My nephews were both born in December….which of course means that they run the risk of being short-changed on birthday celebrations because it’s so close to Christmas. From the time they were just tiny little guys, my brother and his wife celebrated their half-birthdays. At the halfway point between one birthday and the next, they would get to have a small birthday celebration, complete with half a cake. It was great for them because not only were they assured of a birthday celebration that was completely separate from Christmas but because it took place in the summer, they could receive summer themed items as well.
I always thought this was a great idea but my daughter was born in June. If I had celebrated her half-birthday, it would have hit very close to Christmas and kind of would defeat the purpose. However, we celebrated “unbirthdays”! For these, there were a number of ways we could do it. Sometimes when things had been particularly stressful or I knew that my daughter really needed a boost, I’d just plan an unbirthday party for her to bring a little fun back into our lives. Other times, we’d do a “lottery” and draw names of family members out of the hat – whoever’s name was drawn was the unbirthday party recipient. Or, we’d choose names, Secret Santa style, and we’d have an unbirthday party for all of us. We’d set a limit of $1 (before taxes) and take a trip to the dollar store to get our gifts for each other. Or we’d make a homemade gift.
Flickr, Will Clayton
There are other ways to celebrate unbirthdays too. Have a little birthday party for a relative who lives faraway – you could go on Skype to sing Happy Birthday to them and eat some cake together. From the time my daughter was a year and a half old, we began celebrating Big Bird’s (my daughter’s favourite at the time) birthday every Spring (he was born on the first day of Spring!). When she got older, there were times that we’d choose someone special to commemorate and celebrate with a party – perhaps someone who had taken particular significance in our lives that year. It could be a favourite celebrity like Audrey Hepburn, composer like Tchaikovsky, author, my daughter’s patron saint the year she was confirmed, a family pet, or even one of her favourite dolls or stuffed toys. The parties didn’t need to be elaborate. Even just having a special dessert for dinner that night (dessert was not a regular event in our house) added a moment of fun to the day. Add a few other details if you want to turn it into a full family night celebration! I kept a package of balloons and streamers, some birthday candles, a Happy Birthday banner, leftover birthday party plates, and a few inexpensive gifts on hand for just such occasions.
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