Your baby’s first year is full of milestones, and Christmas is no exception! This first Christmas will be a magical experience that your family will cherish for years to come. The holidays this year will be less about gifts and more about the new memories being made and new traditions being started. From sending a holiday card to introduce your new loved one, to making a trip to visit Santa and his elves, below are some of the top baby-approved Christmas traditions.
1. Send a birth announcement
If you haven’t already sent out a card announcing your big news, consider a holiday birth announcement for extra festivity. Wintery designs like colorful holly and glittering snowflakes showcase your baby’s photos with flair.
2. Have a Christmas family photo shoot
This year would be the perfect time to start the Christmas tradition of taking an annual family portrait. Professional photos of your family is something you’ll cherish forever and make for beautiful Christmas cards! The natural light in outdoor settings makes for beautiful photos, but if you’re more comfortable at home you can decorate your home in the holiday spirit for the perfect backdrop.
3. Dress up
Have fun styling your baby in a variety of festive holiday attire, from red and green onesies, to formal baby clothes, to wintry hats. To go the extra mile, dress your baby as Santa, a little elf or even a reindeer. These outfits are camera-ready and suitable for any holiday occasion.
4. Create a sentimental holiday card
Take this opportunity to showcase one or a few of the many photos you have of your baby’s first year. The hard part will be narrowing down which to feature on the card! Shutterfly offers a collection of baby’s first Christmas cards specifically to celebrate this momentous occasion and send out your holiday wishes.
5. Meet Santa for the first time
This iconic moment is not to be missed, and is a simple way to celebrate. Even if baby won’t remember or know who Santa is, the memories will be great to look back on and the photo op is just too cute to pass up!
6. Hang baby’s first Christmas stocking
A special personalized Christmas stocking will look great next to yours and last a lifetime. You don’t have to stuff it with much, but just the decoration alone is worth hanging!
7. Get baby’s first Christmas pajamas
Buying new pajamas to wear on Christmas Eve is a tradition kids will enjoy for years to come. If siblings are involved, matching pajamas is the way to go.
8. Trim the tree with a personalized Christmas ornament
Personalize a Christmas tree ornament to commemorate baby’s first Christmas, that can be hung year after year. It will make a great keepsake as they grow older, and you can even start the tradition of buying a new one every year.
9. Make a special trip to see family members
This may be your baby’s first time meeting extended family so it’s an extra special time to create family bonds and take lots of photos! If it’s too far to travel, have the family come to you. Either way, the introduction will be full of memories you’ll cherish forever.
10. Get an Elf on the Shelf
Start the magic early with this playful little game of elf hide-and-seek. You’ll have fun playing along, and in a few years it will become a treasured tradition for the whole family.
11. Donate toys
Modeling an attitude of gratitude is a great way to instill the value in little ones. Donating toys at Christmas is a fun opportunity to do something helpful for the community, and teach your kids the value of gratefulness.
12. Start a Christmas cookie tradition
If you don’t already make Christmas cookies every year, now is the perfect time to start. Once you find a flavor you like you can turn that into a yearly tradition. Everyone will have something to look forward to during the holiday season, and as your baby grows he or she can help more and more every year.
13. Read a Christmas Eve bedtime story
Start a Christmas Eve tradition of reading a special bedtime story. You can set the scene with hot cocoa and snuggle up with a classic like “The Night Before Christmas”.
14. Deck the nursery
Decorate the newest room of the house with Christmas accessories like, pillows, candles and holly branches. It will be cozy for the whole family to snuggle up in together.
15. Make a handprint/footprint craft
Make a craft that’s as fun as it is sentimental. Use your baby’s handprint or footprint to create Christmas scenes like reindeers, Christmas trees or snowmen. It will be a special timestamped keepsake from such an important time.
16. Make a Christmas baby mobile
Create your own DIY baby mobile with a holiday touch. Choose a festive color scheme and use anything from pictures of Christmas past, to red and green pom poms, to stuffed animals to create the hanging bits.
17. Visit a Christmas tree farm
The adventure of going to the Christmas tree farm to pick out a tree is priceless. You’ll have a good time with the whole family and have fun memories (and photos) to look back on.
18. Start your Santa tradition
Does Santa bring all the gifts, does he only bring a few small ones, the big ones? It’s up to you as a family how you want Santa to be a part of your Christmas morning. Now is the time to decide how much you want Santa to be involved. Let the magic begin!
19. See a holiday parade or light show
Holiday light shows, or simply driving around looking at lights, is a spectacular way to celebrate the holiday season. With such magnificent lights on display, your baby will ogle at the festivity of it all. At the very least, the car ride can be a great tool for lulling baby to sleep.
20. Make a special Christmas dinner
Family meals are always great, but Christmas dinner as a family is a timeless tradition. This year, with the addition of someone new to the table, you’ll have to think just a little bit more about this year’s menu. Consider ways to make the traditional holiday foods baby-friendly so that everyone can be a part of the family.
Congratulations on this joyous time! From adorable custom Christmas cards to special Christmas family time, no matter how you decide to celebrate, spend this holiday season filled with love and don’t forget that this time passes quickly.