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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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?