10 things only people with Christmas birthdays know

Number seven: Christmas paper never, ever belongs on birthday presents.

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I was born on December 20. When I was younger, I did not realize how close my birthday was to the Yuletide. That’s because when children are waiting for Christmas morning, five days might as well be five months long (kind of like dog years). It just added to the merriment: another party to look forward to, another way to wind up to the main event.

It wasn’t until I grew up and married a man with a December 26 birthday that I felt the full impact of what it means to share a birthday week with Jesus. I discovered the challenges of continuing to maintain a celebratory mood when you are exhausted, overfed, and buried under a pile of crumpled gift wrap, collapsed boxes and dead batteries. To top it all off, his mother (my mother-in-law) was born December 25 which, of course, is the big day itself: Christmas.

MORE TO READ: 20 Christmas baby names that express love and joy

So over the years, I like to think that the three of us have become experts in the subject of holiday-birthdays. We’ve realized that we share a bond that cannot be broken. We are all Christmas babies. And, even if that creates a few party planning complications from time to time, we’re all very thankful for that fact.

This year, in the spirit of giving, I will let you in on the secret of what only people with Christmas birthdays know:

1. We do not feel over-looked or cheated by being Christmas babies. We just let you believe that so you’ll get us an especially nice gift and make some extra fuss over us on our birthdays. Gee, I’m feeling better already. Thanks!

2. In fact, we take great pleasure in the fact that the whole world is celebrating along with us. The general good mood of the populace spills over onto our own big day. It bubbles up around the edges of every conversation. It sparkles on the darkest winter days.

3. Carol of the Bells is our anthem. Peace on Earth is our goal. (Okay, that’s lofty, we know. But somebody has to step up.)

4. We love getting your Christmas greeting cards and putting them up on the fridge (it really is one of the joys of the season), but when we see a stack of fresh mail, a small part of us is hoping there might be a birthday card somewhere in there, too.

5. We are only 85 percent human. Secret DNA tests show that our genetic makeup is also 10 percent Christmas cookie and 5 percent candy cane. If we could, we would probably live in a gingerbread house.

6. Our birthdays are inexorably tied to jingling bells, talking snowmen, little drummer boys, mistletoe kisses and flying reindeer. That’s right: pure magic surrounds us. Not to mention miracles, starting with the birth of the baby Jesus. And so, we believe. Deeply. With a capital B.

7. Christmas paper never, ever belongs on birthday presents.

8. The pretty, twinkly lights on all the houses are really just extra birthday candles on all our cakes. And, by the way, even though we do love those Christmas cookies, birthday cake is still very much appreciated. For holiday birthday cake baking inspiration click here. (Hint, hint.)

9. The whole month of December is festive and family-focused, full of joy and light and love, which makes our birthdays feel so much greater than a single day. While, say, a June birthday celebration might end at midnight, our December ones sometimes stretch right up to the New Year. (Little known fact: Christmas babies are behind the move to start of the celebration of the season on Halloween. As our group’s efforts continue, expect the Yuletide season to start on the 4th of July.)

10. Now that we’ve reached number 10, I’m starting to feel that this list should have had 25 things on it. (There’s just something about that number, isn’t there?—But let me leave you with this last Christmas baby insight: we’re proud to share in this special time, full of merriment and laughter. And we’re also grateful to have that extra seasonal spirit-booster because it helps to remind us of the things that really matter with each passing year: wisdom, kindness, loved ones, and taking the time to wish each other peace and good will … and maybe the occasional “happy birthday.”

Are you a Christmas baby? Tell us what you would add to this list!

Antonia van der Meer
Antonia van der Meer

Antonia van der Meer is a magazine writer and the author of “Beach House Happy: The Joy of Living by the Water.”

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