Christina M. Currie
Christina M. Currie's Touch of Spice column appears Fridays in the Craig Daily Press. E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Craig For the first five years of my daughter Nikki's life, she shared her birthday with her sister, older by 14 months.
They didn't seem to mind. I mean, in the face of cake, ice cream and a mound of presents, who cares?
It was convenient for a number of reasons, primarily because I only had to plan one party. It doesn't sound right, I know, but there it is. Party planning is time consuming, takes a lot of energy and a lot of money. You can shake your head if you want, but I'm all for simplifying. Plus, Nikki's September birthday just isn't conducive to a great party (I apologize to the other young Virgos and Libras out there, but it's true). Who wants a new bike when you've only got a few weeks to ride? Roller skates, swing sets, trampolines and a lot of other kid favorites all fall into that category. Conversely, what do you do with ice skates or a sled in September? Kids aren't really forward thinking. They pretty much focus on the now (which is why "clean your room or you won't get to go to the pool tomorrow" doesn't work well as an incentive. By tomorrow, they forgot what happened yesterday).
But the biggest factor is that my children weren't old enough to understand why one got the spotlight and the other didn't. And, their memories aren't long enough to remember that they had a day that was just theirs when it's the other's turn. My aunt, being the most amazing person, understands that and always sends a little gift for the off-birthday girl.
Last year, I figured both my girls were old enough to understand. And they were. It was those relatives who are older than they are that got confused.
Nikki got a lot of presents on Katie's birthday from people who didn't realize that I was mixing it up a little.
So, for a variety of reasons, including a parent's best friend "the joint gift," I'm going back to my original plan.
I figure I'm going to stick with it for as long as the girls are comfortable with it. They're so close in age and similar in interests that it just makes sense.
Last year, every time Katie opened a present, Nikki said, "I want that for my birthday, too."
She enviously watched Katie play with her new mp3 player for two months before getting her own to fiddle with.
On the plus side, I got to see what items looked cool, but in reality were shoved into a corner within two weeks.
Still, the benefits outweigh any other arguments I can think of, so we're going back to a joint birthday.
Twice the fun, half the headache.
I can't think of a better recipe.