Saturday, 11 February 2012

When your birthday falls on a national holiday...

Forcesofgeek.com
I have a guest post here, that I got in honour of my poor friend FL who has her birthday on Valentine's day, which sadly I can't make as AB and I have plans... well let's see how to manage it then!

There are 365 days each year and there are only a handful of holidays that take place each year. Unfortunately this means that there are thousands of people who have birthdays that take place on holidays every year.
Feeling overshadowed because your birthday falls on or near a holiday? Don't. It just means that you'll have to find unique ways to celebrate while still leaving room for holiday get-togethers you may be planning.

The following are a few ways that you can balance having a special birthday party with celebrating the holidays – with everyone winding up happy.

Having the Birthday and the Holiday Party Together
People live busy lives, so it may be hard to gather a group of people to attend multiple parties in a short period of time. This is especially true when the parties share a common special guest (the birthday “girl” or “boy”).To keep the costs of the party under control and to provide the best group of attendees possible, you could celebrate the party as a part of the holiday celebration. Feel guests out first on the idea. If they're in, then go for it!

Have the holiday party as you would in any other normal circumstance, with all your normal holiday traditions (for example, the kids opening a small present each at Christmas, or bake heart-shaped cookies on Valentine's Day). But for dessert, serve the birthday cake and sing Happy Birthday to the guest of honor with the whole group.

If presents for the guest of honor are involved, either follow up with that after dessert if the night isn't already too full, or thank guests politely for their gift and open all your presents after everyone leaves. Sometimes, this is the easier route. By making the birthday a part of the holiday process it will make the whole event flow naturally and basically force everyone in attendance to participate in the birthday portion.

Or you could avoid complications altogether by advising guests (not on the invites – spread the word via email, text or Evite) that no presents are expected. This will probably mean only close family members will bring gifts and will be unobtrusive about giving them, so you can put them in a back room with a hug and a thank you from the giver, then proceed with the holiday portion of your party
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Hold the Birthday Party on Another Day
If the birthday person is truly opposed to sharing their birthday with the holiday, you could hold the birthday a before or after the holiday event (two weeks should be fine). By leaving plenty of time between the two events, you will enable more people to be able to make plans to attend both events.
Also for the birthday party only invite those that are special to the guest of honor, rather than trying to have two huge get-togethers within a couple of weeks' time; you're more likely to have a good showing if it's casual. And of course, having the two separate events also allows you to focus the attention of the day to that person. In the case of children, for example, their feelings can be quite hurt if they're not the center of attention on their own “big day.”

A complication to this method is that people’s schedules are tight and people may have to ask for time off from work to attend either event. Asking for multiple days off at work looks bad to employers , let's face it. In this case, don't have the birthday party on the actual day if it's a weekday; make it as easy as possible for your guests to comfortably attend the birthday party and they're more likely to show.

The bottom line here is that birthdays are special and should be equally treated as such regardless of what day it falls on. So even if you are holding the party for the birthday on a separate day from the holiday, be sure to recognize the birthday on the actual day, even if it's a small meal with your immediate family and a rousting round of “Happy Birthday to You.” Plan well, and you'll have a very satisfying holiday and birthday.
Chris is a writer and editor of Themeaparty.com, a website devoted to birthday parties and entertaining tips. One of his cousins has a birthday Christmas Day, which he usually celebrates a week beforehand. One of his daughter's friends has a birthday on Valentine's Day, and last year she celebrated with a heart-filled Disney princess tea party.

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