6 Ways to Make Baby’s First Christmas Last

Ah, the joys of Christmas! The twinkling lights, the perfectly placed stockings, Uncle Bob’s bad jokes, the mistletoe and magic. The holidays are a busy, yet simple time in our lives when we stop to reflect on those who matter most. When there is a new baby in the house, we are even more in touch with the true meaning of Christmas.

Here are 6 ideas to make the meaning and memories last a lifetime.

1. Say CHEESE! If ever there is a time to spend a few extra dollars on Photography and Christmas cards, it is now. Let’s agree on this subject: there is nothing cuter (and I mean nothing) than a baby in a stocking! A close second is baby in a Santa outfit, oh, but baby in Santa’s arms is adorable too, and baby under the mistletoe…you get the drift! Roll out the red Christmas carpet for your little one and announce to the world: It’s “Baby’s First Christmas!” I remember one (or two) doting grandmas who told me I would never forget my children’s first Christmases, and I must say, I have not…and I have the PICTURES to prove it.

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2. Trim the tree with Ultrasound Ornaments for years to come. An original Grandparent Gift Co. idea, our customers have enjoyed our ultrasound frames and keepsakes for over a decade. Hang the priceless snapshot of your holiday angel on the tree each year and always remember the moment when you saw baby for the very first time. Grandparent Gift Co. Ultrasound Ornaments come in a variety of shapes and sizes and make the perfect gift at the holidays or anytime of year.

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3. Deck the Halls! While baby can’t quite  make it to the naughty list with dirty diaper and late night cries, it is hard for Santa to know just what to give baby for Christmas. My son was just 3 months old on his first Christmas, so I took the opportunity to give him items he could cherish for many holidays to come. First of all, a stocking. I searched far and wide for the perfect stocking as I knew it would be hung by the chimney with care for decades to come.

In my pursuit for the perfect stocking, I found a Christmas quilt to match with somersaulting Santas and embroidered with his name, my son loves to dig in the holiday boxes each year until he can get his hands on his own special quilt. Now at age 11, he still enjoys snuggling up with it, a tradition that will certainly be passed on to his own family one day.

For his first Christmas, I also purchased a personalized “Cookies for Santa” plate and daily nativity wall calendar, both of which are still family favorites year after year. Before baby grows up and starts making long wish lists for Santa, take the opportunity to invest in items that will become part of your unique holiday family traditions.

Starting a holiday collection for baby or family, is also a wonderful First Christmas purchase. I buy a new Christmas book each year, and now have a collection we love to sit down and read each and every year. Two of my children have collections, one of snow globes and another of nutcrackers..something special like this would be perfect to start to commemorate their first Christmas.

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4. One of the best ways to preserve baby’s first Christmas is to stop the hands of time. While it is, of course, impossible to stop the clock, a handprint ornament from the Grandparent Gift Co. is a timeless edition to your holiday keepsakes.

The “Child’s First Christmas” ornament and “Grandchild’s First Christmas” ornament are Grandparent Gift Co. exclusives, each featuring 3.5×5 antique gold frame, gold stamp pad, green grosgrain ribbon, instructions, plus unforgettable keepsake poem written on the back. Parents, grandparents and your growing child alike will adore trimming the tree with this first Christmas handprint ornament year-after-year. My son loves to compare his hand-size each December as he hangs his first handprint on the tree. What an incredible reminder of how fast they grow!

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Other baby keepsakes can also be added to the tree as ornaments, such as a tiny baby shoe, crocheted bootie, engraved silver spoon or hospital bracelet tucked inside a glass ornament.

5. Fa! La! La! Fun! The first Christmas is your opportunity to begin building traditions you only wish your own parents could have thought of. In the age of digital media, the possibilities are endless as you create your own unique holiday story. Some unique fa-la-la FUN ideas are:

1) take a photo of your child every year in front of a wipe-off board or chalkboard that lists why he/she has been naughty or nice this year (the first few Christmases, mom or dad will need to write, but can you imagine how humorous these will become as time goes on!)

2) starting with baby’s first Christmas, (you know, when you spent a little extra money on photography and Christmas cards?…Just making sure you were paying attention at the beginning of the blog), start a coffee table book of yearly Christmas cards and professional family photos. It may look empty for the first year or two, but soon you will be amazed at just how many “Christmas cards you write”!

3) In an effort to take the handwork out of creating her own Christmas timeline, Grandparent Gift Co. founder, Teri Harrison, made it easy for all of us to celebrate the holidays through pictures! The Holiday Family Timeline creates a visual story of your family’s growth over the years and preserves the magic of the holiday season through pictures. It holds ten 4×6 horizontal photos and has a space on the back for inscribing your favorite memories. Save it for yourself, give it as a gift…or both!

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6. Lastly, may you find a place of peace this Christmas. While the demands of parenting and grand-parenting  can be exhausting, be sure to take time out of the hustle and bustle to just snuggle with your little bundle of joy, for isn’t that what the FIRST CHRISTMAS is all about?

What Grieving Mothers Want for Mother’s Day

What Grieving Mothers Want for Mother’s Day

These are some very observations on helping grieving moms get through Mother’s Day written by my friend Renee Wood of TheComfortCompany.net.

We don’t like to think that this day could be anything but joyous, but for many women it is a day to remember their lost love, whether it be a miscarriage or loss of a child. Just the other day I received an email from a customer, asking to be taken off the mailing list because the emails reminded her of her loss. This is for her and all the other mom’s who have a piece of their heart forever in Heaven.

TheComfortCompany.net Offers

10 Simple Ways to Help Moms Cope When Mother’s Day Hurts

Acknowledgement is what grieving mother’s want most for Mother’s Day, suggests a survey by www.thecomfortcompany.net, a website that specializes in meaningful sympathy gifts. The online survey asked “What can others do to ease your pain on Mother’s Day”. Over 80 percent of the 200 respondents answered, “Recognize that I am a mother”.

 

“While Mother’s Day is generally considered to be a day of celebration, for many women it is a day of pain and loss” says Renee Wood, former social worker and founder of The Comfort Company. “It’s important to remember those moms who have had a failed pregnancy or who have lost a child at any age.”

 

In response to the survey results, thecomfortcompany.net has issued a list of ten simple ways to reach out to a grieving mother on this difficult holiday.

 

1. Recognize that they are a mother

Offer a hug and a “Happy Mother’s Day”. Send a card to let them know you remember they are a mother even though their child is not with them physically.

 

2. Acknowledge they have had a loss

Express the message, “I know this might be a difficult day for you. I want you to know that I am thinking about you.”

Rememberme. The Orange Slice: The Grandparent Gift Co.

3. Use their child’s name in conversation

One mother responded, “People rarely speak his name anymore, but when they do it’s like music to my ears”.

 

4. Plant a living memorial

A tree or rose bush, like memories, will grow in beauty as the years pass.

 

5. Visit the grave site

Many mothers felt that it was “extremely thoughtful” when others visited their child’s grave site and left flowers or a small pebble near the headstone.

 

6. Light a candle

Let the mother know you will light a candle in memory of their child on Mother’s Day.

Baby Memorial Gift: Orange Slice, The Grandparent Gift co.

7. Share a memory or pictures of the child

Give the gift of a memory. One mother wrote that the “greatest gift you can give is a heart felt letter about my child and a favorite memory with them”.

 

8. Send a gift of remembrance

Many mothers felt a small gift would be comforting. Suggestions included: an angel statue, jewelry, a picture frame, a library book or toy donation in the child’s name or anything personalized.

Baby Heaven Infant Loss Gift

 

9. Don’t try to minimize the loss

Avoid using any clichés that attempt to explain the death of a child. (“God needed another angel.”) Secondly, don’t try to find anything positive about the loss (“You still have two healthy children”).

 

10. Encourage Self-Care

Self-care is an important aspect of the “healing the mind and spirit effort” according to several mothers. Encourage a grieving mother to take care of herself. Give her a gift certificate to a day spa or any place where she can be pampered.

 

What have you done to comfort a friend who has lost a child?

 

Visit- www.comfortcompany.net for bereavement gifts

Visit www.grandparentgiftcompany.com

 

©2007 The Comfort Company. All Rights Reserved.  May be reprinted with permission and credit to: www.thecomfortcompany.net

Will You Love me Tomorrow? For Moms and Daughters

Will You Love Me Tomorrow?

 

 The mommy and little girl walked hand in hand at the park.

The mommy looked down at her little girl and asked,

“Did I forget to tell you I love you today?”

“Yes” said the little girl. “I love you today” said the mommy.

“Will you love me tomorrow? questioned the little girl.

“I will love you tomorrow” answered mommy.

She smiled at her little girl and quietly hoped she would not grow up too fast.

 But the little girl grew and grew. She dressed herself each morning. She combed her hair and clipped in her favorite barrette. She now reached the sink on her tippy toes to get her own glass of water.

It was time for the little girl to go to kindergarten. On her first day of school, the little girl wore a brand new pair of shoes and a dress she picked out all by herself. She carried a book bag with her name on it. Mommy walked the little girl to her new classroom. Before saying goodbye, Mommy held the little girl close and whispered,

“Did I forget to tell you I love you today?’

“Yes” whispered the little girl.

“I love you today” said the Mommy.

“Will you love me tomorrow?” asked the little girl.

“I will always love you tomorrow.” said Mommy.

She watched her little girl walk away and join her new classmates.

Mommy stood in the hallway with a tear in her eye and quietly wondered how her baby had grown so fast.

 The little girl finished kindergarten, and each year thereafter she had more first days of school. Each year she wore a bigger new pair of shoes, a bigger new outfit and a carried a bigger back pack.

 When the young girl turned 10, she went to summer camp for a whole week without her parents. As the camp bus was filled with excited boys and girls, the Mom and daughter hugged.

“Did I forget to tell you I love you today?” asked the Mom.

“Yes” said the young daughter.

“I love you today.” said the Mom.

“Will you love me tomorrow while I’m a camp?”  wondered the young girl.

 “I will always love you tomorrow.” said the Mom.

She watched her daughter climb aboard the yellow bus.

The young girl smiled and waved from the open window. The mom stood waving from the curb and quietly wondered how her baby had grown so fast.

 The young girl continued to go to camp each summer. The summer she turned 16, she worked at a local ice cream parlor and spent most of her free time with friends. That summer she also learned to drive and her mother let her drive to the mall on her own.

 As her daughter started the car engine and tuned the radio to her favorite station, the mom called out,

“Did I forget to tell you I love you today?!”

But the daughter didn’t hear her mother.

The mother stood alone in the driveway and slowly whispered the answer to herself,

“Yes… I love you today and I will always love you tomorrow.”

How had her baby grown so fast?

 The teenage girl became a young lady. She graduated from high school and enrolled in college. Her mother helped her daughter pack most of her belongings. This first day of school did not come with special outfits or shoes, but there was a car loaded with clothes, a computer, books, sheets, towels and a small television.

 When the young lady was settled in her new dorm room, the mother hugged her daughter and said, “Did I forget to tell you I love you today?”

“I think so”, replied the daughter.

“I love you today.” said the mother.

“OK “ said the daughter as she hurried off to meet her new roommates for pizza.

The mother stood alone in the dorm room and realized her baby had grown too fast.

 The young lady spent several years attending college, coming home in the summers and driving back to college each fall. Soon she graduated from college and got a job in a new city. This time the daughter moved further away from her mother. She lived in a little apartment and paid all her own bills. She was a grown woman. However, sometimes the grown woman would get sad and lonely and would call her Mother to talk. Before she would hang up, the Mother would ask,

“Did I forget to tell you I love you today?”

The woman would answer “Yes Mom”.

“I love you today” the mother would reply.

“Will you be there for me if I need to call tomorrow?” the woman asked.

“I will always be here for you tomorrow.” said the Mother. The mother hung up and quietly wondered how her baby had grown so fast.

 The woman soon found her way in the world and met a man she loved.

 The two got married and eventually started a family. When the woman held her new baby for the first time, she could only think of her mother. As she had done many times before, she called her mother on the phone.

” Hi Mom, said the daughter. “Did I forget to tell you I love you today?”

“Yes Dear” murmured the mother softly.

“I love you today” said the daughter.

“Will you love me tomorrow?” choked backed the mother.

“I will love you tomorrow and forever” said the daughter in a voice that was filled with a new understanding.

The mother said goodbye and pressed the phone to her heart. She wore a tear-filled smile and quietly wondered how her baby had grown up so fast. 

 The daughter stared lovingly down at the sleepy face of her beautiful newborn baby, and quietly prayed her little baby would not grow up too fast….

Call your Mother..because time goes so fast.

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Copyright Teri Harrison

www.grandparentgiftco.com