22nd December 2020

Being born on Christmas Day can evoke concerned reactions from well-meaning friends and family but twin mum Karen Gardner pulls out all the stops to ensure Emmie and Lewis have the best day ever!

“It may be Christmas Day, but it is still their birthday and we have to celebrate it.”

With the twins’ 7th birthday coming up, Karen explains how she plans the day to make it special.

“They wake up to their stockings from Father Christmas which are at the end of their bed, but when they go downstairs the living room is full of balloons, birthday banners and presents.

“We then have Christmas lunch together as a family at my mum’s house, along with their cousins, then they go and play with their toys away from the dining room which we decorate for a proper birthday tea.

“They have a cake each and it’s a fun party tea with jelly, little sandwiches and a fairy cakes. It’s great that they can spend their birthday with their family and their cousins, who they are really close to and I’m so grateful to everyone in the family for making it so special.

“We all sing happy birthday twice and now they’re older they are much more aware of the whole Christmas Day being their birthday. We then go out and have a few fireworks in the garden.”

Karen explained when the twins were born nine weeks early on Christmas Day it was her mum Diana who suggested that Christmas Day must be properly recognised as their birthday with separate presents and cakes.

“Some people wonder why we don’t do anything in the summer, like a party on June 25th or something, but that’s just not their birthday. It wouldn’t feel right.

“I do take them shopping on that day to buy an extra special gift, but we don’t have a party or ‘celebrate’ as such.

“In normal times, before Covid, we would often have a birthday party with their school friends on December 28 which gives everyone something to look forward to during those in between days. But that is obviously not happening this year.”

Karen said her twins have a special and loving relationship with Emmie being incredibly protective of Lewis who has cerebral palsy.

“It’s wonderful to see how they get on, she is always helping him at school, but he is doing brilliantly in his own right. He has lots of physio and we have a hot tub which he loves, well, they both do! said Karen.

“He plays football with the Summertown Stars Cerebral Palsy football and as a family we do martial arts together which has improved his balance.

“He gets tired so uses a wheelchair and wears a splint on his right ankle, but he is getting on so well at school and is just fantastic at maths!

We're so pleased three families can get together this Christmas – we all plan to isolate the week before the big day just to be on the safe side.

And on having her birthday on Christmas Day, Emmie said: “It’s lots of fun and I love getting double the amount of presents!”