Christmas feels more magical with a new little one, and many parents wonder what baby’s first Christmas traditions they will adopt. What will Christmas look like for a new family?
The following are many baby’s first Christmas traditions for parents to consider that will create wonderful memories during the most wonderful time of the year. Let’s go!
Note: These Baby’s first Christmas traditions are not intended to pile pressure on new parents. If you do none of these things, you’re a great mom and dad! This Christmas season, find what brings your family joy and run with it! (Check out more tips for new moms during baby’s first Christmas to keep your sanity!)
Talk with Partner
Before new parents choose new Christmas traditions, it’s helpful to consider the ones we were raised with and what our partners grew up doing too. Have a conversation with your partner and see what Christmas traditions were a hit, and what were a miss.
Decorations and Crafts for Baby’s First Christmas Traditions
Start an Ornament Collection
Each year when the Christmas tree goes up, give your child a new ornament that is symbolic of them or something that happened that year. For example, my daughter learned to sew this year so I got her a sewing ornament. For a baby, however, the perfect ornament might say “Baby’s First Christmas” or something similar for their first Christmas ornament.
Make an Ornament
Get your craft on and make an ornament with your new baby! Salt dough ornaments are a simple idea, and a perfect way to preserve a handprint or footprint. Ornament kits make it simple and easy!
Create a Craft with Handprints/Footprints
Speaking of Christmas crafts, there are many ideas on Pinterest that memorialize those tiny, adorable hands and toes. One of my most treasured Christmas decorations is a simple tea towel with my daughters tiny handprints on them, shaped into a Christmas Tree. Poke around on Pinterest and find a simple, cute, memorable craft.
Make a Christmas Countdown Paper Chain
A simple, sweet craft is a countdown to Christmas paper chain. Start with 25 connected paper strips, and every day rip one off as you get closer to the big day. It’s a visual counting down of the days. Instructions: Cut construction paper in 25 2″x6″ strips. Take the first strip and glue or staple the ends to make a ring. Place next strip through the first ring, and clue/staple the ends to complete the ring. Continue until all 25 strips are interconnected rings.
Put a Tabletop Tree in Baby’s Nursery
What’s the perfect place to put these new Christmas ornaments and paper chain? On a tabletop tree in baby’s nursery, safely out of reach, but where all can see. Baby will be delighted to have something beautiful to look at!
Hang Their Stocking
Don’t forget to hang an additional stocking this year! Stockings have a dual purpose for baby’s first Christmas. Not only are they the perfect place for smaller gifts, like a new pacifier or lovie, but they’re super adorable for the photo op (see below).
Baby’s First Christmas Traditions: Audio & Visual
Parents, take advantage of this once in a lifetime opportunity and put your baby in a Christmas stocking! It’s adorable and makes for a great photo or holiday card. Babies conveniently fit into Christmas decorations like stockings, but also presents. What a gift you’ve been given!
Post on Social Media
Take those adorable Christmas photos with your new little family and post them on social media. Each year, post again! Years from now you’ll love to see the progression of your little one and whole family! Take it up a notch and post a Christmas greeting video. You’ll love looking back and seeing how much everyone has changed.
Sing Christmas Carols
This one may be better NOT recorded and posted to social media LOL. I don’t know about you, but it doesn’t feel like Christmas until I sing Christmas carols. Babies love music, so even though they can’t sing along, they’ll love watching and hearing the melodies from their favorite people. Silent Night is a good place to start as its a good song to sing as a lullaby at night.
Baby’s First Christmas Traditions: Gifts
Read a Christmas Book
Reading aloud to children, even babies, is so good for language skills, and associates this brain growth with cozying up with their favorite people. Christmastime is the perfect opportunity to read a special story! My advice is to keep it short and simple, and make sure the book is durable.
Keep Presents Simple – 4 Gift Rule
Many parents enjoy the simplicity of keeping Christmas presents simple by sticking to the four gift rule. The four gift rule sticks to four categories of gifts like a book, clothing, something they need, and something they want. This is easy to follow when they’re babies, but becomes more and more challenging as they get older. Teenagers only want expensive electronics! Here’s a list for the best toys for a one year old that don’t plug in if you need some good gift ideas!
Wear Matching PJs
Everyone loves a good matching PJ family! Matching PJs are easy to find these days, even in baby and toddler sizes. One of my family’s traditions is to open a gift on Christmas Eve… and it’s always the matching PJs. My kids love it! This is another opportunity to get a family photo of everyone in their super cute, snuggly pajamas.
Unwrap One Present on Christmas Eve
Unwrapping one present on Christmas Eve is a fun Christmas tradition to initiate. It’s like an appetizer getting us more excited for the main event. Opening a present on Christmas Eve is especially helpful with babies because, honestly, it helps to space out the opening of presents with tiny humans that don’t have much of an attention span. I wouldn’t recommend opening ALL the presents on Christmas Eve though. We did that one year and it made for a very anticlimactic Christmas morning! (Don’t forget a Christmas gift for the new mom!!)
Baby’s First Christmas Traditions: Excursions
Drive to See Christmas Lights
If your baby finds car rides to be soothing, strap them in their car seat and go for a drive to see the Christmas lights in your community. If driving isn’t the best idea this year, see if there is a park or community event that features Christmas lights. Babies and children love to look at the different lights and these days they’re so well done!
Go to a Local Christmas Event
Does your community host a local Christmas event? This may be the perfect Christmas tradition to start attending with your baby. Often times these events feature caroling, Santa, a tree lighting ceremony, Christmas decorations, and festive treats, which are so much fun!
An iconic baby’s first Christmas tradition is the annual visit to Santa. It doesn’t get any better than having the opportunity to sit on Santa’s lap to tell him what to put under the Christmas tree. Make sure you take lots of pictures! The pictures are epic.
Visit a Tree Farm
Are you on team real Christmas tree? Christmas tree farms are the perfect place for the holiday purists to make memories with their growing family. Visit the Christmas tree farm, cut a tree down or not, but be sure to take some pictures!
Candlelit Christmas Eve Church Service
Maybe this will work out with a baby, maybe it won’t, but there’s something magical about singing Christmas carols with a large group of people, with nothing but candlelight illuminating the faces. Stand in the back with baby in a carrier, and just see how it goes. Who knows, you could make a wonderful memory for baby’s first Christmas.
Start an annual tradition of giving back by donating toys or clothes to children in need during the holiday season. Babies grow quickly and there’s usually a pile or two of things that need to go. Donate it to a good cause!
Turkey Trot 5K
Hear. Me. Out. Getting outside with a huge group of people to walk, jog, and/or run in a Turkey Trot 5K can be a ton of fun, even for baby’s first Christmas! They key here is to make sure to have low expectations. Turkey Trots with children are to be enjoyed, not won!
Baby’s First Christmas Traditions: Food
Decorate Christmas Cookies
Decorating Christmas cookies is a creative, entertaining, and certainly delicious tradition for baby’s first Christmas! The sweet thing about cookie decorating is that you can make it as simple, or complicated as you want! It’s up to you. Make and roll out the dough yourself, or buy it premade. The most important thing is the moments and memories made!
Eat Out at a Restaurant
Some families enjoy the annual tradition of eating out at a restaurant on or around Christmas. Find a low-key restaurant that’s open during the holidays for a delicious less-stress approach to the Christmas meal.
Buy an Advent Calendar
My children love counting down the days to Christmas and love a good advent calendar, especially if there’s chocolate involved. This particular activity would be very fun for an older baby, watching them try to figure out what’s behind the doors. Have fun with this one!
Baby’s First Christmas Traditions: Evidence of Santa
Cookies and Milk
An iconic Christmas tradition is before going to bed on Christmas Eve, children leave a snack for Santa to munch on while he’s dropping off his presents. Sometimes carrot sticks are left for the reindeer, because you know, they need sustenance too. This one would also be lost on a baby, but is definitely a tradition to consider down the road.
I’ve never heard of another family with this tradition except for mine, but when I was a little girl some years we didn’t have a Christmas tree until Christmas morning. Maybe my dad was broke (lol) or a more likely scenario was that he enjoyed the theatrics, but he would tell us that Santa would bring the tree. That’s right, on Christmas Eve we went to bed without a Christmas tree in our house. Sure enough, when my brothers and I woke up in the morning a beautifully decorated Christmas tree was there in the living room!
Another year my dad took it up a notch and Santa got the tree stuck in the chimney. The tree was literally hanging out of the fireplace with the top of the tree going up the chimney. I’m not sure a baby would appreciate all this drama for their first Christmas, but it certainly could be a memorable tradition for years to come.
St. Nicholas Shoe Tradition
An underrated Christmas activity is the St. Nicholas shoe tradition, which is part of the St. Nicholas Feat Day. Kids leave their shoes outside on December 5th, and on December 6th, which is St. Nicholas Feast Day, little goodies like candy and oranges have been left inside.
25 Baby’s First Christmas Traditions to Consider
To recap, here are 25 baby’s first Christmas traditions to consider:
Start an ornament collection
Make an ornament
Create a Christmas craft with hand and footprints
Make a Christmas countdown paper chain
Tabletop tree in baby’s nursery
Hang their stocking
Post on social media
Sing Christmas carols
Read a Christmas book
4 gift rule
Wear matching PJs
Unwrap 1 present on Christmas Eve
Drive to see Christmas lights
Go to a local Christmas event
Visit a Christmas tree farm
Christmas Even service
Turkey Trot 5K
Decorate Christmas cookies
Eat out at a restaurant
Cookies and milk
St. Nicholas shoe tradition
May your little one’s first holiday season be filled with giddy giggles, wide-eyed amazement, and a dash of pure enchantment that will forever light up their world like shimmering fairy dust. Happy Baby’s First Christmas!