For the past four years (this was year #4), I have hosted Christmas Eve at my house plus Christmas brunch at my house on Christmas morning. This is then followed two days later by Buggy’s birthday (poor girl was born December 27th).
Fortunately, hosting all this means I get a clean house for at least three days, but it can be stressful. Here are a few tips we have found helpful when dealing with a child’s birthday and the holidays:
* Christmas Eve we do an “easy” dinner. For the past few years, we have done a chili dinner on Christmas Eve. (Our tradition is dinner and then open presents, but a quick easy meal equals a quick easy clean up with more time for family.)
* Christmas morning is a quick easy brunch mid morning that consists of “add milk” muffins from a pouch, an easy egg bake that gets thrown together, orange juice, coffee and milk. Easy and just enough to fill you up until dinner.
* Christmas dinner is late afternoon and is more of a potluck. Everyone brings a holiday dish to contribute. This ensures that not one person/family is stuck cooking everything which reduces stress.
* Buggy’s birthday day, she picks out her dinner plan, I make her a cake and then just family comes over for dinner, presents and cake.
* We have learned that having her birthday party with friends before her birthday does not typically work out. With Thanksgiving and then Christmas, there is a lot of traveling and stress. After one failed attempt, we have learned to wait until after her birthday. This year, her party will be towards the end of January to allow for the holiday stress to dissipate.
* In addition, my mother in law’s rule is only invite as many kids as the child’s age. Now, I have heard this rule differ. I have heard some say 6 kids plus the birthday child is 7. We are allowing Buggy to invite 7 kids for her 7th birthday party.
I prefer to keep her birthday completely separate from the holiday chaos because I prefer her to have her own special day and not have to share it with anything else. If you prefer to mix holiday and birthday, there are some great tips over at the Marie Callender’s blog.