don’t use any Christmas wrapping paper and we have non-Christmasy themes. My Mom (who has a January 6th birthday herself) always has a special half-birthday celebration with him in June, too, complete with a cupcake and a small gift. So far he just enjoys the whole birthday/Christmas season.

  4. My birthday is 10 days before Christmas, and I remember being most disappointed in friends who would get me Christmas/Birthday gifts. Seriously, you don’t need to get me ANYTHING, but please choose a holiday 😉 And, we did my birthday party in August, b/c all the kids were gone over Christmas break!

  5. I have a Christmas birthday and I totally love it. It was always a day when everyone was completely happy and together. As a parent, the only down side to having a Christmas birthday is that you no longer get to sleep in on your birthday. Ever. But it’s a trade-off that is worth it. One thing my family did while I was growing up was to divide the entire day in half. AM hours were Christmas and PM hours were birthday. Generally, people really go out of their way to make a distinction and that thought is in itself a great present.

    My husband is a New Years baby. He doesn’t love it now but it never bugged him too much growing up.

    We were actually kind of surprised our kids didn’t end up with holiday birthdays considering the trend.

  6. Nope. Not one in my whole family. But I love celebrating and love the reminders to make bdays around holidays special, too.

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