Christmas is a magical time of year, and is especially special when it’s your baby’s very first Christmas. You’ve probably seen cute Christmas outfits and adorable little stockings and fantasized about how wonderful this holiday will be. Here are simple ways that you can establish a good Christmas spirit in your home and family with your new baby.
It may seem like a great idea to invite ten people over for a Christmas dinner party, to do all home-made presents this year, or to attend a million holiday events. Let me fill you in on one simple truth that I have learned as a parent. Stress is not cheerful, nor is it festive. Nothing kills the holiday spirit faster than being stressed out because you simply can’t achieve everything that you’ve planned. You will enjoy time with your baby less because you’re too busy trying to do other things, and you won’t do as good of a job on everything else because you’re distracted with your new baby. This doesn’t mean that you can’t make things or be involved. Just keep your plans realistic.
Play Christmas Carols
Christmas carols instantly add some Christmas cheer to any situation. Playing (or singing) Christmas music will help it to feel more like Christmas to you and the rest of your family. Your baby will enjoy hearing your voice as you sing along, and you may find them smiling at your or cooing along! Don’t think that Christmas music means a month of listening to bells and Bing Crosby either. Many contemporary musicians in a variety of styles have their own Christmas CD’s, so you can find music that is right for every family. I particularly like Sufjan Stevens’s Songs for Christmas and Amy Grant’s Home for Christmas.
Do Things Together
At Christmas time, doing things together is more important than buying things for each other. Your baby probably won’t be hugely interested in their presents their first Christmas. I remember my daughter spending half an hour chewing on her stocking while my husband desperately tried to interest her in the toys inside it. What will make them happier is doing things with their family. I’m not saying not to give gifts, but find a balance. Consider fun activities like baking Christmas goodies or making gingerbread houses, going to a Christmas market, going caroling, etc. My husband and I went to a Christmas tree farm together when we were still dating, and it became a family tradition. We’ve gone back every year, and our girls love knowing that they went to pick out trees as babies.
Stick to your Routine
At Christmas time it’s easy to get caught up in the celebrations and to abandon your normal routine. It really is worth trying to stick to your baby’s normal routine though. On my daughter’s first Christmas, we took her to some night-time events with us and let her stay up later than normal. The result was a grumpy baby the next day (which resulted in parents who weren’t enjoying Christmas as much either). I’m not saying to be a Grinch and never go out, but try to keep meal, bed, and nap-times as close to normal as possible. Surprisingly, your normal routine will help to keep up the Christmas cheer.