As many of us already know, there are some things that are simply out of our control. Whether that’d be the changes in the weather or natural calamities, we–ordinary and sane humans–can’t just wish away these things despite how badly we want to avoid or change the situation. And one of the things we never got a choice from is the date of our birth.
Whether you liked it or not, your birthday was something given to you by fate. For some, this particular day can be a joyous occasion celebrated in the company of family or friends. But for others whose date of birth falls on holidays, it can be a disappointing day, as most people tend to forget your special day. Case-in-point, this 4-year-old boy’s birthday which happens to coincide with Boxing Day–a public holiday observed by the United Kingdom and other commonwealth countries on December 26.
What is Boxing Day?
According to History.com, Boxing Day comes from two origins. The first of which originates from old British society when aristocrats would offer their leftover food and presents to their staff in “Christmas boxes” as a way of thanking them for their services on Christmas day. The second, on the other hand, is tied with charity and almsgiving. Clergymen would collect alms from churchgoers and place them inside a box. Once filled, they would then distribute them to the less fortunate.
Although many people today still practice charity work and gift-giving on December 26, History.com reports that Boxing Day has turned into a day for “watching sports such as soccer and cricket, shopping and visiting friends.”
With this in mind, it’s understandable why the child and his mother could get frustrated with celebrating the kid’s birthday on a “family-centric” holiday.
In a public post on the Mumsnet forum, a mother with the username tempnamechange98765 asked other parents if she should change her son’s birthday so that it would no longer land on Boxing Day.
The mom writes:
“DS is 4 and his birthday is Boxing Day. Up until last year his birthday has always been fine, if inconvenient, but last year it really was rubbish that we couldn’t do anything special on the day due to nothing being open. We’re always at my DParents as we go there Christmas Day and it’s not an option to not stay there Christmas Day night (two DCs who go to bed early).
This year just gone the weather was rubbish so we couldn’t even go out for a nice walk or play in the garden. Because my DParents get to see him on his birthday it’s only fair that we invite ILs too, who although I get along with them, they are a pain. I have a good relationship with my own DParents but they’re a bit fussy/controlling on Christmas and his birthday (understandably so I guess as it’s at their house!) so it’s always been us/them awkwardly hosting ILs. Which was fine when DS was little but as he gets older he doesn’t like too much fuss/formality, he only has baby DS so no other children to play with, so on his last birthday he really misbehaved due to being bored/having cabin fever/having had far too many presents and focus just on Christmas Day let alone more on his birthday. I felt sad for him as we couldn’t make it special.
In comparison we’ve just celebrated other DS’ first birthday, and although he’s too young to care, we were able to do it exactly as we wanted – balloons, a banner and a pile of presents waiting for him when he woke up, and we all went to lunch and softplay. Simple, but lovely, and older DS would’ve loved that as his own birthday.
Would I be unreasonable to change DS’ birthday to a couple of days later, say the 28th of December? We would be at home and all the Christmas presents would be unpacked/put away, everything would be open again so we could go to softplay/lunch/McDonald’s/museum/whatever HE wants to do, and we would have control over the day with it being in our house so could make it special, no pressure on him.”
Since she posted her story on the website last February 25, a number of online users commented that it was okay to celebrate the child’s birthday on another day but it’s strange to legally and completely alter the kid’s date of birth together.
One online user reacted, “Yes you would be unreasonable! His birthday is [on] the 26th. It’s shit but it’s what it is, [and] pretending it’s on a different day will be confusing when he is older not to mention it’s simply lying to him so you don’t feel so guilty.”
Another person affirmed the former’s stance by saying, “You mean pretend to him that his birthday is on a different day [?] Why on earth would you do that? Just start a tradition of having the ‘proper’ party/celebration at a better time of year. You could pick 26 June as the six-month point, or any other time/day that works, and even vary it from year to year. And you can just do a low-key birthday thing on or a couple of days after the actual day.”
Though she was met with mostly negative reviews from other people, there were one or two individuals who sympathized with her and offered some suggestions.
One of them suggested, “Maybe make it the Saturday after his birthday. If it’s good enough for the Queen, then I don’t see why he can’t have an official birthday and an actual one.”
While another one wrote, “Excellent idea and, as pp said it will become normal for him very quickly.”
As of this writing, no update has yet been made on whether or not the mother chose to change her child’s official date of birth. But from our standpoint, we hope that she took the advice from the forum and decided to celebrate the child’s birthday on a different day rather than making her kid feel his birthday was a different day.
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