Written by our Founder and CEO, the Celebrations Pulse letters aim to engage with our community. By welcoming your ideas and sharing your stories, we want to help you strengthen your relationships with the most important people in your life.

What’s the best month for a birthday? Surveys show that most people prefer June to any other time of year, and it’s easy to see why: The weather is warm, friends and family are looking for things to do, and there tend to be few conflicts with other occasions.

Fast-forward six months, and you’ll find the least favored birthday month. Not only is the weather generally cooler, but December’s birthdays are more likely to collide with friends’ and families’ holiday plans, encounter strained budgets – or be forgotten altogether.

The internet is full of snarky memes like “All I want for Christmas is for someone to remember my December birthday” and “Thanks for my Birthday/Christmas present … said no one ever.” But what you see on the internet isn’t always the whole story.

december birthdays meme

I asked my team to talk to the real experts – hundreds of our employees who happened to be born in December. Nearly everyone responded, very quickly; clearly, I touched on a hot topic, but I was surprised by the range of passionate responses.

The difficulties of December birthdays

One theme stood out in the responses: While every birthday is special, the timing of December birthdays is often a challenge. Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, and New Year’s Eve are big holidays, and each often requires weeks of preparation and can drown out anything in their midst.

Having a birthday in December can come with disappointment. My birthday is Dec. 5, so folks are concentrating on Thanksgiving and then Christmas, so in between the birthdays get blurred.

Elaine, customer service manager at BloomNet

Others talked about how the holiday festivities made it difficult to round up friends to schedule birthday parties.

School was always out for the holiday break, so no one ever wrote ‘It’s Carolyn’s birthday’ on the chalkboard, like all the other kids got. Most of the other kids were on their way to visit relatives, or had relatives in town, so a birthday party was nearly impossible to set up.

Carolyn, senior accountant at Harry & David

And then there’s the dreaded “combo” present:

If my family or friends remembered, I got the famous Birthday/Christmas present, which virtually every December birthday knows about.

Toni, operations trainer at Harry & David

My younger self had imagined conspiratorial conversations occurring in smoke-filled rooms where parents and other family members would plot to only buy me 60% of my potential gifts in lieu of ‘making up for it’ on Christmas. Was this true? Maybe. Had I imagined it? Likely. But childhood toy-based greed notwithstanding, I never did without and always felt very loved.”

Anthony, customer experience manager at 1‑800‑Flowers.com
December Birthdays Bliss Graphic

Making December birthdays special

Even those who had complaints about their December birthdays said there were positives, especially as they grew older. After all, a lot of employers pause work for a few days around the holidays, creating an opportunity to stretch out celebrations without requiring any vacation time. And New Year’s resolutions don’t take effect until Jan. 1!

But the biggest reasons for very special birthdays were the people around them.

My parents always made sure to make it special for me. My sister and I were born two days apart (and a few years) and we have so much fun with it. We have our birthday dinner with all of our families together. Christmas decorations are always up, so it’s so pretty in the house. I love it.

Meghan, customer service at Napco

The one downside to having a Christmas Eve birthday is that I rarely get to see my friends since it’s usually more of a family day, but my friends in adulthood have all been really wonderful in still making me feel special when we celebrate before or after, even if we can’t be together on my birthday itself.

Shannon, copywriter at Harry & David

As to all those aunts and cousins who handed me a holiday-wrapped gift saying, ‘Merry Christmas and Happy Birthday,’ it meant I was there with them; I would not have seen them if my birthday was any other time of year, and they did not send gifts when other siblings’ birthdays rolled around.

Jane, merchandise manager for fruit at Harry & David

Brenda, who oversees research and development at our Food Group brands, was born on Dec. 25. She loved how her parents made a big deal of both events and ensured that she and her siblings received the same number of birthday and Christmas gifts. The lesson has come in handy later in life:

My son’s birthday is Dec. 21, and I know firsthand how hard it was for my parents to maintain the birthday celebrations and the holidays at the same time. I appreciate everything they did as we were growing up.

What you can do

December babies have no choice when it comes to their birthdays, but we – their families, loved ones, and friends – do. We all have the power to make sure their special day isn’t lost or forgotten amid the hustle and bustle of the holidays.

If someone you know is celebrating a birthday this month, make it a point to reach out and ask about their plans. Let them know you’re not forgetting and, most importantly, you won’t be sending a combo “birthmas” gift (unless, of course, it’s really, really fabulous).

All the best,


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Jim McCann is the founder, CEO, and chairman of 1-800-FLOWERS.COM, Inc. as well as a business leader, author, and philanthropist with a passion for helping people deliver smiles. Devoted to helping others, he also founded Smile Farms, a 501(c)3 organization that provides meaningful jobs in agricultural settings to young adults and adults with developmental disabilities.

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