When I found out I was pregnant, I became somewhat obsessed with planning out what we would do as a family throughout the year. My favorite childhood activities would be passed on – spending as much as possible in the ocean, walks at The Knob, apple picking, visits to Storyland – and I wanted to establish our own family traditions. While I love holidays in general, Christmas is the capstone of tradition. In my newly pregnant mind, I imagined my child patiently sitting next to a perfect Christmas tree while I held a festive photo shoot for our annual Christmas card. I wanted family caroling (in matching outfits no less) and Instagram worthy sugar cookies.
Then I had a baby.
For our first family Christmas, Cal was only a little over two months old.
We couldn’t quite sit up for a photo shoot, we definitely didn’t have the fine motor skills for cooking making, and it seemed impractical for me to sing solo outside strangers’ homes with a Baby Bjorn attached to my freezing body (Marc would have come along, but never participated).
I know this seems superfluous, but I felt so much pressure to establish 100% fail-proof and meaningful Christmas traditions for the FIRST Christmas. I thought that if it wasn’t built into this first one, it could never be added.
Y’all, I hear the anxiety. I’m totally aware, but I want to be honest with you about what I was feeling. I know we’ll be adding new things each year, like the Advent calendar, but the overwhelming pressure to create this 10 weeks into Caleigh’s life was so real.
Here are some things we did do on year one that we continue to –
- Christmas Eve pjs: This is a long time standing tradition for my whole family. My Nana & Papa used to give us, the three grandkids, pjs on Christmas Eve. We used to put them on before we went home to read The Night Before Christmas. This lives on!
- Charms for a future bracelet: Marc and I have bought Caleigh a charm each Christmas to symbolize a big event in her life: her zodiac sign, an airplane for the first trip to Disney, a house for our forever home. Eventually, we’ll build these onto a bracelet for her.
- Cookies: We pick out a new cookie cutter each year to make sugar cookies and then give them away as gifts. We add these cookie cutters to her ChristmasM tree in her room the following year.
Additionally, we do photos with Santa, Christmas movies, music, and as of last year, Elf on a Shelf.
Mamas, if you’re feeling like I did – anxious to build the best holiday for your baby and worried about what will work – STOP. I mean it. Stop reading this. Stop whatever you’re doing. Sit down with your kid right this instant and color, sing a song, play. That’s really what they want. TIME WITH YOU. If you want to structure that time into something mutually fun, fantastic, but don’t let it take a moment away from these precious days.
All the love and light,