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What Not to Say to a Mom With a December Due Date

When my doctor told me my due date for my daughter was December 17, I didn’t think anything of it.  We were just thrilled to be having a baby. The due date doesn’t matter, right? Right?!

We began telling friends and family that we were expecting, and whenever we mentioned the due date, we noticed a trend in their reactions. It would start with a sympathetic look, followed by a comment.

“Oh, I hope she’s not born on Christmas!”

“December birthdays are the worst.”

“She’s going to get a Birthday/Christmas combo gift every year!”

“My sister/cousin/hairdresser was born near Christmas and hates it!”

You get the idea.

Those interactions left me feeling pressured to give my daughter the perfect birth date. What kind of mom would I be if I had her on or close to Christmas? She would be doomed to have a terrible birthday for the rest of her life! I made a promise to myself and my unborn daughter that I would do everything in my power to have her before the holidays.

As it turned out, she had other plans. My due date came and went, and she showed no signs of budging anytime soon. The holidays were inching closer and closer, so I opted to be induced on December 22 thinking she’d be born that night or the following day and we’d be home in time for Christmas fun. Boy, was I wrong! After 30 hours of labor, our beautiful Abigail made her appearance at 6:20am on December 24. A Christmas Eve angel! And guess what, the date didn’t matter. I was so overjoyed to finally be holding this precious girl that we waited 41 weeks to meet.

abby birthday3

One day old.

What I’ve learned from my experience is that there’s no such thing as “the perfect due date.” Unless you’re being scheduled for a C-section, you have no control over which date your baby is born. Your only option is to make the most of your child’s birthday, no matter what date it happens to be.

Abigail will be celebrating her second birthday this month, on Christmas Eve. To this day, when people ask when her birthday is, we’re often met with the same sympathetic looks and comments. I no longer let those comments get to me. While having a birthday around the holidays is not ideal for everyone, we’re making it work. My husband and I have promised each other to celebrate her birthday the same way we would if it fell on any other day, with a few minor adjustments. Parties may have to be earlier in the month, we may be out of town or traveling on her actual birthday, and the house may be filled with balloons, streamers, AND a Christmas tree. But the chaos of Christmas can be put aside for a day to celebrate her, our Abigail.

abby birthday 2

The next time you encounter a mom who is due to give birth in December, instead of telling her what a terrible time of year it is for birthdays, offer her a smile and “congratulations” instead. She’ll thank you!

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10 Responses to What Not to Say to a Mom With a December Due Date

  1. Gail Harrison December 10, 2015 at 1:34 am #

    I can totally relate! My third child (and only daughter) was born on Dec.23 and came home on Christmas Day. I went to bed the evening of the 22nd and prayed to God that if I didn’t have my child before the 23rd that it would be after Christmas, that I did not want to conflict with the celebrated (not necessarily proven) birth of Christ. I purposely did not count down the days before Christmas with my then 5 and 2 1/2 year old sons and managed to extract one more day out of December as we celebrated Santa’s bounty on the morning of the 26th since my husband and I did not bring our beautiful girl home until the afternoon of the the 25th. I made a vow to never wrap her birthday gifts in Christmas paper and have NEVER had a combined birthday/Christmas gift. I did not set her apart from the boys and have a “half birthday” Sure, she feels as if she gets everything at one time of the year and I am sure that she wishes that her special day was not in December, but I am thankful for the gift she gave us 17 years ago and that she would not be the person she is today if her birth had not been chosen by someone other than myself.

  2. Renee December 11, 2015 at 3:24 pm #

    My oldest was due 12/31 but came on 12/10. Even though it was a c-section we has no choice. Her cord was very short and the placenta was starting to calcify. We were just overjoyed that she made it here. She was a healthy 5lb 11oz baby girl and she was perfect. Her birthday is right in the middle of Thanksgiving and Christmas. We always do something special for her on her actual birthday but her parties are held in January.

  3. Amanda December 11, 2015 at 6:39 pm #

    I had a Christmas Eve due date and we got all kinds of opinions when people heard. I always said I didn’t care he wouldn’t likely not come on his due date anyways, well my little guy will also turn two this Christmas Eve. We do the same as you we celebrate it on his day just like our other kids. No problem having balloons and Christmas decorations!

  4. Katie December 11, 2015 at 10:09 pm #

    I’m pregnant with my second and due on dec 20th. Right now our plans each year are to do a small family get together with a cake on the actual birthday and do a party with friends in the summer. I have an aunt born on December 27th and she’s celebrated this way since she was born ( we joke with her about how old she must be now if she’s had 2 birthdays per year). We figure it will spread out the gift giving (no Xmas/ birthday gifts) and there are more things to do for birthdays in the summer ( my bday is in January and I always wanted a pool party…oh well).

    • nicole December 14, 2015 at 6:46 am #

      That’s a fantastic idea! I may do that one year for our girls (birthdays are Dec 13th and Jan 3rd).

  5. Aby Runyan December 13, 2015 at 11:08 pm #

    My name is Abigail, and I WAS born on December 17th!

  6. nicole December 14, 2015 at 6:45 am #

    Both of my daughter’s had December due dates. We just celebrated the oldest one’s birthday yesterday. My youngest was due on Christmas Eve, but was not born until January 3rd. We’re having a party for them next weekend. We took the day off from doing christmas festivities to celebrate her birthday. It’s hard having their birthdays this close to the holidays, but I don’t want her to know that.

  7. Debbie December 14, 2015 at 5:57 pm #

    A dear friends daughter was born Dec 27th. My friend loves all things Christmas and the day after Thanksgiving redecorated her home in what we lovingly call the ‘Christmas Shrine’. For her daughter’s first 4 birthdays she put away the shrine on Dec 26th so that her daughter would get all the attention for her birthday. When her daughter was 5 she asked why they didn’t leave the Christmas stuff up longer like other people do. When her mother explained why, she said “But I LOVE Christmas! Don’t put it away! got When this girl was 7 she lamented that it was hard to plan parties with her friends around the holidays, and even if you could plan it, there were lots of fun things you can’t do in the cold & rainy Oregon December. She came up with her own solution-she had ‘half’ birthday parties with her friends in June!

  8. Keri Shelton December 19, 2015 at 11:38 am #

    Both of my children were born on Dec 26th. The first on came 3 weeks early and I spent all Christmas Day in labor only to have her be born @ 0100. The other one was due New Year’s Eve and had scheduled an induction for the 27th (so they could have separate birthdays) and woke up on labor on the 26th. The kids think it’s cool they share a birthday. We have been taking them in trips over their birthdays and NO combo gifts!! My Christmas babies will be 6 & 4 this year. December is an expensive month ?

  9. Brooke December 19, 2015 at 12:38 pm #

    My birthday is January 4th and my son was due Jan 1st and arrived December 19th (today as I read this post). I love his bday and mine and we have his “friend” party in June on or around his half birthday.