Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Patrick's Birthday

This has been a confusing year for Patrick.  He doesn't "get" the whole Christmas thing yet-between the presents for birthday/Santa bringing them on Christmas Eve and then Jesus's birthday celebration and HIS birthday celebration-we had some frustrating 'trying to explain' moments and I just decided to give up on all the confusion and let him think what he wants and next year he'll understand more.  He spent a few frustrating moments in tears trying to convince me that Santa was coming the night of his birthday.  It was all too much for him, and I totally get that, because frankly, it was all too much for ME too!

Here's his Santa classroom visit...on Patrick's birthday.  He asked for a pair of shorts (basketball shorts is what he means) and a helmet.

On his actual (quiet) birthday:


Jeff and I decided to have a Christmas/birthday family party for him the night before Christmas Eve.  Jeff invited his friend who has a gift for games-he has a whole birthday trivia repertoire where all the guests try to guess Patrick's answers.  Like "What is Patrick's favorite food?"  And let me tell you-only a few answers I knew, because you can just never really guess what Patrick is thinking in that little head of his.  He loved being the center of attention.



Abbey was  HUGE help to me that day, decorating and preparing.


The only thing was-I was plumb worn out by Christmas.  I think we have to space it all better next year.  Christmas birthdays are hard aren't they?  I used to get annoyed when people told me that-I was due on Christmas Eve with Patrick (he came the 20th), but now I am realizing the truth in that statement.  It's hard to give each its due and still have energy left to enjoy it all.  But I wouldn't trade him for the world of course, and I remember the year he was born-in the quiet hospital and then a great excuse to be at home on Christmas Day.  It was calm and peaceful and I had a new little baby and what more could I want?

32 comments :

  1. My baby girl also turned 4 this year on December 14th. I struggle with the Christmas birthday thing too. Best approach I've found is to spend her birthday making a big deal about HER, but keeping the presents simple. Like you said, at this age what they want most is your attention. I plan to use birthday money from grandparents to buy her a new bike in the spring.

    From the look on his face, I don't think there's any way he felt "shortchanged!"

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  2. I have a daughter, Sara, whose birthday is on Christmas day (just turned 15)and another daughter, Chloe, whose birthday is on the 27th (is turning 13 today). Great planning on my part right?:)

    On Christmas we celebrated Sara's birthday in the morning (before church) and Christmas after. All birthday wrapping and she is happy.
    Now that she is in her teenage years she plans a party with her December friends and has a great time. That has been a blessing for her to feel like her birthdays are separate and special.

    Last summer we had a half surprise birthday for Chloe and that was a hit. So today, I will take her shopping and we will have a quiet celebration for her tonight.

    December birthday are tough. It looks like you have a great handle on it though. Your son is so darling and looks just as happy as ever. He will understand things a little better as he grows.

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  3. I feel your pain - my daughter turned 2 on the 12/23 and by christmas morning, she's just didn't really care what was under the tree, she wanted to play with her birthday gifts instead. I think next year my husband and i decided to celebrate more of the 1/2 birthday than the actual birthday.

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  4. Okay...that last picture is priceless Sarah. What a sweet boy.

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  5. LOVE the idea about the game where everyone guesses his favorite~stashing that in my brain for future use! Hailey's bday was on the 23rd and Landon's is on the 29th...what were we thinking?! It wears me out, trying to make them special days without mixing it in with Christmas. My favorite Christmas was bringing her home from the hospital :)

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  6. Ugh...I totally understand all of this with Caitlin having her bday on the 22nd. I always try and separate all the celebrations and I am not sure even understands what's going on anyway (like Patrick). We just went for pizza with the grandparents this year, but when we start doing parties I think I will do them in early January.

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  7. I'm a Christmas Eve baby. And I truly appreciate all that my mom and family did to make my birth "day" as special even though it was the day before the big Christmas celebration. I never felt slighted or upset my birthday came on Christmas Eve. It's all I ever knew... I got birthday presents AND Christmas presents; in different paper though :D and all was great. I'm sure Patrick will grow up feeling the same. You'll just have an extra busy December :)

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  8. Two of my three children have December birthdays. One on the 13th and one on the 22nd. I did parties for both this year, plus the holiday parties at their school. (That is not going to happen ever again. ) I was completely exhausted on the 23rd, facing a long list of Christmas to dos. I was not exactly in the Christmas spirit this year, after a little tiff with my husband where he rightly called me out on it I kicked it into to gear on the 24th and had a wonderful Christmas. When my first was born on the 13th, we spent his first years waiting to do anything for Christmas until after his birthday. When his sister came along three years later on the 22nd, we gave up on that plan. December is just a huge challenge for us. I work full-time outside our home, but saved vacation to take Fridays off and the week before Christmas off. That helped a lot. Despite, taking the family picture for holiday cards on Halloween and ordering the cards at Thanksgiving, I can report that our holiday cards are all still sitting on my hutch waiting to be sent. Maybe this week. Argh!! I think I'm going to write a note to myself that says it is okay to get some the the December stuff done in November or even October.

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  9. just had baby#3 on the 21st. thanks for the thoughts.

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  10. My boys' birthdays are Dec. 15 and 19. December is as exhausting as it gets.

    Here's to hibernating all of January! ;)

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  11. My six yer old was born on Dec 23rd. He is still confused and thinks Santa brings everyone gifts to celebrate his birthday. After all it ends up being 3 days of gifts: birthdday on the 23rd, Christmas eve with extended family on the 24th, and Christmas on the 25th. We have really worked with him to help him understand that Christmas is about Jesus and the birth of Jesus. He is starting to understand better. And I think we may start having his birthday party a few weeks early just to space things. I agree it is exhausting...but fun!

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  12. Our second boy, Henry, was 5 on the 21st. We had his friends party a couple of weeks before and then a special "just family" dinner the night of his birthday. Some years it's at a restaurant of his choice, very exciting for him and easy for me! Last year he thought there was a parade in his honor as the wait staff sang to him. I also like the idea of the 1/2 birthday, but at this point we just try really hard to keep focused and not become overwhelmed.

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  13. I love reading your blog, Sarah. If it makes you feel better, my birthday is 12/21 and I never noticed any harried-ness on my mother's part growing up, just as I'm sure Patrick doesn't. My daughter just turned 3 on 12/3 and even that was a bit much for me - it all felt like toooo much. She, though, was happy as a clam. I think every child just feels special on their birthday, no matter when. Happy New Year!

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  14. That looks like such a great birthday party for Patrick! Even if mommy was worn out ;)

    My nephew's birthday is 12/21 and they try to have it the weekend before that most years. Now his parents are divorced so that makes it even more complicated on what day they can have a party. This year they had it on the 18th. Pizza, cake, presents with a few friends from school/the neighborhood and our family. I'm pretty sure he had a ball.

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  15. My son just turned 5 on Christmas day and I was absolutely exhausted by the end of the night! I'm glad to know I wasn't the only one.

    (My son didn't understand the difference between bday and Christmas until this past... I think it finally clicked.)

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  16. Our daughter was due Christmas Day and arrived on Christmas Eve; she turned 5 this year and I have tried every year to keep things completely separate. We have had a birthday party each year for her earlier in the month and then we have normally spent her actual birthday with just the three of us. I make sure all her presents are not wrapped together and kept completely separate. It gets a little confusing, but I try not to make it too much (at least for now!) I don't know how we will handle it as she gets older, but for now it has worked really well for us.

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  17. THese pictures almost made me cry because my little blonde haired boy will be 3 in 2 months...

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  18. I see from all the comments there are several December birthday's. I am a December birthday and over the years I have heard so many suggestions like half birthday's etc. There is one that stood out to me...a girlfriends mom hosted her birthday every year before Christmas and she always included the special time of year that they were celebrating and the loot/goodie bags included a christmas ornament. I love that idea. I am after Christmas but before New Years so I just wanted birthday paper. I never had friend birthday parties just family (we had six cousins every year for christmas so that was enough for my parents). I have great memories of my celebrations.

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  19. One of my grand daughters was born on 27th December and is 4 this year! I remember it very vividly as my son went back and forwards to the hospital as there were a couple of false alarms on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day! We make a very special fuss of her so that her birthday does not get washed into Christmas Celebrations. Love the birthday games look like he had a wonderful time with family.
    Happy New Year I am very happy I found your blog.

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  20. My own birthday is on the 23RD and I have to admit I've always hated it. It just felt that with the Christmas business I've never actually enjoyed either as a child or now. One year I tried to change it to June 23rd and no one was availablwe either.

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  21. My boys are 12/22 and 12/6!!! Campbell just turned 10 and Christian 4! Looks like he and Patrick were just a few weeks apart :) We still struggle to squeeze it all in and keep Christmas seperate from birthdays! Hope your Holidays are blessed!

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  22. I had a hard time with my birthday until I was 8 or 9 I think. I was born on the 30th and I remember (or I was told this story enough times I feel I remember) that I was convinced Santa came for me on my birthday. I was also convinced that New Years parties were for me. That was mostly because my family would get together on New Years Eve to celebrate and a family member would bring a birthday cake to celebrate my birthday. It was until I was 8 or 9 I understood the difference. It didn't help that my two best friends (who are twins) were born on the 21st and had similar beliefs about Santa and their birthday. I think it's just part of the territory of being a "Christmas/New Years baby"

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  23. My daughter just turned 7 on Christmas Eve, and so far she loves it. We live far from family, but usually visit on holidays, so she often gets a little family party at Thanksgiving with one half of the family and a celebration on Christmas Eve morning with the other half of the family. I keep it very low key and just the family that we are with. Cake, simple games, a few presents. I wait to have a friend party when I have recovered from the holidays. Sometime in Jan. or Feb. She thinks that she is special she is born at the same time as Jesus:)

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  24. I can't believe your baby is 4 Sarah!! What a little doll he is. CUTEST face. Really. And I'm quite sure you're right. Christmas about does me in every year so I can only imagine doing a birthday too. You are amazing! And so is Patrick. :)

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  25. My son's birthday is the 11th of Dec and I've never celebrated it in his month besides a simple cake with family. Usually we celebrate it in October during Halloween weekend so the kids can come dressed in costumes. My neighbor laughs at me every year that my son will grow up confused but it works for us. I can devote all my time to his party in Oct, have family over on his real birthday, and celebrate all that comes with Christmas without losing my mind.

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  26. Wow, after reading your blog and the other comments, I'm not the only one exhausted with Christmas/Birthday. My son was 3 on Dec. 26. I tried to do a full Christmas with family (24th my family, 25th my husbands family) and then a birthday party on the 26th. That is three full days of cooking and presents. I'm exhausted. There has got to be a better plan. Maybe the half birthday is the answer.

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  27. Our oldest has a Christmas day birthday (12/25)! He was 5 weeks early so we really didn't plan it (I remember a very intense conversation with my husband on the way to the hospital - my water had already broken at 8:30 am 12/25 - and I was saying something like 'there's no way he will be born tomorrow, is there?') We've kind of rolled with it and we do a birthday/Christmas croissant in the morning with HBD song and a candle and then he decorates his birthday cake that night at my mom and dad's and opens birthday presents. It's been fun so far! We'll see how it goes when we get older! Also, thank you so much for your "gift list". I think the Plasma Car was the family's favorite - we had to kick the older kids off of it so the younger kids could enjoy! And we've had a lot of fun with MagnaTiles!!

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  28. I JUST had a baby on the 20th, so I'm loving keeping up with your birthday ideas for your sweet Patrick!

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  29. We have a birthday to celebrate too! Our son arrived on the 21st, 11 days behind my schedule :)
    We have a friend party the second weekend of the month and then a family elaboration on us birthday. He loves having a birthday in December because he shares his birthday month with Jesus! It's so sweet!

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  30. That is the coolest birthday party ever! I am so behind on blog reading. Happy (late) birthday to sweet Patrick, cannot believe he is four years old!

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  31. What a cutie. Our kids are birthday twins! My daughter turned 4 on the 20th as well. It makes for a very EXCITING week!

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  32. Oh he's such a cutie! I have 2 girls born in December...the 19th and 21st. I am also pretty worn out by Christmas. But it's all worth it and it makes the holidays that much more special!

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