Does your family do something special or different when there is a new baby experiencing Christmas for the first time?
It has become commonplace for retailers to offer stockings and baubles with ‘baby’s first Christmas’ on them, but there are many other ways to make the first Christmas special for the new parents and everyone’s memories.
Maybe start a family tradition of Christmas photos (thanks for the idea Bronwyn) or the youngest person gets the first gift. Or perhaps rethink the venue and format of your Christmas celebrations to be more baby and child friendly. Get everyone to sign a Christmas card or scrapbook page (like a 21st key or wedding guest book) or record a video message.
So, what does your family do for first Christmases? Or is another Christmas experience considered more important in your family?
Having 5 kids, I know about babies and how to care for them 🙂 I also know how tiring a new baby can be – especially for people who are learning who to do the practical things as well as coping with the physical and emotional aspects of new parenthood.
So after reading Marissa’s story of loving the babysitting voucher, I thought I would share some gift ideas for new parents as family and friends often want to help but have no idea how…
There are 2 concepts – one is to give them some pampering to refresh them and remind them they are people beyond parents – but I’m just going to give ideas for helping them as parents.
I don’t remember such a fuss being made about a baby’s first Christmas when I was younger – I never saw baubles and stockings declaring ‘baby’s first christmas’ until my own kids were at least teenagers! And I’m not sure anyone benefits from this change – well, no one other than the retailers that is.
For starters, the baby can’t read and doesn’t really care – sorry to disappoint you but it’s true. If the baby is old enough to sit up and watch Christmas around them, they’ll be more interested in the wrapping paper, people and decorations than a stocking (especially as many are insipid pastel things for some silly gender bias).
I prefer the ideas from Santa’s Elf on items that are at least reusable – put the year of the first Christmas on the stocking they’ll use for the next decade or so or get a beautiful photo you can display. Much better use of money than a stocking that is too small to hold anything and looks silly if used for baby’s second or third Christmas.
But even better is to just enjoy Christmas with that baby – they don’t stay babies for long so treasure it by playing together rather than buying mementos you’ll just have to store and never look at again.
A special note for grandparents, aunts, uncles and so on – it’s cute to acknowledge someone’s first Christmas with a baby but think about if they really want a cheap stocking or a genuine keepsake. My daughter was inundated last year with cutesy stockings and baubles – she feels guilty throwing them out but hates the idea of storing such nonsense. The friend who took a lovely photo of each parent holding the baby and framed them put in a little more effort and his gift is proudly on the wall for all to see.
My daughter was also happy with her brother’s ‘first Christmas’ idea of starting a family album where a photo of my grandchildren (I assume more will come!) will be placed each Christmas as a record of the family growing.
So I just think people should put a little thought into first Christmases rather than those commercialised ideas retailers want us to follow. I don’t mean to offend, just to get people thinking…
As parents and families, we often get excited by a baby’s first experience of things – and Christmas is no exception to this.
Of course, what happens for the baby on Christmas can be very different as it could be one day or 364 days since their birthday. A newborn will have no idea Christmas Day is special but an older baby will notice things are happening.
Many of the things done to show it is a special day for the new family form mementos (keepsakes) that can be saved or even reused, such as: