Christmas is a time of joy and celebration, but for new parents, it can also be a time of stress and anxiety. This is especially true if you are trying to create holiday traditions that your baby will love and remember for years to come. But don’t worry – we’ve got you covered. Here are some fun and easy traditions that you can start this year with your little one.
Even though your baby might not understand the words, now is a time to purchase classic holiday children’s stories and start reading one a night during the season. You can even create a baby’s first Christmas library with the books that you purchase. Here are a few holiday favorites.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Suess
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer by Rich Bunsen
The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg
Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins by Eric Kimmel
The Story of Hanukkah by David A. Adler
Hanukkah Bear by Eric Kimmel
Visit Holiday Light Displays
Head out for a drive to see the holiday lights in your area. Even if your baby is asleep, you can create memories of this special time as he sleeps in his car seat. Don’t forget to take lots of pictures! Maybe even make a holiday snack stop as part of your evening.
Enjoy Holiday Concerts
Visit your local churches and community center for special baby-friendly holiday concerts. With performers dressed in festive costumes, colorful sights and sounds, your baby will be able to enjoy the experience with you.
Bake cookies or other holiday treats with your baby in tow! Even if she isn’t old enough to help mix and measure ingredients, he will enjoy watching you in the kitchen. This is also a great way to introduce your baby to new flavors and textures.
Custom Ornaments for Baby
Capture your baby’s first Christmas by making a baby handprint ornament. This is a great keepsake that you and your baby will be able to enjoy year after year. You can also make a sweet ornament from baby’s tiny feet.
It’s probably already on your holiday to-do list, but no Christmas celebration is complete without a trip to Santa’s workshop. Take your baby to meet the big man in red, and frame your Santa keepsake photo. Even if your baby is crying at the top of her lungs, the picture will be a holiday treasure in years to come.
New Moms Share Their Holiday Traditions
My grandma started a tradition when I was young, that we would open gifts at about 9pm on Christmas eve. One person would be ‘Santa’ and one or two would be ‘elves’. Basically, Santa would read the labels and the elves would take the gifts to the appropriate people. It was such an absolute blast, we’d have until the adults were done cleaning the wrapping paper to play with our toys then it was time for bed. On Christmas day, all of us kids would be up super early to play with our toys inside and outside while the adults made Christmas dinner. Honestly, I wouldn’t trade those memories for the world. They were some of the best times of my life.
Christmas jammies in a present box on Christmas Eve to wear that night!
Whatever happens the first holiday together becomes the tradition. For example, on my first Christmas with my husband I craved his curry so we don’t eat the traditional Christmas meal anymore, we eat curry. My husband’s family always opened presents on Christmas Eve so the next morning they could spend time together playing with their gifts. They also do pie on Wednesday night before thanksgiving since everyone is always full Thursday.
My husband and I both came from families who focused heavily on the presents aspect of Christmas. We don’t want that for our littles, so we’re doing Christmas pajamas and some sort of group family gift, like movie night, a gift basket with treats and popcorn, or board games as they get older. We’re also going to get an angel family and buy them presents during the holiday season so it becomes about giving instead of receiving.
We read “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” as we sit in a circle. We all have a gift bag with a secret gift in it. When the word “the” is mentioned, bags get passed to the person on your left. When a body part is mentioned (and there are lots of body parts mentioned in this book), the bags get passed to the right. At the end of the story, everyone opens their gift bag.