christmas traditions to start with baby

18 Memory-Making Traditions to Start on Baby’s First Christmas

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Having a new baby means not only starting your own family but also starting your own traditions. And having Christmas traditions to start with your new baby that the whole family will enjoy can bring an extra bit of magic to those memorial years.  So if you’re looking for how to celebrate baby’s first Christmas in a fun and exciting way, look no further. I’ve put together a list of some of my favorite traditions that are sure to bring some magic to your Christmas. 

Tradition #1: Make a Handprint Ornament Each Year Starting with Baby’s 1st Christmas

I can’t think of anything sweeter than hanging baby’s 1st Christmas ornament on your tree year after year. And if you continue with the tradition as they grow you’ll be able to watch as their hands grow and change. After they turn 18 don’t forget to compare their last to the very first if you really want to turn on the water works. 

christmas traditions to start with baby

Tradition #2: Knit Baby’s 1st Stocking & Use to Teach Them How to Knit as They Grow

Knitting is something I’ve always wanted to learn, especially since its something my grandmother used to love and passed down to my mother. Unfortunately for me, its not something she nor my mother will be able to teach me, but if you are a knitter then this is for you. Making your baby’s first christmas stocking can hold so many memories. You can start it while you’re pregnant so it’s complete by the time you give birth. As they get older continue knitting and teach your child how to knit with it as well. If kept in well enough condition it can soon be something that is passed down from generation to generation. 

Tradition #3: Make Meaningful Christmas Eve Boxes for Each Other 

I love this idea as a tradition to start from their very first Christmas and onward. Putting together a box of things that are special to you and baby each year is the sweetest thing. Make sure to take pictures, or even keep them so as they grow you can look back at each year. It’s almost like a Christmas time capsule. 

Tradition #4: Take Yearly Christmas Light Car Ride Tours

This is one of those Christmas activities for babies that everyone can enjoy. We started doing this on Christmas eve each year and our children look forward to it. Some cities (we’ve moved more times in the last three years than I’d care to admit) even have drive-through Christmas lights that you can pay to attend. These are typically a few miles long and have some of the most extravagant light setups I’ve ever seen. 

If you’re looking for a free version of this, check out Facebook to see if there are any groups that coordinate with homes who do light shows. When we lived in California I joined a few groups so I always knew where the best light displays for the year were going to be. We found some amazing houses that way. One neighborhood did a drive through type of display with a theme.  Each house on the block participated and it was always our favorite stop. 

Tradition #5: Make Your Own Advent Calendar Each Year

Advent Calendars are a popular tradition associated with Christmas. And making your own is sure to bring this activity even more meaning. There are a number of ways to make these. From purchasing a premade book to collecting things like toilet paper roll holders. The possibilities are endless here. Fill it with candy, toys or anything else you like and have fun with it! 

Tradition #6: Snap a “Gift Bow on the Head” Picture in the Same Place of Your Home 

This is the quintessential picture of a baby pulling a bow off one of their presents and sticking it on their head. What a cute tradition to keep up year after year and watch them grow. May I add the bigger the bow, the cuter the picture. 

Tradition #7: Start an Elf on the Shelf Alternative

Confession time, I’ve never been a fan of Elf on the Shelf. The thought of some toy doing random things around my house in order to convince my children to behave just didn’t sit well with me. So when thinking of ideas to make Christmas with baby memorable I knew an Elf wouldn’t be one of them. But what could you do instead? 

I found so many alternatives. A few of them have the same idea behind them and others are really cool. For example these North Pole Ninjas are too adorable and I couldn’t get over how creative this Little Lamb of Bethlehem is. Encouraging children to serve others and learn about the birth of Jesus. My momma heart is so happy. 

Tradition #8: Get Matching Holiday-Themed Pajamas for the Whole Family 

This is something I wish I had started sooner. It is so fun looking back on the years previous to see how much our family has grown. Both in size and amount of children, lol. I also get a kick out of seeing how our pajama styles differ with each passing year. While I typically pick an overall theme / color I allow the kids to pick the style of pajamas they want. My daughter loves a dress but surprised us one year and went for a onesie. All in all, this is probably my top things to do with my children as they grow and makes a great Christmas morning tradition as well. 

Tradition #9: Pop Open Christmas Crackers at the Christmas Meal 

So this is a tradition I needed to do a little research on. Started in London by a wedding cake baker, this tradition has spread far and wide across the United Kingdom and other commonwealth countries. If you’re like me and always looking for ways to turn things into a learning experience this is a great way to do so. Including a little history lesson, cultural and diversity lesson all while learning to serve and love others, yes please! 

To give a little more information, these crackers are used as table decorations that make a snapping sound when pulled open. Often containing small gifts, a paper hat and a joke they take two people to pull apart. 

Tradition #10: Serve at a Soup Kitchen Together

Don’t know if I’ve mentioned this or not, but I am all about teaching my children to serve others. Especially when it comes to the holidays. There are so many who are less fortunate than us and it is my goal to help my children understand that just because someone is in a bad spot in their life does not mean they are less than us. As we all know, any major life event can have us in less than ideal situations. 

But how do you do this with a baby? Wouldn’t this be easier to start once they get a little older? If you want, sure, but my solution mama can wear the baby in an infant sling for the first year or two!

Tradition #11: Start a “Year in the Life” Journal

Of course, you’ll have to pen the first few years of their journal, but they’ll be able to pick up their own journal entries around age 5 or 6. Even just cute little scribbles are fun to look back on! And once they reach adulthood passing these on to them to cherish will be greatly appreciated I’m sure. 

Tradition #12: Make Homemade Christmas Cards (Baby’s Handprint Will Suffice!)

There are so many precious moments to be had with this one. Of course, in the beginning sticking to something easy like baby’s handprint. But once your little one grows bigger its the perfect time to get more adventurous. As they learn to write, having them sign their name or write out Merry Christmas is sure to make whomever you send these cards to smile extra big. 

Tradition #13: Enjoy a Local Christmas Parade 

High on my list of things to do for baby’s first Christmas is a Christmas Parade. Always a huge fan of Macy’s Christmas Day parade in New York I would love to visit with my family one year. In the meantime, finding a local Christmas parade has been so much fun for us. The excitement of getting up early, packing snacks, and spending time together dancing and laughing as we watch floats / all the characters drive past has been unmatched. It’s definitely something to do with the whole family if you can. Or even give as a Christmas gift experience if you’re planning to move away from presents. 

Tradition #15: Bake & Decorate Cookies for Santa

While Santa may actually be mom or dad, baby doesn’t have to know that. And depending on the age of your little one, you can start off with premade cookies that you only have to pop in the oven. Then once they get a little older and can help bake, making them from scratch will be a great bonding experience for the whole family. 

Tradition #16: Make a Holiday Bucket List with the New Baby (& Cross an Item Off Each Year)

Another favorite tradition for 1st Christmas ideas of mine. What I love most about this is that the list can be ever evolving. As your family changes and baby grows, allow them to have some input. The pure enjoyment to be had from checking each thing off will serve as a wonderful memory within itself. Family traditions like these create the kind of moments that children remember for a lifetime. 

christmas traditions to start with baby

Tradition #17: Start a Family Sleepover Night on Christmas Eve 

One of those perfect Christmas traditions to start with a newborn. Just imagine all the cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents celebrating Christmas eve together. Sharing stories, presents, cookies and hot chocolate in a room filled with love. I can’t think of a better tradition to start with your family. And it’s bound to build lasting bonds and magical moments for everyone. 

If you are able to include extended family (cousins, aunts, uncles) consider having each family wear their own Christmas pjs. How cute would it be to have five different families depicted in your holiday pictures in their own pjs each year. One family is all red, another in striped green and white and yet another in the buffalo red and black pjs. Just too adorable. And then maybe consider switching up the locations from year to year as well. 

Tradition #18: Start the Want, Need, Wear, Read Tradition Early

We started this tradition last year and honestly, I wish we had started sooner. If you’re looking for easy and relaxed Christmas gift traditions to start with baby this is the perfect one. It makes gift giving that much easier, especially as they get older. Not only that, but it helps to drown out all the extra noise around stuff. I’ve never seen my children so excited about getting socks as they were last year. 

The way their faces lit up when they opened their presents really shocked me. I had asked each of them what they thought they needed and each one replied with new socks. First, can we get into how they are taking ownership of their own wardrobe at such young ages. But also the pure gratitude when they received exactly what they asked for. Priceless for sure.  

If you’re thinking of starting this but worried your child may feel left out, they won’t. It’s been the best decision for us and my children have grown more appreciative of their things. They’ve even been taking better care of said things. Win Win to me! 

All in all, if you’re a new momma looking for Christamas traditions to start with your new baby, I hope this list gives you a pretty good starting point. There are so many things you can do here, but don’t be afraid to come up with your own. You know your family best so do what is going to work best for you and them. No matter what Christmas traditions you come up with, your baby is going to be happy just spending time with you. 

Are there any Christmas traditions I’ve forgotten about? What are some of your favorite family traditions? Leave a comment below!

Christmas morning with family

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