That magical festive time of year is here again... And what could be better than your first Christmas with baby? Regarding preparations leading up to the big day, here is our advice for your baby’s initiation to the magic of Christmas and creating its first memories of these precious moments.
Early in December, Christmas is already in the air... And with a baby, the festive season undeniably takes on a new dimension, especially if it’s your first child.
From this year onwards, you can begin to initiate your little one in the traditions that make this time of year so unique: advent calendars, candles, nursery, fir trees, decorations in the home, little spiced biscuits, Christmas stories and songs, etc. These rituals take on new meaning when you continue them and pass them on to your child, who, in turn, will undoubtedly carry them on once he or she has grown up. As a gentle introduction to the magic of the festivities, involve your child as much as possible in all your preparations: lights, colours, fragrances... For your child, Christmas will be a marvel for all the senses!
The Christmas tree and its thousand lights
When it comes to the tree, it is better not to bring out your prettiest glass decorations this year, particularly if your little adventurer is beginning to crawl... Opt instead for solid decorations that you can show it before hanging them high up on the tree to prevent it pulling them straight off again. Another essential: flashing Christmas tree lights will amaze even the smallest babies, who will probably not want to look at anything else! Every day up till Christmas, take a moment to stop and show your baby the tree and its lights, held tightly in your arms. But be prudent: do not let your little one crawl near your beautiful tree with its electric lights unattended...
Presents: all in moderation!
Finding presents for a baby only a few months old can hardly be a real problem... It has undoubtedly already received many gifts when it was born and does not yet have any major needs, but all the family probably want to spoil it anyway. If you are already snowed under with toys designed for the youngest babies, consider giving (or having others give) toys for a slightly older child that he or she will be able to use later on. The same can be said for clothes: ask Father Christmas for some nice outfits for the next season. Another smart idea is rather than toys, ask for useful day-to-day items such as a mixer/steamer, high chair or a play pen, etc.
Note also that little children are soon overwhelmed by opening presents: after the first two or three sparkling parcels that attract their attention, they will find it hard to take an interest in this moment, which is so cherished by grown-ups and they may even find the general excitement alarming. So don’t feel let down if your baby does not seem enthralled by its presents: it will discover them calmly and little by little during the weeks after the festivities.
A first Christmas Eve to remember forever
It is a good idea to ensure your baby has a good nap in the afternoon of Christmas Eve so that it can stay up a little later than normal - without upsetting its usual habits too much. It is also better to feed the baby before guests arrive: the party atmosphere may make it difficult for him or her to concentrate on feeding, its bottle or baby food! It will also ensure the baby is more likely to appreciate later what goes on.
Although your baby may not yet be really aware of the festivities, it will perceive the emotions of those around it very well: the joy of the grown-ups, excitement of the children, the general feeling of wonder... This is how this first Christmas Eve will leave its mark on the baby’s emotional memory. Having said that, it would be wrong to get carried away: your child will not retain conscious memory of its first Christmas. But for you and all of your family, this moment will remain a precious memory and when your little one is a little (or a lot!) older, it will take great pleasure in seeing the pictures. So have your photo-taking devices and cameras ready! To ensure that you are also present in the pictures, swap cameras and ask everyone to take a few shots during the evening: this way you will have enough to make a lovely album of this magical day.