It can be really tempting to bombard your holiday season with things that take a lot of energy and don’t really fill your cup. Especially during the first year with your new little one, it’s important to focus on traditions that will be special for you, your family and your little one. Don’t worry too much about making everyone happy, because just knowing that a little one is enjoying their first holiday season with their family should be gift enough!
Here are a few ideas for you and your family to start this year, that can be continued on as the years go by. These are the types of things that people remember as being what makes the season so special, much more than the gifts under the tree…
- Buy a new Christmas book every year – we started with ’Twas the Night Before Christmas so that we can ready that on Christmas Eve. Each year we add a new one to the collection. Before you know it you’ll have one to read every night of the holiday season.
- Admire the lights! – even in the first few days, babies can see light and (maybe) colours. Take your little one for a walk to see decorated houses or to the tree lighting in your town. Or just sit them in front of your own tree (not too close though!) to let them soak up the holiday excitement.
- Bundle up and go for a hike or a snowshoe – even if it’s just to the end of the driveway!
- Donate some toys – make some room for what Santa is bringing and donate some of those well loved or maybe never touched toys. You can leave them out on Christmas Eve so Santa can take them when he comes and take them to other families who might be able to use them!
- Speaking of Santa, write him a letter. It’s nice to be able to put in writing what your little one has been up to and learning through the year. You can mail it and get a response, or put it in the fire to send it up the chimney (you might also want to hold onto them to look back on down the road too).
- Place your handprints on the tree skirt – each year, everyone in the family makes their mark. It’s a nice way to see how your littles and your family grows over the years.
- Make special family recipes. Our family has a couple different cookie recipes that I remember making growing up and that came from my parent’s childhoods. Now’s a great chance to pass them on to your kids too. The tactile sensations are so fun for them too, even if they can’t help with things like measuring and stirring or tasting yet. That will come soon enough.
- Make a special trip to see family you don’t get to see throughout the year. Or maybe just take 10 minutes and do a video call. I guarantee it will make their day, if not their whole Christmas.
- Make some Reindeer Food – follow an animal safe recipe, like this one, and leave some out in the yard on Christmas Eve. This is especially fun if you have snow so you can see any footprints of any visitors you might have had through the night.
- Christmas Ornaments – Pick out a special ornament to hang on the tree on Christmas eve. Each year add a new ornament to their collection. I look forward to decorating our tree every year full of memories from my childhood, and now memories from my little one’s.