When it comes to the holiday season, we all have our own way of doing things. Some families have a set number of activities that they do every year. Specific movies to watch or events to attend. Perhaps the same weekend each year is blocked off for extended family celebrations. It’s tradition. After so many years, things happen like clockwork, and we don’t think twice about it.
This year, though, everything is different. Your adoption has been finalized, and there’s a new visitor joining your world. Someone who has never been a part of your holiday celebrations before. Here are some ways for you to make sure that your baby’s first Christmas is special.
“Baby’s First” Ornament
A unique way to commemorate your baby’s first Christmas is by giving him or her a “Baby’s First” ornament. It’s something you’ll be able to hang up on the Christmas tree year after year as a reminder of when your child joined your family. The ornament can be an impression of his or her foot just after birth with the date below it, or a colored ball with his or her name painted across the front. There are so many different choices available!
Online stores like Amazon and Etsy have numerous options to look through. Or, if you are feeling crafty and want to make something yourself, Pinterest is a good place for inspiration. The most important part is finding something that is unique and meaningful to you and your family.
Create a New Tradition
If you have an open adoption agreement with your child’s birth mother, why not create a new Christmas tradition that involves her? Plan a special dinner out. Or, perhaps, invite her to meet you at a special event in your community where she can celebrate with you and the baby. Whatever works best for everyone’s schedule.
Doing this will not only benefit your child’s birth mother but also you and your child as well. It may provide the healing your child’s birth mother needs to healthily move forward in her life and be equally comforting and encouraging to you. It will allow the bond between you and your child to grow stronger.
If your adoption has recently been finalized, celebrating baby’s first Christmas together may be difficult. That’s completely natural. It’s still good for your child’s birth mother to know, though, that your door is always open for her.
Include Your Child in Established Family Traditions
Do you have any family traditions you use to celebrate Christmas each year? Are you a part of a caroling group that goes around the neighborhood and sings? How about building gingerbread houses as a family? Each and every family has their own way of enjoying the Christmas season.
Even if your son or daughter is too young to remember or participate, you should still involve him or her in these traditions. It will help your child adjust into what is normal for your family, as well as create future bonding moments as he or she grows older. Babies thrive on routine and structure. On knowing what to expect. So, if you do the same things each Christmas, your child will grow up looking forward to that.
Celebrate Your Child’s Heritage
In the hecticness of the season, it’s easy to forget that your baby has a heritage and family outside of yours. That, even for a brief moment, your child had a life before being placed with you. This goes beyond just adopting transracially. Culture and heritage aren’t exclusive to race and ethnicity. Rather, they encompass all adoptees. As difficult as it may be, it’s very important to celebrate your child’s heritage. Culture and origin are a huge part of who you are as a person. Even more so to an adoptee.
Implementing that into your baby’s first Christmas is an excellent way to do so. Do you need inspiration? Our friends at Adoption Choices of Oklahoma has an excellent resource on ways to keep your child’s birth culture alive.
Be Mindful of Their Feelings
If you plan on introducing your son or daughter to your extended family during Christmas, be mindful of what might be too much for him or her to handle. Family gatherings are usually full of laughter, music and lots of animated conversation. Because we are used to this, we often forget how loud and boisterous everything can get.
For your infant, he or she is still adjusting to a new life with you. Taking in and processing all the new sights and sounds. So, if your child suddenly become fussy or confused during the introductions and smiles, he or she may be experiencing sensory overload. Babies’ minds can intake a lot and absorb what’s around them like a sponge, but their little brains have a limit just like ours do. It might be wise to plan for some downtime between visits or even during a big family event, so that your child can regroup and rest.
Your Baby’s First Christmas
Celebrating your baby’s first Christmas is an incredibly special and memorable time. Through sharing your family traditions and making new ones, you are creating memories that will last a lifetime. Don’t forget to enjoy every moment, despite the usual hustle and bustle of the season.
Adoption Choices of New York
For more information on adoption or if you are currently in the process of adopting a baby and have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact, Adoption Choices of New York.
Support Adoption Choices
Adoption Choices, Inc. is partnering with Crowdrise, a fundraising website for nonprofits, to help our adoptive parents and birth parents with much needed financial assistance. We understand that expenses keep clients from fulfilling their dreams. Both with birth parents making a plan for adoption, and with adoptive parents growing their family. It is our mission to provide financial assistance through grants and scholarships, awarded annually in November, in honor of National Adoption Month. Funds assist adoptive parents with matching and placements, adoption finalization and helping birth mothers improve their lives through higher education — and much more.
However, we can’t do it alone. Please read up on our programs and donate money where you are able. Your donation will make a huge impact.
About the Author
Rachel Robertson is a published journalist, book editor, certified Publishing Specialist, and aspiring novelist. She graduated from Central Washington University (CWU) in March 2011, having found her writing voice within the Creative Nonfiction genre and grew to work as a freelance book editor for small presses all across the United States.
In June 2018, she embarked on an internship with Virginia Frank and came on board with Adoption Choices Inc., Not for Profit 501(c)(3), in December 2018. Between her mutual passion with adoption and surrogacy, and her own personal history with adoption, Rachel is excited to research and share topics each week that will spread awareness and better serve the faithful patrons of Adoption Choices Inc.
When Rachel isn’t haunting her local Starbucks or Barnes and Noble, she’s avidly pouring over her Writer’s Digest subscription or cozying up with a cup of tea and book. She currently resides in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her beloved wife and Border Collie.
“Here Are 7 Reasons Why My Adopted Children Struggle with Christmas.” Tooting Mama, 21 June 2018, www.tootingmama.com/adopted-children-struggle-with-christmas/.
Homeschool. “Creating a Hopeful Christmas for Your Adopted Child.” Crosswalk.com, Salem Web Network, 3 Dec. 2010, www.crosswalk.com/family/homeschool/creating-a-hopeful-christmas-for-your-adopted-child-11642236.html.
LegalScapes. “Eight Ways To Make Your Adopted Child’s First Christmas Special.” Eight Ways To Make Your Adopted Child’s First Christmas Special –, 3 Dec. 2018, www.millsadoptionlaw.com/blog1/making-your-adopted-childs-first-christmas-special/.