The Do’s and Don’ts of a Holiday Birthday

There are 365 days in a year and 318.86 million people in the United States as of 2014. Statistically speaking, I think it’s safe to say that it is someone’s birthday every day of the year in the U.S. But, of those 365 days, at least ten of them are national (Christmas) or observed holidays (Halloween).

Of those ten days, birthdays on New Year’s Day and Christmas will probably be the ones overshadowed the most. But that also makes them all the more special.

So whether you’re a New Year’s baby or your birthday falls on Valentine’s Day, Saint Patrick’s Day, Halloween or occasionally falls on Easter Sunday, here is a brief list of Do’s and Don’ts on how to celebrate your holiday birthday.

DO: In the days leading up to the holiday, be sure everyone knows the day is also your birthday and revel in their shock or sympathy.

Holiday birthdays are rare given as little as ten days out of 365 are national holidays or observances. That’s almost three percent (2.7 percent to be precise). So depending on what holiday your birthday falls on, you’ll get a range of reactions from amazement to sympathy to pure, unadulterated joy. You can get all three if your birthday happens to fall on Valentine’s Day (like mine).

DON’T: Go out to eat. Restaurants and bars will be packed with couples, groups of friends and families all trying to share the holiday together.

Getting a table or a place to sit will be nearly impossible. Unless you’re willing to wait for an hour, ordering in or cooking at home is the best option. But, if you absolutely have to go out, go out to lunch. Crowds will be thinner then as most celebrations occur around dinner time.

DO: Treat yourself to something nice – It’s your birthday after all.

While the holiday may overshadow it, that just means there will be sales everywhere to capitalize on. And most holidays are centered around chocolate, which is always a plus. So go ahead and spoil yourself. It’s your special day and it only comes once a year.

DON’T: Get angry when you don’t get as many birthday cards as you do holiday cards, or if you don’t get any cards at all. People are busy and often forget to get mail sent on time. Sometimes you’ll receive cards a week in advance specifically so that person wouldn’t be late in sending it, but other times you’ll receive cards days or weeks late due to busy schedules (or sometimes sheer laziness).

Regardless, receiving a card at all, especially a birthday card on a holiday, means that person was thinking of you even when the holiday may completely have you overshadowed.

DO: Celebrate the holiday earlier in the day and your birthday later in the evening.

Celebrating the holiday earlier frees up your evening to celebrate your birthday. Going out early to eat and possibly shop when crowds are thinnest are key. A majority of the population will be going out to dinner or drink at bars and clubs late at night, which is prime-time to celebrate your birthday from home.