15 Ideas for Baby's First Christmas

Your little one is the best gift you've ever received. Do these 15 things to make Baby's first Christmas memorable for everyone involved.

sleeping baby in Santa hat
Photo: Shutterstock
01 of 15

Have a Holiday Game Plan

greeting family on christmas

Every married couple has discussed these dreaded questions: "Are we spending Christmas with your family or mine? What about Thanksgiving and New Year's?" Splitting holidays is never easy, but adding a newborn baby to the mix complicates things even further. Make the decision several weeks in advance, then be clear with both families to avoid hurt feelings.

02 of 15

Purge Old Belongings

Picture of donate box
Peter Ardito

Before the holidays, purge the baby items you no longer need, such as outgrown toys and clothes. Give them to charity, pack them away in storage for the next kid, or hand 'em off to a pregnant friend. That way, you'll have space for all the new items you're about to receive.

03 of 15

Create a Wish List

online holiday shopping

Baby's presents should have your seal of approval—after all, you're the one who'll be looking at, washing, and storing them. Consider setting up an online wish list for her and sending it to grandparents, relatives, and other gift givers.

04 of 15

Don't Overbook

Holiday Tantrums Christmas Baby Crying

Baby's first Christmas is an exciting time. But you should try sticking with routines for eating, sleeping, and playing. You don't want Mr. Cranky Pants in every holiday photo! Remind relatives in your bubble who you are lucky enough to see that scheduling some downtime is a non-negotiable necessity.

05 of 15

Start a Tradition

Holiday traditions: matching pajamas

Start a totally new tradition this year for Baby's first Christmas. Don't stress about doing something big (Rockefeller Center and the Rockettes will be there another year)—small, simple gestures can be just as meaningful. Baby won't be able to participate yet, but you'll start the "lead by example" idea early. Here are some Christmas traditions we love: Wear matching PJs on Christmas Eve. Eat donuts while opening presents. Volunteer at a soup kitchen. Donate unused toys to charity.

06 of 15

Spend Time with Baby

Parents Babble Pointing Baby
Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock

The best gift you can give your child? Time. Designate one day during the holidays for family bonding—no holiday shopping or errand-running allowed. Your baby will love the extra attention, and you'll love the opportunity to slow down with your family.

07 of 15

Visit Santa From Home

santa with arms crossed

You may be wishing you didn't have to miss that quintessential photo with the mall Santa Claus when keeping things low-key this Christmas. Skip the potential for stranger anxiety and go right to the smiles instead of shrieks by handing Baby off to the fat, jolly guy at home. Yep, head to Amazon for an adult suit and DIY those pics—it's also an excuse to splurge on an adorably festive outfit for Baby, too!

08 of 15

Read Holiday Books

The Polar Express
Courtesy of Houghton Mifflin

Take a month-long break from Goodnight Moon. Buy a special Christmas book, then take it out every December and re-read it. We love classics like The Polar Express and The Night Before Christmas!

09 of 15

Buy One Special Gift

baby in santa costume holding present
Richard Hobson

Let the grandparents go overboard, but there's nothing wrong with getting your baby just one special thing. Think about a gift that she'll treasure as an adult, like a tiny gold bracelet, a gorgeous silver rattle, an engraved baby cup, a cashmere stuffed animal, or even a quilt made from her too-small clothes.

10 of 15

Consider a Baby Party Over FaceTime

babies in santa hats opening presents
Andrejs Pidjass

To share the holiday spirit, invite other babies and parents in your world to a virtual baby-fest. Have the little ones wear Santa hats and play with Christmas toys over Zoom or video chat. The grown-ups can sip something festive and swap strategies for upcoming in-law visits.

11 of 15

Chart Baby's Growth

christmas tree cookies milk holidays baby

The old cliche "time flies" makes sense once you have a child. To chart her growth, snap an annual Christmas picture next to your object of choice—the Christmas tree, a teddy bear, the fireplace at Grandma's house, etc. Turn the images into a photo display, if you'd like.

12 of 15

Deck Out Baby's Room

close-up of colored lights
Dave Jilek

Babies love the dazzle of Christmas lights, so why not hang some in her room? Just make sure lights are well out of her reach, and watch her eyes sparkle with excitement.

13 of 15

DIY a Holiday Card

baby boy at christmas
Minnikova Mariia/Shutterstock

You probably want Christmas cards that show off your beautiful babe, and we think you should go for it! Let Baby play with something holiday related—like a shiny ornament or a Santa hat—and snap pictures as she explores. If she's too little to play, stick her in front of a holiday setting (like a group of poinsettias) or lay her down on some holiday gift wrap. Once you've snapped the perfect shot, upload your photo to a website that creates holiday cards. Easy peasy!

14 of 15

Plan Baby's First Staycation

store holiday window

You don't need to travel far to enjoy Baby's first Christmas. Simply trek around town to check out holiday decorations and window displays. Your baby will love the bright lights and illuminated scenes, and you'll be grateful for much-needed time outside the house. Just remember to mask-up and keep socially distanced.

15 of 15

Stimulate His Senses

Mom breastfeeding baby during Christmas
Tanya Nekrasova/shutterstock 

Let your baby experience the holidays through his senses. Have him touch and smell a clipping from the Christmas tree. Excite his eyes with the tree lights or sparkly decorations. Jingle some bells and listen to holiday music. And if your baby's old enough, give him a taste of some special holiday foods. He'll love the newness of it all, and you'll love watching Baby's first Christmas come to life!

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