Sunday, December 30, 2007

Birthday Fun

To have a birthday near Christmas can really be a challenge. I always thought I had it rough celebrating a birthday two weeks after Christmas. Inevitably, I would go to the various grandparents' houses for Christmas and get the usual, "This present is for Christmas and your birthday." As a child, that was so disappointing! If my birthday were in June, no one would dare hand me a gift and say, "By the way, this is for your birthday and Christmas." The two very different celebrations should be treated as such--completely separate events!

Riley has it much worse. Throughout the year, when people randomly talk to us out and about, they usually ask Riley how old she is and her birth date. When she replies, "Christmas Eve," we usually get the expected responses, like, "Oh, a Christmas baby!" and "Oh, what a wonderful Christmas present you were!" and the like. It all may seem hunky-dory, but the reality is slightly different.

We do our best to make a big deal out of her birthday--to make it a special day completely separate from the holiday season--but doing so can be difficult. This year, she had two birthday parties and each grandparents' home. Check out the two cool cakes:

The Scooby Doo Cake

The Spiderman Cake

Overall, she had a wonderful time at each party and got so excited opening her presents. Unfortunately, by the time Christmas rolled around, she was sort of over opening gifts and the whole "holiday" thing. I mean, she had a birthday at my mom's house and my father's house on December 14th, then a party at preschool on December 18th, she celebrated with Charles' parents on December 23rd, opened our presents on her actual birthday December 24th, and then had Christmas the next day. One must admit: that's way too much for a 4-year-old child.

My mom had a good idea: to have one set of grandparents celebrate a "half birthday" on June 24th. That way, she could have a fun summer party and not have to wait a full year to have any fun toys or presents. I think we might actually try this next year and keep going with it until she's older and better understands the whole "birthday is the day before Christmas" thing.

Anyone have any other ideas?

This is really good cake!

A Spiderman bouncy ball!

Having a blast...

She finally got her Scooby Doo characters!