Louise Minchin on celebrating birthdays at Christmas

PUBLISHED: 00:00 29 November 2018

Louise Minchin

Louise Minchin


Is your birthday on Christmas Day? The BBC TV presenter tells us how she makes sure her husband, David, gets his fair share of attention

Growing up I was never a big fan of Christmas, but my attitude changed dramatically after I married David, because he was a Christmas Day baby. Since then, with his birthday added to the festive mix, the double celebrations have been completely over the top, and great fun.

It was clear right at the start that David’s birthday was not to be overshadowed by Christmas. His arrival just after midnight made the front page of the East Sussex Courier, much to the delight of his family and neighbours. Over 50 years later, his mum still loves recounting the story of how pleased the staff were, that their hospital was the first to greet that year’s special arrival.

David’s mother was instrumental in making sure that he would always have a proper birthday celebration, and established a special set of family rules that we still follow. The first rule is that one present, shared for both Christmas and birthday is not acceptable. If you want to show you care, you definitely have to give him two and they can’t both be wrapped in festive paper.

There must be a specific time in the day carved out especially for his birthday, no-one else can open presents during that time. It can be hard to make everyone stop and put everything down to concentrate on him. When we do, I love it. It’s the quietest moment of the day, and a perfect excuse to open a bottle of champagne early.

Finally, despite the fact lunch will finish at about five o’clock and none of us can eat another thing, he always has a cake. Over the years this has led to some funny moments as we try to bake in secret, and then hide it. The first year Mia and Scarlett helped bake, I hid the cake under a chest of drawers upstairs. Within two minutes of my mother’s dog arriving in the house, she (the dog!) had found it, and gobbled it all up to the utter dismay of the children.

I love the complications of a Christmas birthday, it adds extra excitement to an already special day. I can’t wait for this year’s celebrations. Have a Happy Christmas everyone.

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