The first year with your little one is filled with so many brand new experiences, and one of the best is baby’s first Christmas. The holidays already feel like a magical time, and even more so with a tiny human in the house. There’s something so warm and nostalgic about cutting down your own Christmas tree, decorating the house with Christmas music playing, and enjoying the twinkling from all the lights.
I’ve listed out a few of my favorite ways to celebrate these cherished moments. You’ll be thanking yourself for capturing baby’s first Christmas, every year when December comes you’ll reminisce with the new family heirlooms.
Family Home Videos - One of my favorite things to do during the holidays is watch recorded VHS tapes my parents made when we were young kids. Seeing the pure childhood joy in myself is so fun, especially now that I see the same smile on my daughter. Nowadays it’s so easy with our phones to record home video clips. Just make sure you save and back it up somewhere safe so it’s available to watch for years to come. I recommend both a cloud backup and an external hard rive.
Personalized Christmas Tree Ornaments - One of the most classic Christmas mementos is the baby’s first ornament. Etsy has hundreds of handcrafted styles that you can personalize with your baby’s name, a merry message and the year. Some merchants even let you customize your holiday decor with a photo or illustration of your baby. Browse some of the most popular ornaments here. Your custom ornament will look so sweet hanging in the tree with all the Christmas lights.
Christmas Stocking Stuffers - Not only can you find adorable customizable stockings on Etsy, start a fun tradition of filling up your childrens’ stocking with fun and quirky stuffers. My parents used to put Lottery Scratchers in our stockings which made for a fun Christmas morning. Every once in a while someone in the family would actually win some cash!
Start a Tradition of Giving and Kindness - It’s never too early to teach our littles ones to have empathy and compassion for others. Keep an ear out in your community for charity events such as toys drives and food drives. You can check out this link for a list of charities happening every year during the holidays to make Christmas special for a child.
Christmas Eve - Every year Christmas Day steals the show, but with all the anticipation building up, Christmas Eve is an event in its own right. The glow from the Christmas tree fills up the living room at night and the kids imagine they hear reindeer on the roof. Make Christmas Eve magical by starting traditions unique to your family.
Growing up every year on Christmas Eve we would read the classic Christmas books like T’was the Night Before Christmas, drink chocolate milk and eat sugar cookies in our pajamas. At the very end of the night we’d leave a plate of milk and cookies for Santa.
Family Portrait Photos - There’s all kinds of ways you can theme and style a Christmas family photo shoot. You can go casual with matching Christmas pajamas or formal with dressy holiday attire. Some folks opt for goofy themes like “ugly Christmas sweaters” or cheesy 80’s themes. Make sure to include the family pet, it adds such a sweet touch! You can use these photos to send out Christmas cards to friends and family. Or go digital and share them on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
My First Christmas Onsie - I’ve seen so many adorable Christmas outfits for babies and it’s a shame the holiday season isn’t longer so they can sport more festive duds. The one we had for Scout had little Santa feet, so cute! The styles you can shop vary so much. You can go classic, quirky or even get personalized onesies with baby names printed or embroidered.
Christmas Wish Jar - This is such a fun and simple DIY craft that your kids will love. All you have to do is to make a Christmas wish, write it down on paper and put it in the mason jar. Keep all of your wishes from every year and re-read them every Christmas morning. Make sure to label the names and dates, and get everyone in the family to participate. After a few years, it’s such a fun trip down memory lane.
Elf of the Shelf - This new generation of Elf on the Shelf Christmas tradition has been popular for the last few years. Parents really get in on the fun and share their mischievous elves on social media. To read the full story and learn how to play, you can find the book and elf available for purchase.
Meet Santa - A favorite Christmas photo is when baby meets Santa for the first time. There’s always a good laugh when you see a child’s reaction to the jolly man in the big red suit. Some kids have a great first meeting with Santa, others are either scared, indifferent or even extra curious. Baby’s first picture with Santa is something you’ll love for years to come.
Handmade Christmas Cards - While babies under a year old can’t do much artwork yet, they can totally use their little hands and feet to make DIY painted hand and foot prints cards. These make great gifts and keepsakes for family members. Be sure to write the name of your baby and the date (so many years later it doesn’t get mixed up with siblings art work).
Baby Advent Calendar - Depending on the age of your little one when the holidays come around, some babies who are over 6 months old can enjoy fun games with an advent calendar. Every day they can pull out or unwrap a treat to either eat or play with. Half the fun is unwrapping little boxes wrapped the Christmas wrapping paper!
While babies have no sense of time and dates, the older kids an adults can enjoy the Christmas countdown element of an advent calendar. For the whole month of December you can take a few moments to celebrate the holiday season, and maybe teach your baby some new skills.
An age appropriate idea for daily gifts is little baby food jars with puffs inside. When you go shopping for baby food, buy 25 glass or plastic jars that come with lids. Throughly wash them out and let them air dry. Then you can put puffs or any other dry baby snacks inside. Easy!
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