Christmas is the most family-oriented holiday of the year and a wonderful occasion to get together and celebrate with your closest ones. The new member of the family often does not understand what the fuss is all about but is still fascinated with all the lights and sparkling toys on the Christmas tree. Still, the first Christmas Eve can be very special for the baby and – furthermore – it can establish an emotional connection to the holiday and the family values. Here are some activities that you can do together with your baby, preparing for their first Christmas:
Traditions are the foundation of making the holidays unforgettable. You can revive something you used to do as a child or think of something new – start off baby’s first Christmas with a tradition you’ll both love. For example, hide the gifts somewhere other than under the tree or take an ugly Christmas sweater photo with the family.
Make a holiday countdown jar
The countdown jar activity can be adapted for counting the days from Christmas until New Year’s Eve. It will be interesting for both mom and baby. On Christmas Eve, write down on colorful paper strips 7 activities that you can do each day with your baby. For example: reading a holiday-themed book, playing with Christmas toys or building a snowman. Then toss the strips all into a jar and pull one out to do each day. By New Year’s, you’ll have made an entire week’s worth of fun memories for baby’s first holiday, rather than just one or two days. If this seems fun to you, next year you can do a whole month worth of activities!
Make a Christmas time capsule
Buy a keepsake box or something else with a lid where you can place mementos from baby’s first Christmas (such as: a holiday card, wrapping paper or bows from their first gifts, photos from the Christmas day). You may even include memories from the whole first year (lock of baby’s hair or booties). Then mark the box with the current year and store it somewhere safe. When your baby is old enough to understand it, you can come back to this box together and re-live your first Christmas together again.
Decorate baby’s nursery
Pay special attention to your baby’s room decoration or the area around the cradle. String up some white twinkle lights or hang paper snowflakes from the ceiling. There are lots of festive, wintery items to pick from! Just make sure any decor is safely out of baby’s reach.
Make a holiday card out of baby’s handprints
A popular trend now is to create cards with baby’s footprints or hands. A creative way to use this approach is to make a Christmas card that can be sent to family members. You just have to paint their palms or feet in festive colors, place them on a piece of cardboard paper and voila! You have a self-made Christmas card. Grandpa and Grandma will be so happy to have one!
P.S. Make sure to use non-toxic water-based paint, like tempera. In order to be extra safe, you can perform a skin test – smudge a bit of color on baby’s hand, leave for a minute or so and then wash with soap. Wait 24 hours: if there’s no reaction by then, you’re good to
Make a photo album
It’s baby’s first Christmas! You won’t want to miss their firsts— from their expression, when unwrapping their first Christmas present, to first time playing in the snow. So make as many pictures as you can and create your own album – there’s many cool apps out there you can use. Or even print the pictures and make it the old fashioned way – just arrange everything in a real photo album. This way you know they’ll stay with you forever.