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The Curse of the Close-to-Christmas Birthday

Masterfile

My younger daughter, Genie, has a birthday so close to Christmas—December 19th—that I’m never sure whether to sing “How old are you now?” or “Here comes Santa Claus!” as we bring out her cake. I also never know what to give her, since we don’t want her already overloaded with new toys when St. Nick shimmies down our chimney. Then there’s the problem of her party getting cancelled due to blizzards!

This year, I wised up and had her bash almost a month early. I also gave her the present she’d requested (a Rip-Stik scooter) in November, while the weather was still nice enough to enjoy it. I thought I’d done good—until her actual birthday, last Sunday. We’d had dinner at her favorite restaurant, and homemade ice-cream cake...but as we put Genie to bed, she said, “I got no gifts today.” She didn’t say it in a greedy way, just with the undisguised, heart-piercing disappointment little kids are so good at lobbing at their well-meaning parents. Sigh. Another less-than-terrific solution to my terrific kid’s birth-date dilemma.

Anyone else out there have a kid who was born so close to Christmas you can smell Santa’s reindeer? Or a kid born on the big day itself? What do YOU do?

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