Making Baby’s First Christmas Memorable

I love Christmas and I love it even more now I have small children of my own. Christmas is such a happy and joyous holiday for families but I believe there is little more exciting than celebrating the very first Christmas with a child (or children) of your own. So here are my top five suggestions for making your baby’s first Christmas just that little more memorable.

Ideas for making baby's first Christmas special

1.    Traditions

Ideas for baby's first Christmas

Every family celebrates Christmas (and indeed, any holiday) with a unique set of traditions – those shared celebratory experiences that come to be expected year after year. Christmas traditions will often encompass gifts and giving, family activities, food that is served and the meaning placed upon the celebration. As each family’s traditions differ, bringing together the experiences and memories of two unique individuals (you and your partner) to create a new set of Christmas traditions for your very own family will likely require discussion and compromise. Talking about the big ideals that you would like the holiday to represent for your family is a good place to start. For us, Christmas is about family, love and compassion, and we want our children to look back at Christmas as a time of joy, wonder and excitement. Knowing that this is what we want for our children helps us to decide upon which traditions are most important for us to continue on, or indeed, develop of our own.

2. Family time
With older children the focus is often on Santa and the excitement of receiving gifts but ultimately the presents will be forgotten and it will be the memories of the time shared as a family that will remain. Enjoying time together, not only on Christmas Day but also in the lead up to the holiday, is one of the greatest gifts you can give your child and there is no better time to start then when they are small.

3. Decorations

Baby's first Christmas ideas

We started a tradition of buying a special decoration for each of our children on their very first Christmas – both Immy and AJ have a personalised bauble with their name and the year of their first Christmas. These baubles have been joined by angels and Christmas fairies and bright, sparkly, sequined balls chosen by Immy (and in the future AJ), one each year, and these decorations will be theirs to keep when they grow up and start decorating a tree of their very own.

I also love having a photo decoration made each year to hang on our tree, like the one shown at the top of Immy just before her first Christmas. They are such treasured keepsakes and act as a simple, visual marker of how our family has changed as we decorate our tree each year.

4. Photos and video

Ideas for baby's first Christmas

Charge the camera and take heaps of photos and video of your baby’s first Christmas. In the lead up to Christmas and on the big day, capture;

  • Decorating the tree
  • Their first taste of gingerbread or Christmas pudding
  • Their first visit with Santa
  • Looking at Christmas lights
  • Dressed up in special Christmas outfits
  • ‘Helping’ to wrap presents
  • Unwrapping presents
  • Enjoying the Christmas meal
  • Lots of impromptu family group shots and selfies – remember it’s important for you to be in the picture too

5. Choose gifts that will last for years to come

Ideas for baby's first Christmas

It can be easy to get carried away with the excitement of buying gifts for your baby’s first Christmas, especially when it comes to toys (as you can see above in the photo of Immy’s first Christmas!) My advice is to look ahead and invest in good quality toys that will bring your baby joy both now and as as they grow into a toddler, and even as a preschooler. Ask for recommendations from friends and family members with slightly older children, and choose reputable brands


  1. Belinda Walker says:

    Trimming the tree
    Opening presents
    Getting together
    Taking time out with family and friends
    Helping those less fortunate
    Remembering why we celebrate christmas
    Nodding off in the afternoon
    Enjoying the day off
    Spending money on pressies
    Soaking up the sun while swimming.
    (read the first letter of each line to find the most important tradition)

    1. Tina Quinn says:

      My families most treasured tradition is having, what my grandmother termed before I was born, “rubbish food night” which is where we all go to the grandparents house (now to my parents) and bring things like the old fashioned, weetbix rumballs and other party type food on Christmas eve. We reflect about the year that was, family that is no longer with us and lots and lots of laughter and terrible singing of Christmas songs. In the back ground is always Bing Crosby or Perry what’s his name? It just isn’t Christmas without this tradition that we love.

  2. We love creating our own new advent calendar each year, with one craft or another and then filling it with activities focussed around Christmas for the whole month. It makes much more out of Christmas than just Christmas day and gives us time to focus on the importance of giving, family time and taking time for the fun things in life.

  3. Mary Preston says:

    In our family the children lay their stockings at the end of the bed at bedtime. Santa visits during the night, as expected. I can clearly remember waking myself up as a child by kicking my stocking. It was fat & full & heavy. I love the same query, surprise and delight with my own children. That first moment of sleepy realisation and then the rustling & rummaging.

  4. When I was little I used to get so excited about Christmas that I would be throwing up the night before. In an effort to curb my excitement my Mum started the tradition that we open the presants from each other the night before Christmas. This was a lovely family time as before Santa came there was more time to stop and appreciate the gifts that were given by our family. We have carried this tradition into our family. It works so well as it means we can give the most special gifts the night before Christmas. These might be expensive gifts or home made gifts but it means the time is taken to really look at/ play with/ appreciate the gifts rather than them simply being lost in the pile of gifts and the excitement of Christmas morning.

  5. Katerina koutsiola says:

    Decorating the tree ( all the family )
    Watch christmas movies .
    Dressed up in special Christmas outfits
    Enjoying the Christmas meal .
    Visit relatives .
    Spend time with your family .

  6. Carol’s by Candlelight is our long standing tradition,
    Celebrating peace, good will and Jesus’ birth.
    We enjoy the night singing with family and friends,
    Good food, candles and fireworks!

  7. When growing up, we didn’t have alot of money to spend on indulgent food, my family always had special brunch after church of pancakes, blueberry muffins, sparkling apple juice and ginger beer together. We we didn’t have a lot of money to spend on indulgent food, so we also got to pick out a food or two each that we usually wouldn’t be able to have regularly in the year. I plan to do this with my little boy, not this year though as he doesn’t eat yet.

    1. Sorry repeated a bit twice by accident

  8. Caroline Kelly says:

    Sharing what we have and spending time together.

  9. allison riley says:

    Getting up and going into my parents room with the stocking and spilling it all on there bed, now my daughter dose the same each year to me. It my favorite bit watching her face.

  10. kerry santillo says:

    Every year the kids pick out a new ornament. They have a few now and they pride themselves in placing it on the tree. My parents did it with me and they hold so many wonderful memories.

  11. Christy van Heerden says:

    It’s important to us that our baby son has a wonderful picture story of his life; something he’ll always be able to look back on as memories of how loved he’s been. So we’ve started a tradition of taking a family photo of our little family in front of the Christmas tree as we watch him unwrap his presents. The silly Christmas outfits we put him in are just for our fun!

  12. Growing up, we always had Christmas lunch with our extended family and several close family friends. The family friends changed each year, depending on who may need some extra support – such as those who had a loss in the family or someone who recently went through a hard time. I always felt so secure and blessed knowing that our family welcomed others into our traditions; it left a powerful impression on me as a child and teenager.

  13. Eating honey glazed ham on Christmas day!

  14. Christmas Eve in its entirety! From our enormous Christmas feast with all out family, to opening our pressies before the clock strikes midnight, then all off to midnight mass. It’s all as important as it is special, well at least to us. And if you’re wondering why pressies the day before Christmas, one of the perks of a strong European background.

  15. The day before Christmas we all make our own special, personalised Christmas bauble to hang on the tree. They’re beautiful, and so lovely to look back on in later years.

  16. Christmas time oh how merry!
    Cooking Christmas cookies, topped with cherries!
    Santa and his reindeer’s in need of snack!
    SO they want stop to attack!
    Milk and cookies and left out!

    Christmas tree decorated with love!
    Family favorite are hung plus a dove!
    A jolly Christmas carol is sung!
    Together are we, feeling so free
    to love and feel joy!
    Even minus the toys!

  17. The tradition of giving, whether it be time, your company.
    It strengthens bond between humans and makes us realise how truly
    lucky we are to have good people around us at this time of the year!

  18. One of my favourite Christmas traditions is heading down to the beach in the afternoon after Christmas lunch. Everyone is always happy and joyful on Christmas Day at the beach!!

  19. SANDY HORSFALL says:


  20. Rebekah Ballingall says:

    Leaving Cookies & Milk out for Santa and a Carrot for the Reindeer’s on Christmas Eve, then seeing the Kids Faces when its all gone in the morning and presents are under the tree.

  21. Caitlyn Bedard says:

    My husband is Canadian and I am Australian – this is our first Christmas with a child of our own. So we’ve decided to put a twist on his family tradition of a Christmas Eve hockey game and introduce ‘newspaper hockey’ to my Aussie family 🙂

  22. Michelle Underhill says:

    The best tradition besides Santa photos is leaving the carrots for the reindeer and some milk and cookies for Santa .. Waking up to find them all nibbled on and pressies in the stockings .. My little one has just turned two and is so excited about Santa .. I can’t wait to see her face on Christmas morning

  23. Spending time with family and watching Christmas movies!

  24. The Christmas tradition that I would like to pass down to my daughter is Christmas morning, making smoke samon scrabbled eggs (or something equally delicious) with who ever has slept the night in the house. We usually open presents between stirring the eggs and spooning them into our hungry mouths, but it always creates an excited hubbub no matter how many or how few are together.

  25. Kelly Brazee says:

    My favorite tradition is a bit new. My daughter is now going to be 2 years old and I want her to be able to remember the good things. We don’t have much money but our new traditions is waking up early to open presents and then having a nice breakfast. We have our stockings hung along the wall near the tree, a few nights before Christmas we walk through town and look at all the lights. We also do family photos in front of the tree and spend a full day baking cookies.

  26. sonia cattley says:

    Christmas breakfast…each child chooses a jam or marmalade…and we gorge ourselves on sour dough that morning

  27. instead of a nativity scene we put up Christmas Lego on our mantel

  28. For my sanity it’s the opening of the advent calendar each morning. That way we discuss the Christmas countdown once each day, and know how many more sleeps we have to go until Christmas morning. (But there are lots of lovely traditions we have, it’s the best time of the year!)

  29. T raveling together in the car
    R iding to our favorite Christmas tree lot
    A ll looking for the “best” tree
    D riving home with the tree tied precariously on top of the car
    I nto a stand so the branches will fall in place
    T ogether we decorate the tree
    I ndividual ornaments for each child, each year
    O h, how pretty it is!
    N ow we turn on the Christmas tree lights
    S tand by the tree in wide-eyed wonder!


  30. Michelle Gray says:

    The tradition of keeping family near,
    when Christmas is finally here,
    what a wonderful time of year,
    it’s a time to spread good cheer,
    to those we love and hold so dear.

  31. Sounds odd, but before Christmas we sit around the lounge and “Confess a Grudge” that we might be holding against a family member. It can be as simple as “I really hate it when we have peas for dinner” to “Can Dad not play his hi-fi REALLY loud when we’re doing homework” or my favourite from our 2 yr old, “I don’t like it when Grammy pokes me in the belly!” This tradition helps clear the air and allows room for apologies and forgiveness, which means by Christmas Day we are ready to celebrate as one big happy family! Try it one year!!

  32. Renee Ballantyne says:

    Our tradition is the typical English mid afternoon meal of turkey, pork and roast vegies with all the family around

  33. Going to the local Carols by Candlelight. I think it emphasises the meaning of Christmas and it’s great to relax for a couple of hours and recharge!

  34. Donating gifts to Princess Margaret Hospital for all the children in there at Christmas. My son was a patient there one Christmas and we have donated ever since. My children will be taught to carry on this tradition of giving. Thank you!

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