Written by Amy Beecham
Birthday celebrations are supposed to be all about you, so how does it feel sharing them with two of the world’s biggest events?
Our birthdays are one of the things we look forward to most as a child: counting down the days, planning the parties, sending out the invites to everyone in our class and blowing out the candles as they watch.
But once we reach adulthood, past the sweet 16, the wild 18th and perhaps even the bougie 30th, the magic does tend to wear off.
Experiencing ‘birthday blues’ is common all year round, but if you have a festive birthday, falling sometime between Christmas and new year, the celebrations can fall even more flat.
In one way, you could look at a festive birthday as a built-in, guaranteed party. Whether it’s at home or outside, everyone is in a mood to party. There will always be something to do, an event to participate in. There might even be fireworks laid on. Except, the focus isn’t exactly all on you.
And, let’s not forget the endless diary clashes, people isolating in the run-up to celebrations with their family and the fact that everyone in the world is celebrating alongside you. It’s easy to feel somewhat overshadowed on your big day.
“When I was younger, I really used to hate having a Christmas birthday,” says Grace, 23. “I used to get really jealous of the people who could come into school and you’d get to sit on a special birthday cushion and give everyone sweets. But I never used to get that because my birthday was in the Christmas holidays.”
Now, she says she’s made her peace with it. “I obviously can’t change my birthday, but I have found that over the last few years especially, my celebrations have always been cancelled due to both Covid and working in retail at the time.”
Kirsty, who’s birthday falls on Christmas Eve, says that she actually enjoys being a Christmas baby. “I actually really like it,” she tells Stylist. “Pre-Covid, my whole family would always be getting together around my birthday, whereas my sister who has her birthday in the summer never got to share it with them too.”
Kirsty says that her family keeps her birthday and Christmas very separate, so she never feels like it’s merged or she’s missing out. “Though when I was younger, I used to hate having to wait a whole year to ask for things,” she adds.
Both Kirsty and Grace do agree that it can be hard to find time to celebrate during the festive season, though. “People are usually busy with family, work parties or away, so I struggle to find a good time,” Kirsty admits.
“It’s just that busy time of year,” Grace adds. “And I really don’t like joining Christmas and birthday celebrations together. Joint gifts are fine, but you wouldn’t want your birthday to be tacked on to something else at any other time of year. If we’re going out, I’m afraid it’s for my birthday and my birthday only.”
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