Twin Birthday Etiquette

Twin Birthday Etiquette

I’m not really too sure how to write this and I don’t want to come across as ungrateful but, I want to share my first big twin dilemma with you.

How would you feel if your twins were given a joint birthday card? This is the exact situation we found ourselves in just a few weeks ago on our girls 1st birthday. I know they’re only 1 and they’ll never remember it but it’s really annoyed me and I feel it needs to be addressed before it becomes a regular thing.


I’ve always made an effort to make sure the girls are treated as 2 separate people. I know that’s hard when they’re small but it’s something we will make sure we do more as they grow up. We don’t want them to be viewed as “The Twins” as that’s almost implying they are 1 person. What we buy or give to 1, we are very careful to make sure we give the same to the other. Almost exactly as you would treat any other siblings.

The card was sent by a very close family member which I think has made me more annoyed. These are the people who see the girls on a regular basis and know we want them treated as individuals.

It was the same family member who just a few days before their birthday, called me and asked whether we wanted them to have the same present or different as they “didn’t want there to be an argument “. Had they been a bit older, there would have been an argument over the card instead.

I wouldn’t send a joint birthday card to other siblings so why are twins any different? They are 2 separate people so surely they deserve a card each? What will happen when the move out and live separately? Will they only get half a card each or does buying 2 stamps defeat the object?

The offending family member just happens to share his birthday with another member of the family. Guess what he’s going to be getting for his birthday? If you guessed a joint card, you get a gold star!

To mums of older twins, am I going to be forever fighting for I and L to be seen as individuals or will they always be seen as one?


19 thoughts on “Twin Birthday Etiquette

  1. This is something that makes me cross too. I’m a twin and I remember a few times where my sister and I would get a joint card – even on our 30th birthday when we were both married and living some distance from each other, somebody sent a joint card! Thankfully my mum always tried to make sure we were treated as two individuals rather than a pair. I love being part of a pair as a twin but it has been harder at times to assert my own identity and now that my hubby’s cousin has twins, I always use their names and make a conscious effort not to refer to them as “the twins”. I hope you manage to convince your family member that your two are separate individuals and therefore should have a birthday card each.
    Louise (Little Hearts, Big Love) recently posted…Up in the sky: themed crafts for toddlers and preschoolersMy Profile

    1. Oh no. Sorry you’ve had it too. I can’t believe you got a shared 30th card. That really is shocking!
      I shall prepare myself and my girls for a lifetime of this!
      Thanks for stopping by x

  2. I have two friends who both have identical boy twins, and I always get them separate cards…though for one set for their first birthday I bought them a little seesaw to share – do you think that’s ok? I did ask their Mum but now I’m worried I’ve made a twin faux pas! #twinklytuesday
    Saffy recently posted…Day 3 of the quote challengeMy Profile

    1. You can’t use a seesaw on your own! You need an awesome twin (or other similar sized sibling) to share it with!
      Shared presents are fine. I guess that’s no different than grouping all your money together at Christmas so they can have a bigger present that they all want.
      If Mum was fine with it I’m sure you haven’t made a faux pas.
      The card just annoyed me as they each have a memory box and 1 will be missing a 1st birthday card.
      Thanks for stopping by x

      1. I think it’s interesting that you’d be okay with a shared gift. I absolutely wouldn’t, unless it was a gift, like a see-saw, that specifically allows the two children to play with it together. Something to be fought over, like a hula hoop, I could do without. My girls aren’t nearly as bothered, though. They feel acknowledged.
        Sadia recently posted…Twinkly Tuesday – August 18, 2015My Profile

        1. I probably didn’t word that great. I only think it’s acceptable where it’s a larger gift or something like a seesaw where it requires 2 people. I think Christmas this year will be a double swing set or a large climbing frame for all of them to share. It’s absolutely not acceptable to have a joint doll or similar that would just end in a fight!
          Having said that,my 2 would probably fight over a double swing. They just don’t get along!

  3. There’s so much I could write about this (and have in the past) but I’m completely with you. Yes, there are a lot of ignorant people out there who really don’t understand that twins are separate people, but a close relative should understand. And honestly, I find it less tacky to get no card/acknowledgment at all than to see my daughters collapsed into nothing more than the fact of their shared birth.

    You won’t be fighting the “see them as individuals” fight forever. Before too long, they will take over the fight themselves. My daughters, now 9, have no problem correcting people when addressed by the wrong name. They don’t get angry. They understand that people who don’t know them well have trouble telling them apart. They also don’t stay silent and allow the confusion to persist.

    The birthday issue, though, may very well last. I let my girls decide how to handle presents for their twin friends’ birthdays. In general, they like to each give a gift to their singleton friends, but will tend to give a gift from both of them to each child in a twin pair. (Let’s be honest. 4 birthday gifts for one party is a little excessive.) I actually really appreciate it when other twin parents spell out their expectations in the party invitation.

    Thanks for linking with #TwinklyTuesday.
    Sadia recently posted…Twinkly Tuesday – August 18, 2015My Profile

    1. I’m still learning the minefield that is twins!
      My two hopefully won’t have the wrong name problem as they are so very different but I do fear the birthday issue will persist.
      I often thought it would be nice for them to be born either side of midnight so they each had their own special day but that probably still wouldn’t prevent the card issue!
      I would also send a present each to a party but agree that could be excessive at a fellow twin party! Will probably come up against this soon as we have met 2 other twin families locally who have girls the same age as ours!
      I might have to take the initiative next year and put something on the invitations 🙂

  4. Yep. I totally, totally agree. My boys are now two and they’ve been given joint cards, joint presents and the thing that p***ses me off the most is the fact that they have ONE peg at nursery. Every other child has one each — with their names next to it. Bertie and Cosmo have one to share!!! WHAT’S THAT ALL ABOUT?!! Particularly as we’re paying TWO LOTS OF FEES!!!!!!! Thanks so much for linking up with #TwinklyTuesday — hope to see you again next week! x

    Caro |
    Caro | The Twinkles Mama recently posted…Home Etc #14 — Home and Garden Inspired Blog HopMy Profile

    1. WTF? That’s just so wrong! If the nursery are treating them as one, surely you should only be paying one set of fees!
      You think a nursery would know better. Our 2 start in January so it’ll be interesting to see how they get treated x

  5. I feel for you and your twins! I have a Christmas Day baby so we have these issues over joint birthday/Christmas presents/card and it bothers me too. A should be treated as if his birthday was any other time of the year just as your twins should be treated as two seperate people!
    Kaye recently posted…The Day I Sucked at MotherhoodMy Profile

    1. I can see how you have a similar problem with a Christmas day birthday. It’s really unfair but, I guess until people are in the situation themselves they don’t know what to do. I’m planning on being very vocal about this issue in the lead up to Christmas. Has that worked for you?
      Thanks for stopping by x

    2. I don’t have twins either but my son’s birthday is the 22nd of December (his due date was the 24th) and I am sort of dreading his first Christmas. I went to school with a girl who was born on Christmas Eve and she would regularly receive gifts like the bottoms of pj’s for her birthday and the top for Christmas. It makes me feel like I’m being ungrateful BUT I really hope this doesn’t happen to him – no joint gifts! I feel bad enough that he has to wait a year for both birthday time and Christmas, ugh!
      Apparently Awkward recently posted…Wicked Good Baby Led Weaning: PancakesMy Profile

  6. I think that is really kind of sad, I know they’re only 1 and will not be aware of a joint card, it still just stinks that they are viewed as only one person and I don’t think you’re being ungrateful at all. Like you say, different siblings wouldn’t receive one card so why should twins?? I do have a question though – I have twin nieces and often we will give two cards but the same design – so far I *think* it has worked out because they like the same thing (designs, colors, certain animals, etc.) but as they get older, I’m wondering if we should change it up and make an effort to give them separate card designs. And now actually I’m really worried that we should have been doing this from the start! What’s your advice as a mum of twins?
    Apparently Awkward recently posted…Wicked Good Baby Led Weaning: PancakesMy Profile

    1. We received a few cards that were identical but that didn’t bother me. I was so pleased that they received their own card! From my point of view, having the same card stops any arguments but that may not be how my girls see it in a few years!

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