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When I was a kid birthdays were the best. I'm a June baby, so other than graduation parties there's not much competition around that time of the year. In fact, until I got older I never even thought abut how blessed I was to have a summertime birthday.
That's not the case for everyone though. I actually have several friends and family members who have a birthday in December, which may just be the most un-lucky month of the year to have a birthday with all of the countless events going on every weekend.
But what may be the utmost unlucky birthday (in my opinion) would have to fall on my Dad. You see, he was born on Christmas Eve. I suppose he could have ended up a Christmas baby....that would have topped it!
None the less, he always seems to get his birthday lumped up with Christmas.
I can't even imagine it as a kid - all of your presents for the whole year falling within a 24hr time period, and even if there was a separate celebration, it's just not the same attention as summertime birthday. Even my daughter Emma, who's birthday is January 14th seems to get rushed through sometimes because everyone is just recovering from shopping for countless presents and festivities from a couple weeks prior, and her birthday seems to sneak up on us every year! I'm making it a point this year to really go all out for her special day, and I will definitely keep you informed. :)
Anyways, even though my Dad now lives a few hours away from me, we always try to do a little something special for him that is completely unrelated to the holidays - starting with Hallmark Cards.
Who doesn't love Hallmark cards?
There's something that is so special about them when you open them and find that the message is perfectly chosen just for you. I took the kids to Walmart where they have an amazing selection of Hallmark cards to choose from, and each one of us picked out a card to send to "Papa".
Then we waited for the phone call.
He loved it. We all chatted on the phone, wishing him a Happy Birthday, then followed by a Merry Christmas...
1. Have your entire family pick out a card, not just one from the group. Sometimes the little kids pick out a silly one or one that's maybe not what you think is right...but let them. Then let them scribble all over it if they want, it's their gift, let them 'personalize' it.
2. Make sure you keep birthday separate from Christmas. Some people may not care if their birthday cards arrive with their Christmas cards, but I really think its important not to merge the two together.
3. Create something. I know during the holidays everyone is trying to find some extra money. It seems we spend so much in a three week period! I love the idea of creating something for someone with a December birthday, because it means you thought enough about them to take the time to make something, and not just buy one more gift on Black Friday.
4. Give them a gift that will last beyond the holidays. Perhaps a spa gift certificate, or some tickets to an event that will happen after the holidays... something that they can do later on that they can after the craziness of the month has ended. One year I gave my Dad concert tickets, I've also given my friends restaurant gift cards and basketball game tickets. It will help extend their birthday celebrating beyond December.
5. Tell them how special they are. In our new online world, so often we just send a Facebook message or an email wishing someone a happy birthday, and it just isn't the same as a card sent in the mail and followed by a phone call...not a text message, a phone conversation. Leave a voicemail singing them Happy Birthday! It shows that you took an extra minute out of your day to connect with them on their day.
For more great Holiday ideas, check out the Live SoFab online magazine which features Hallmark this month!
Remember, it truly is the thought that counts when it comes to birthdays. It's one of my goals for the New Year to make my friends and family's birthday's special.
After all, that gold crown really does bring smiles upon peoples faces.