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 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.
Here are 10 ideas of traditions that you could start as a family for your baby’s first Christmas to make it Magical and continue every Christmas coming.
10 Christmas Family Traditions to Start from The First Christmas
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#1 A picture with Santa
Take a visit to Santa and get a picture 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 gift. Take them on a walk to show the lights, visit friends and family etc.
You could start a book advent where you read 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 classics 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
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.
You can buy some lovely first Christmas handmade ornaments – I love this wood burned one which has birth details on and would make a fantastic gift for parents *hint hint grandparents*.
Or something a little more child-friendly would be these named snowmen ornaments – you could even get one for each member of the family and start a collection.
#4 Make some Christmas Cards
Buy some card blanks and create a simple handprint or footprint holiday card to send to your family and friends from your baby.
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
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.
Not that creative then you can get lots of different version of “Babies First Christmas” stockings on Amazon. I particularly like this none gender specific stocking and hat set in more traditional Christmas colours of red and white.
#6 Start a Tradition of Christmas PJ’s
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.
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.
With my youngest we had a sleepsuit like this one as his first Christmas pyjamas – he was only 4 months old so wasn’t moving around and did look REALLY cute in it.
My daughter shown in the picture above was older, crawling, starting to walk and had HUGE feet so instead of a cute little sleepsuit, we went for a fun pyjama set for her that she could then move around in easily.
#7 Start a Tree Decorating Tradition
Do you want to decorate as a family – take a picture of you and the baby hanging ornaments together, does the tree go up on the 1st December, do you leave it till Christmas Eve.
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.
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.
#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.
Included are new clothes to wear on the day, a small toy, a book, the 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.
This is something I have purchased and have on my phone Capture the Magic is a little app that lets you add some “real” Christmas Magic to your home.
You can take a picture and hey presto it will appear showing exactly where Santa has been! Fantastic isn’t it.
We’ve been using it for a while and the kids love to see the picture we captured on Christmas Morning of Santa doing his work.
It’s a fantastic way to get Proof of Santa’s Visit something that is handy as the belief starts to be questioned.
More Ideas for Celebrating Baby’s First Christmas as a Family
Find our ideas for the Best Gifts for Baby’s First Christmas that will last.
Cerys is a marine biologist, environmental educator, teacher, mum, and home educator from the UK. She loves getting creative, whether it is with simple and easy crafts and ideas, activities to make learning fun, or delicious recipes that you and your kids can cook together you'll find them all shared here on Rainy Day Mum.