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Christmas Traditions to Start with Baby

As a parent, your Baby’s First Christmas is one that you will never forget, probably not for the gifts that you give to your child (they certainly won’t remember them) but for the holiday traditions that you start as a family and the memories of this very special Christmas. Your baby may be a few days old to almost a year, but the memories and traditions that you start to create will live through your photos and be enjoyed by the whole family for many Christmases to come.

A mom and baby by the Christmas tree with the baby touching the pretty lights.

Even now my kids are teens some of these traditions still stand and the anticipation of starting them is great. Ornaments brought and made their very first Christmases come out and are hung on the tree or to decorate the house, family pajamas are bought and packed although we don’t do the matching Christmas pajamas prefering to get new ones that we all love for the year ahead.

christmas traditions to start with your baby their first christmas
First Christmas Traditions to Start this year.

We still snuggle up on the sofa and watch a movie together, Polar Express is still a favourite and they still wake up early on Christmas morning with excitment.

10 Christmas Family Traditions to Start from The First Christmas

Here are 10 ideas of family Christmas traditions that you could start as a family for your baby’s first Christmas to make it Magical and continue every Christmas coming.

We have included affiliate links to some of the products and resources as an associate we may earn from qualifying purchases.

#1 A picture with Santa

baby's first visit with santa
T age 9 months having her first picture with Santa.

Take a visit to Santa and get a family photo with him, although your child won’t ask Santa for something, it will start a tradition and looking back at the pictures you will be able to see how your child grows with each year.

Why not dress up your baby in one of these cute outfits – if it’s going to be warm enough to remove your coat them how about this smart little outfit for a boy or pretty tutu and Christmas leg warmers for a girl.

#2 Start an Advent Tradition

As toddlers instead of chocolate we do an Advent Calendar of Activities where each day we do one family activity. With baby’s, this isn’t impossible to do either. You can do simple ideas like create an ornament for grandparents as a special gift. Take them on a walk to show the lights, visit friends and family etc.

christmas books to share with toddlers and preschoolers
Start your Christmas book Collection with your baby and grow it year by year.

You could start a book advent where you read Classic Christmas Stories today every night in December before Christmas. Check out our Christmas Board Books for Babies or some of the Toddler & Preschool Christmas books we recommend to get this year and bring out again with your baby next year too. If you buy these books as Christmas gifts over the years they will last and stand the test of time.

If you start to get them this first Christmas then they will last a while to share and read aloud together.

#3 Create an Ornament to Remember the First Christmas

DIY Hand and Foot print First Christmas Ornaments
Baby’s First Christmas Handmade Clay Ornaments

Make your own Hand and Footprint decorations – we made ours as we read one of the first Christmas books I shared with my children, Spot’s First Christmas. They make the perfect little keepsake ornaments to bring out year after year. But, if you aren’t sure what to exactly get grandparents it’s the perfect special gift for them to remember their grandbaby as well.

You could use salt dough or our Cornflour and Baking Soda Ornament recipe to make them both produce keepsakes that you will love for years.

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#4 Make some Christmas Cards

baby and toddler hand and footprint cards for baby's first christmas
Handmade Cards using baby’s hand and footprint

Buy some card blanks and create a simple handprint or footprint holiday card to send to your family and friends from your baby. We love the little Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer footprints that our little ones made that first Christmas.

Add the date to the back and many will save these as a memory of your Baby’s First Christmas – remember to make a couple extra to keep for yourself as well.

#5 Get Crafty and Make your own Stocking

No Knit Knitted Stockings from Red Ted Art
No-knit Knitted Christmas Stockings that even the not so crafty can make for Baby.

Every Child needs a stocking for Santa to fill with presents and what is better than a stocking that you have created yourself and Red Ted Art has a wonderful knitted one that doesn’t need you to pick up a single knitting needle.

Although this is a one-off activity for you – each year you can bring out the stocking and remember Baby’s First Christmas and the making of the stocking.

ALLYORS Babys First Christmas Stocking Elephant Stocking Christmas Baby 1st Christmas My First Christmas Decor Ornament Christmas Stockings Newborwn Xmas Decor(Blue)
  • 【Adorable design 】 bring light and joy to your home; The prefect Christmas decor for newborns
  • 【Size】20 inches diagonally; This super cute stocking is visible from any corner of the room
  • 【High-Quality】Sewing and finishing; Felt fabric material; Beautiful and unique design, semi-handmade
  • 【Hanging loop】Save time and effort, easily hang the Christmas stocking on a hook, fireplace or tree
  • 【Durable】Big enough for candies, ornaments, baby toys, gifts and other surprises

Not that creative then you can get lots of different version of “Baby’s First Christmas” stockings on Amazon. Or how about one that will last and last for many years to come?

DIBSIES Personalized Enchanted Characters Christmas Stocking (Reindeer)
  • Our stockings are decorated with a 3D design of a Gnome, Penguin, Reindeer, Snowman and Santa styles.
  • Materials: 100% Polyester
  • The Christmas stocking measures 19.5″ long.
  • Personalization Included! Name is applied in a beautiful embroidery as shown on our product samples.

#6 Start a Tradition of Christmas PJ’s

Christmas PJs
Christmas Pj’s a tradition we started from the very first Christmas with our kids.

We started this the very first Christmas, on Christmas Eve just after dinner there is a sound upstairs and we hear sleigh bells and rush upstairs to find the Christmas Eve Box. Snuggled in their pj’s we sat down that very first Christmas and watched one of our Favorite Christmas movies for little ones before bedtime.

Inside is a pair of new PJ’s to wear (and some other ideas check out our guide to what to put in your Christmas Eve box). At that point, the PJ’s have to go on and Christmas has really begun.

Pinterest Image for Baby's First Christmas Family Traditions to start this year.

#7 Start a Tree Decorating Tradition

Do you want to decorate as a family – take a picture of you, or if you’re a grandparent reading this of mom and the baby hanging ornaments together. Don’t forget to add the Christmas music and hang that baby’s first Christmas ornament together.

In our home we go and choose a tree as a family and this then goes into the garden, on the 14th December the kids go to bed and we get busy decorating the Christmas Tree we are Santa’s Elves, on the morning of the 15th December one of us pops downstairs and starts the Christmas lights off and then we bring the kids down to see the house fully decorated by Santa’s Elves as if by Magic.

Even the baby will love this especially with the twinkling lights and sparkle from the decorations.

#8 Decide on your family Santa Tradition

If Santa is visiting is he bringing all the presents, does he bring the main one or does he bring something small?

As I discovered each family has different traditions before your child is born you probably don’t discuss much to do with Santa’s visits but now you have a little one it’s different. In our house Santa brings the presents from everyone on Christmas Eve plus a special little gift from him – an ornament for the tree, however, I know families where Santa brings everything and others where Santa brings the main present.

Do you decide to leave out Christmas Cookies for him and a hot chocolate or even a carrot for the Reindeer? Once you start these routines at Christmas you can guarantee that you will forever be doing it.

There is no right or wrong it’s up to you as a family to decide how you want Santa to bring presents to your house.

One tradition we did start was that Santa left a letter for the kids. We make our own letter from Santa each year and even now they are older they really look forward to this.

ideas for ways to celebrate your baby's first christmas
Dress your baby up for Christmas and capture the moment with a photograph to look back on every year.

#9 Open Presents

It should seem simple, but, believe me, it’s more complicated than you think, do you open in turn, do you separate out presents so some are opened throughout the day. So many questions and so many possibilities.

We have a family tradition where there are presents which are left by Santa in a stocking in the bedroom – these are opened with me and Rainy Day Dad when we wake up on Christmas day. Included are new clothes to wear on the day, a small toy, a book, the special ornament from Santa and some sweets to nibble on.

Then we get dressed and everyone heads downstairs to open presents, we split them up through the day and have some in the morning, some after lunch and some in the evening.

#10 Evidence of Father Christmas Visiting

Yes, the presents are evidence, but, what is more, magical than a clue that Santa has been.

Whether you go high tech and edit a photo of your kid’s room with them asleep in the bed and Santa there.

Or get creative and leave sooty footprints leading from your chimney to your tree (my dad did this one year when I was a child it was really exciting and I still remember standing there looking at them with wonder).

Our favourite is to leave out a treat for Santa (ours is a sherry, glass of milk, mince pie and a carrot) on a special plate and in the morning find evidence that it has been eaten.

The little clues will live in your children’s memories longer than the present that they receive.

More Ideas for Celebrating Baby’s First Christmas as a Family

Baby with Christmas Teddy Bear a gift to treasure for Baby's First Christmas
Give a gift that your baby will cherish not just for this Christmas but for many to come.

Find our ideas for the Best Gifts for Baby’s First Christmas that will last.


  1. An idea to follow-up on the present distribution idea… We always open stockings first, then go make breakfast together (normally homemade donuts while still in pj’s). The presents under the tree wait until after breakfast is done and cleaned up.

  2. Hi there,
    Loving this idea. My son is ten months and so this will be his first Christmas. I was going to write a similar post about starting new Christmas traditions, and then I found yours, which is excellent! Love your site too – great colours and easy to read and find things. Looking forward to reading more.

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