Well, you’ve made it to the holiday season with an infant! Give yourself a pat on the back, or even a night out! The holidays are fast approaching. With all of the added stresses of the season, the last thing you need is to add more stress over baby’s first Christmas. Being a new mom myself, I have devised a plan of attack to keep the wolves at bay when it comes to my little one’s first Christmas.
First things first: the gifts. Personally, I am going to see how far I can ride the, “I just had a baby and I have no money” train. I have put gifts for my family on the backburner, and I will be giving out homemade gifts from my little one. Who doesn’t want a finger painting, or a hand impression from my eight month old? You, I would hope. However; grandma and grandpa will lose their minds over this “well thought out and personal keepsake.” I could spend money and stress out looking for that one item that they don’t already posses, or I could just let them unwrap a magical abstract painting of a house with trees and big windows, that show through to a recently upgraded kitchen. Imaginations will have to be present this year. Honestly, they would rather get some baby scribbles on a piece of construction paper than the latest Slap Chop. And don’t worry about the perfect gift for your little one. I promise you they will not remember. My husband and I actually gave our little one her gift last night. She was bored and needed something new. Not only are others going to flood the little guy or girl with gifts, but from what I hear, babies actually like the boxes, bags, and wrapping paper more than the gifts themselves.
Next up: baby’s first Christmas outfit. Now this could be a tricky one. These photos are going to be around for your little one’s lifetime, and you don’t want them to look back on these “first” photos years from now thinking that mom and dad were ultra lame and had no fashion sense. With all the social networking sites, picture cards, and photo sharing sites out there, you have got to be on your fashion “A-Game.” Let’s be honest, you know that your friends are secretly rating your little one’s fashion sense, so why not try your best to target and execute a cool outfit?
Let’s talk about Christmas dinner. I am one of those weirdoes who likes to monitor what goes into my little one’s mouth. That’s why I will be bringing baby’s own food to dinner. I am very lucky that we are able to make our own baby food, so I have complete control over what gets served to my infant. If your baby is not old enough for solids you’re lucky. That’s one less thing to worry about! If your baby is eating solids, try giving them little amounts of a few things at dinner. Sweet potatoes, pears, peas, all replicate a “typical” holiday dinner in my house. Find or make foods that are somewhat similar to what you are having, this way you feel your little one is also taking part of a special celebratory dinner. And if grandma and grandpa want to see baby taste the green bean casserole, you can politely say, “We brought his special dinner, but thanks for thinking of including him.”
Lastly, know your limits and know baby’s limits. Not to speak ill of my family, however I often find myself in need of a time out from them about 15 minutes into a visit. If your baby gets over stimulated, that could lead to a grumpy, irritable baby. In turn, that could lead to an unhappy Christmas… for everyone. Find refuge in a quiet, unoccupied room, and take a few minutes with your little one, making eye contact, singing familiar songs, anything that calms them down. Obviously your little one will be the cutest thing in the room (as long as no one received a puppy for Christmas) and family will want their one on one time, but being able to monitor and gage your baby’s needs, will help make this an amazing first Christmas.
Photo: Sarah Johnson, Ava’s First Christmas