DEAR ABBY:

This letter is in response to "Blessed in New York" (Aug. 4), the mom who gave birth to her precious daughter on Christmas Day and wondered if maybe she should have timed her pregnancy better.

Our daughter was born on Dec. 20. When she was only a few years old, we purchased a two-foot-tall artificial tree and named it the "birthday tree." She could decorate it every year however she liked. Any birthday presents went under that tree. That made her day special. When she got married and moved out, her birthday tree went with her.

- Blessed, Too, in Indiana

DEAR BLESSED, TOO: I enjoyed reading the letters from you and other readers who are Christmas babies or have a family member who is one. Their upbeat, positive experiences made me smile. Read on:

DEAR ABBY: My daughter was born on Christmas Eve. From the time she was 5 and able to recognize that her birthday cards were getting scrambled in with the other holiday cards, we started celebrating on June 24 - her half-birthday. She gets excited every year as it nears. She'll be 32. Celebrating her half-birthday was the best thing we could have decided to do, and I have no regrets.

- Mom of a Christmas Baby

DEAR ABBY: I was born in December and I love my birthday! My mother, grandmother, sister-in-law and niece were also born in December. It's a great time to have a birthday. Everything is decorated for the holidays, and most people are in a good mood. My family never blended the occasions, so that helped.

As to people's comments, my reply is: "Everyone has a birthday. Mine just happens to be at Christmastime, so please acknowledge that." The only thing I do wish is, if I receive a birthday gift, I hope it's wrapped in birthday paper and not Christmas wrap.

- Holly in Arkansas

DEAR ABBY: I do not recommend celebrating the kid's half-birthday in June. In June, people are away at camp or on vacation, and there's no one to invite to the party.

Early December is a perfect time for a birthday party. Sports are over and the holiday parties haven't started, school is still in session so everyone is still around. Another good time is early January, right after school starts again but the other activities haven't yet geared up.

- Busy December Mom

DEAR ABBY: Fifty-five years ago, my husband and I weren't thinking ahead, either. Our son was born on Christmas Day. He still thinks that's great.

Christmas always lasted until after the presents were opened and the kitchen was cleaned following lunch. Then it was birthday time! It was special because his long-distance grandparents were always there.

When he became old enough for birthday parties, he could choose to have it on any day while school was out for the holiday break - before or after Christmas. It worked well for our family and it might for others, too.

- Carolyn in Texas

DEAR ABBY: Tell that new mom to cheer up. My mother was born on Christmas Day and she loved it. She said the reason was no one ever forgot it, and everyone got the day off!

- Sara in Florida