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. While you might think the first festive year is hard to beat, things just get better and better. Toddlers and Christmas go together like turkey and sprouts – believe us. Your little one is the best gift you've ever gotten. Do these things to make your Baby’s first Christmas memorable for everyone to remember. Here are some fun ideas to try with them.
Consider a Baby Party
babies in santa hats opening presents
To share the holiday spirit, invite other babies and parents to an afternoon baby-fest. Have the little ones wear Santa hats and play with Christmas toys (be prepared for lots of adorable photo opps!). The grown-ups can sip something festive and swap strategies for upcoming in-law visits.
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.
Reindeer in Here
Perfect for parents who aren’t fans of Elf on the Shelf, Reindeer in Here is a Christmas tradition that children will love. The cuddly reindeer is Santa’s little spy, who comes from the North Pole to get to know children better, and report back to the big guy. Children are encouraged to name and play with him, so parents don’t need to get involved – one less thing to worry about during the festive season…
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.
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.
Flour (or icing sugar) footprints.
If your little ones are the suspicious types that need a little extra evidence of festive presence, try this clever trick as one of the more sneaky Christmas traditions. Cut out a set of footprint shapes from paper or card, then sprinkle over flour, icing sugar or glitter (depending on how handy with a vacuum you’re likely to be feeling the next day!), and there you have it – Father Christmas footprints that will have the little ones baffled.
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.
Your baby's first Christmas is an incredibly special time. Not only is it a great excuse to buy a cute festive outfit, it's a chance to introduce the magic back into Christmas.
Starting traditions, and remembering old ones
Have a think about what you used to enjoy as a kid at Christmas, and any traditions you might want to reinstate. Remember biscuits and milk for Father Christmas, a carrot for the reindeer and a movie on Christmas Eve perhaps?
There might be things your baby is not quite be big enough for this year, but you can start the traditions nonetheless. They’ll start to enjoy them in a year or two.
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!
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!
Stimulate His Senses
Let your baby experience the holidays through his senses. Have him touch and smell a clipping from the Christmas tree. Excite his eyes with the tree lights or sparkly decorations. Jingle some bells and listen to holiday music. And if your baby's old enough, give him a taste of some special holiday foods. He'll love the newness of it all, and you'll love watching Baby’s first Christmas come to life!
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.
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.
Make the easiest DIY advent calendar
To kick off December, how about an advent calendar?
"You might not want to give your toddler the conventional kind of advent calendar with the daily chocolate fix. One of the handy alternatives is creating a homemade one – it could be easier than you think."
Cut out a selection of bright and colourful festive pictures from Christmas cards and write the numbers on the back. This is a great way to upcycle last year’s. Use paperclips or clothes pegs to attach them (numbers facing forward) to a piece of string or wool.
Hang your strung advent calendar on a wall making sure it’s well out of reach. Et voila. Your little one will delight in helping you reveal a new picture each day.
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.
Quite literally. Get crafty with your gift ideas this year – baubles or Christmas ornaments with your little one’s hand or footprints will be treasured by grandparents and aunties/uncles. And while you’re at it, why not create one for your tree.
Here’s what one mum said: “I got a bit carried away at the time, creating baubles for family and myself when my two were little. But now I absolutely love unpacking them every year, and remembering those early days – their hand and foot prints seemed so little. And now they’re running about the place and three times the size.
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.
Donate Toys and Cakes
Modeling an attitude of gratitude is a great way to instill the value in little ones. Donating toys and freshly baked cakes at Christmas is a fun opportunity to do something helpful for the community, and teach your kids the value of gratefulness.
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.
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”.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
Start a collection
Baby’s first Christmas is the perfect time to start a new tradition! Why not start a collection of something special that you can add to each Christmas. You might pick something like small ornaments to be displayed in their bedroom, or something to play with like little Schleich figurines. Whatever it is, your child will grow to look forward to adding their special yearly token to their collection as they grow.
Leaving food out for Santa (and his friends!)
When it comes to Christmas traditions, it doesn’t get much more traditional than this! An oldie but a goodie, leaving mince pies and a glass of milk out for Santa is a lovely Christmas ritual that every family should perform on Christmas Eve. If the Santa in your house isn’t too keen on mincemeat, you can substitute cookies or cakes instead. Just don’t forget the reindeer food for Rudolph – flying round the world in 24 hours is hungry work for him too, you know!
Wear Crazy Christmas Sweaters
Not just for hipsters and awkward office Christmas parties anymore! Crazy Christmas sweaters have gone mainstream, but finding them is still half the fun.
Check your local thrift stores for the real deal, or just buy a new one. The important thing isn't how you got the sweater, but to look terrible. Plus it's fun to have something festive to wear when you're decorating the tree, baking cookies, or watching your favourite holiday special.
Take a photo so your child can know that you started embarrassing them from the get-go.
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.