The Birthday Shuffle

By Karen Coutu, Founder, author, and editor 3 Garnets & 2 Sapphires

Planning birthdays in regards to boy/girl twins is difficult enough, but when you throw a 3rd child’s birthday into the mix just two weeks prior, things become even more complicated. This is exactly the case in our household. Our twins will turn 3 years old in mid January. Our older son will be turning 6 at the beginning of the same month. Not wanting to have any one child feel shortchanged, how do we celebrate each birthday with both his or her peers and our family members?

karen-couto-the-birthday-shuffleFor the past two years, we have thrown a party for our oldest son and his classmates on or around his birthday. Then we have a party for the twins on their birthday to which we invite just family. Even though the cake does not have our oldest son’s name on it, family members are there to celebrate his birthday as well. In fact, they would save his birthday gifts to give to him at the family party. This has worked out well for us so far because the twins have not minded missing their older brother’s parties (which usually take place at locations away from the house) and our oldest son did not mind receiving belated gifts.

We might be able to get away with this scenario for one more year, but when the next set of birthdays roll around, the twins will likely be attending preschool and will have peers of their own. So that none of the children feel left out, we will most likely need to increase the number of parties to three . . . one for our oldest son and his classmates, one for the twins and their classmates, and one to celebrate all three birthdays with family. The only way this would work is for me to brainstorm additional birthday themes for the twin celebration that would please both boys and girls. In the past we have done JoJo’s Circus and just a general balloons theme. Here is my list so far . . .

  • Backyardigans
  • Blue’s Clues
  • Bolt
  • Circus
  • Dora & Diego
  • Kungfu Panda
  • Max and Ruby
  • Mickey and Minnie Mouse
  • Rock ‘n’ Roll
  • Superman and Supergirl
  • Wonder Pets
  • Yo Gabba Gabba

Since our children’s birthdays all fall in January and immediately follow Christmas, I usually start planning in September. I also purchase all their birthday gifts while I do my holiday shopping. I find starting the planning process early truly helps to avoid the stress of finalizing plans right in the middle of the holidays!

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