This year’s festivities are likely to unfold on a smaller scale, but the colorful lights, celebratory sounds, and tasty smells are still a lot to take in for the tiny tots who are joining in on the fun for the very first time. As parents, family members, or friends, we all want a baby’s very first holiday to be special – so here are a few tips and tricks to make magic happen!
Family Video Chats
An important step in yearly holiday planning – especially when a little one is in the picture – is to choose who to see and when to see them (and between grandparents, aunts, uncles, and close buddies, there is usually a lot of scheduling). But this year, you can chat and celebrate with everyone from the comfort (and safety) of your living room! All you need is a handy device equipped with a camera so that all of your family members and friends can say hello to your baby and wish you a happy holiday. You can even take it a step further by hosting a virtual baby play date with other parents!
You often grow up with your parents’ traditions, but welcoming a bundle of joy into this world means welcoming new traditions into your own family as well. You could go down the classic route and make sure everyone is wearing a silly sweater, cooky socks, or matching pajamas on the morning of the celebrations. You could also make it a yearly tradition to kick the holidays off with a sweet snack, whether it’s a tall glass of milk with cookies, a jelly pavlova, fruity pudding, panettone, or sufganiyot. Truth be told, there are as many traditions as there are families – and the best tradition is the one you come up with together and follow for the years to come.
Adding a festive touch to your home this season is usually a given, but what about decorating the room where your baby plays, sleeps, and explores their surroundings? The goal here isn’t to necessarily create an award-winning display of decorations, but to add a few colorful accents here and there that will stimulate your kiddo’s senses. Hang up a string or two of twinkly lights that your baby can marvel at, tie a textured stocking to their crib for them to touch and discover, or fill a plastic vase with fir branches to give the room a wintry aroma. And you can top it all off by playing soft and soothing holiday songs!
Get into the holiday spirit with thematic stories! In the days leading up to your celebrations, switch out your regular reading materials for holiday-themed books during story time. Although your baby won’t grasp the stories (yet!), classics such as The Night Before Christmas and The Polar Express, or newer stories such as The Nutcracker in Harlem and All the Little Snowflakes are sure to put the whole family in a magical mood. And if you crack the same books open on a yearly basis, your kiddo will familiarize themselves with these stories and look forward to a special kind of storytime at the end of every year.
When you hear holidays, you tend to think gifts. Picking out that perfectly special gift for your baby’s first holiday can come with a lil’ bit of pressure for parents. But there’s one thing you can keep in mind to ease your worries – your child is so tiny that they won’t truly understand the gift… and might even be more mesmerized by the wrapping than the gift itself. What’s key to remember is that this gesture is symbolic more than anything! Whether you get them a toy or a baby-friendly heirloom, it will be something both you and they will cherish later on. (And if you’re feeling a little lost, just take a look at our gift guide for babies).
Bonus tip: Take it easy and don’t forget to relax! The #1 thing we can truly recommend is to not set extremely high expectations this season. Whatever you’re planning is sure to be wonderful – and your baby’s first winter holiday will be special as long as you’re together!