Wow I didn’t realize it’s been so long since I’ve shared a blog post! But this is a special one that my coworker (more like my little brother) inspired me to write. As I was leaving work one day, he checks in on me- as he usually does… “You good?” (I was rushing to leave work to go pick up some party supplies) Yep my sons birthday is EXACTLY a week before Christmas! I explained to him how I was trying to juggle finishing up Christmas shopping as well as planning my sons birthday! His response was “You should write about that! Many people are going through the same thing!”
My baby boy came flying in this world like a Phoenix (see what I did there 😉) On December 18, 2013. While this is my 7th time on this train, I must admit that it can still be a struggle shopping and planning for TWO big events at once. I can say that it has gotten easier as I’ve learned what works and what just makes life harder! I’m a firm believer in working smarter, not harder so I’ll be sharing some things that has made my “holiday baby” week run a little smoother!
1 START SAVING IN ADVANCE Your child’s birthday and Christmas comes the exact same time every year. It’s not a surprise so why not prepare for it in advance! You can start as early as a year ahead. In January, start saving a specific amount on a specific schedule. For example if you save $25 biweekly ($50) a month, you will have $600 saved by the end of the year! Doing it for both will give you $1200 at only $100 per month! Save the amount that makes the most sense for you! Remember no amount t is too small.
2 BUDGET In the spirit of saving, start to budget for each! If your child is like mine, he wants a party every year! If I saved $600, then half would be for his party ($300) and the remainder for his birthday gifts. The same with Christmas- I use budgeting sheets to determine how I’ll spend the money! Here are the sheets I used this year for my 12-week holiday savings challenge! They help to keep you on track so you’re not spending too much on on person/category.
3 CREATE A WISH LIST With a birthday and Christmas, and you as a parent continuously telling people what your child likes, you are bound to get multiples of each gift! Like how many Minecraft lego sets are there? Creating a wish list limits this. It also allows you to be intentional and keep track of what your kids receive. Of course you want things your child actually wants/likes. This keeps you from having unopened gifts or having to use those gift receipts to make exchanges 🤣 I usually use amazon since they have everything (hello prime) and gifts can be sent directly to you. There are also sites where you can list a gift as well as multiple places to purchase! Cool right?!
4 THE 4 GIFT RULE I heard of this last year and thought it was perfect! For Christmas, you gift your child/children something thing they want, something they need, something to wear and something to read! I thinks this is perfect for those of us with holiday babies! For their birthday you can splurge if you want- because no I’m not a believer in combining a birthday/Christmas! If your child’s birthday was any other month, it would not be combined! They will also get other gifts from family and friends- which you can’t control! Limiting yourself to this 4 gift rule will ensure you hit all the bases- and allow everyone else to get more of the “fun”stuff 🤪
I hope you found these tips helpful and will consider using them in the future to help you prepare for your “holiday baby” season! If you’re in the same boat, please share some ways in which you prepare for the holidays and birthdays!
Keara L Elam, Modern Day Black Mama