My December baby
Having a baby in the festive season has its benefits, says this mom.
It's the season to be jolly – but according to most people – not the time to be expecting a baby. When I fell pregnant and came back from my first doctor's visit, friends and family all exclaimed in horror: ‘Oh no, your due date is in December?!’
I heard how this was the worst month for a baby to be born in; how it would be hot when I was at my most pregnant, that it would be inconvenient having a newborn in the festive season and in future, he would always have to fight to get two decent presents for his birthday and Christmas.

There is some truth to all of this. But I was surprised to find out that there was a flip side to the doom and gloom. For me, having a baby in December turned out to be a blessing in disguise.

A pregnant holiday

As a freelance journalist, this was the time of the year when work slowed down considerably and it was easier to scale down without actually having to organise maternity leave. Also, when our office put into play the yearly Christmas/New Year roster, I was not included, which freed me for a month without having to take leave for it.

My husband was also at home for almost a month as his office closed down over the festive season. Very convenient.

When the new year started and work started picking up again, I was able to work flexi-time from home much better than I would have been able to do at any other time of the year, when the pace is faster and there is less flexibility.  

Baby’s 1st birthday

This year, as I prepare for baby's first birthday, I have come to realise some other advantages to having a December baby. To begin with, he is a Sagittarius – which as most people with Sags in their lives know – are happy, friendly people with lovely natures and upbeat temperaments.

When you think about it, December is the ultimate birthday month. It is, after all, when we celebrate the birth of Jesus. It's the month of buying gifts and cards, being in shops and looking for specials.

If you know in advance what you are getting for the December birthday child, you can buy both birthday and Christmas gifts at the same time, saving yourself an extra shopping trip. (Theoretically, that is. I've never really been that organised.)

My baby's birthday is on the 11th of December – not too close to Christmas, but close enough for people to want to start being in party frame of mind. Most people are still at the office physically, but mentally have already switched off, packed the car and slipped into their flip-flops.

One of the best parts of having a birthday in December, is however, the weather. Notoriously slow to start, the Cape Town summer has usually arrived by December. Suddenly everyone is eager to knock off work early, have braais and pool parties – the perfect atmosphere for a birthday get-together.

But ask any expecting mother who has had a baby around Christmas time, to think back to that time when she was pregnant and waiting for her baby to come. Chances are, like me, that was the Christmas where she didn't pay as much attention to the tree or the big lunch or the extensive gift shopping.

Awaiting the arrival of your baby is always a special time, but somehow, it felt even more special because it was in December, surrounded by family, love and laughter. And I'm sure those other mothers would agree that although it wasn't very expensive or big (not at around 3kg), that baby was, without a doubt, the best Christmas present ever.

See a gallery of celebs will have new babies in the house this Christmas.

What month was your baby born? What are the pros and cons?

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