Disclaimer: This mainly focuses on Christmas celebration
Lighting candles, sipping hot chocolate by the fireplace and snuggling up to loved ones for a movie are enough to make any holiday season special. Oh, but it only gets better with the addition of a baby. It’s a well-known fact that babies can make anything and everything special, and with the holiday season around the corner, they will be your biggest blessing.
When it comes time to celebrate your baby’s first holiday after adoption finalization, make a note that babies can get overwhelmed by too many stimulates at once, such as: noises, smells, and sights. Even at a young age, they are coping with their separation from their birth mother. You will want to start slow at first.
On that same note, your baby’s first holiday is a momentous occasion worthy of commemorating. Not only do you have a new member in the house, but you yourself have worked a tremendous amount throughout the adoption process in order to make your dreams come true. With that in mind, have a game plan ready for the holiday season. Make sure to detail how you want to make your baby’s first holiday special.
Twelve Drummers Drumming
Since babies can get overwhelmed easily, consider keeping any holiday gathering you’re hosting on the smaller side. It is best to have only a few people over so that the celebration can be more intimate and worthwhile, especially for your baby. Additionally, including your baby in a larger crowd will expose him or her to germs that you will want them to avoid.
If you will be attending parties hosted by others, try to work out a time where there won’t be too many people. Rather, just enough that your baby can begin to socialize. This is also a great way to introduce your baby after adoption to family members. While you want to show off your adorable baby, don’t scare them with loads of introductions. Have your family members or friends approach your baby slowly and quietly.
Remember, keep things small so that your baby can take the world in one sound at a time.
All I Want for Christmas
It’s hard to resist the urge to buy loads of presents to celebrate your baby’s first holiday, but it should not look like Santa’s sleigh. When your baby is still relatively young, having a lot of presents might be nice in photos, but not in practicality. Instead of the joy you’re wanting them to feel, too many gifts may confuse them. Go sparingly on clothes, because they will grow out of them very quickly. The same goes for toys. A few will surely suffice until the next holiday season.
You will want to get them something meaningful, to commemorate their first holiday with you. Many cultures turn to gold bracelets or an engraved necklace, or something else that will stay with them until adulthood. When wrapping presents, make sure to be aware of hazards such as: ribbons, wrapping paper and scissors.
While you can stop yourself from overstocking, you won’t be able to stop your relatives from spoiling your baby as they try to win over the new member of the family. In this event, stash away presents that could be left for another occasion, like a birthday, or just introduce the gifts slowly over the course of the year.
Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree
It is obvious that babies cannot decorate a Christmas tree. Yet, that should not stop you from including yours in that routine. After all, they can still touch and sense. Capitalize on that. Have them choose which ornament should be put on the tree by laying the ornaments in front of them and have them tap on what’s appealing to them. Safety first, of course. They can also hang something small with your help. This way, they can participate in the holiday fun while learning more about you and the world.
You will see their eyes light up with every red and gold ornament added to the tree, all the way up the star on top. While you’re at it, add some jingling ornaments for giggles. Make sure that you babyproof the tree once the decorating is done. Don’t hang ornaments too low and keep an eye out for any that might have fallen. Keep presents off the ground and wires tucked safely where they won’t be able to reach. You may also want to wire your tree to the wall to make sure it doesn’t come tumbling down on a baby using it to try to stand up.
What a Bright Time, It’s The Right Time
Having a baby in the house after you have waited so long to start your family is the perfect time to start a new tradition. One that you can share with your baby years after years to build that family bond. Christmas tree decorating is an example of what you and your baby can do together. You can make it extra special by having your little one place the ornament at the top of the tree — with your help, of course.
Another activity can be decorating cookies. While it might be too early for your baby to put on the chef’s hat themselves, they can still take part in deciding which color frosting should be used. If the weather permits, you can also take your baby on a night out on the town to look at Christmas lights and decorations. One of the most memorable parts of the holiday for any family is dressing their baby up in festive attire and visiting Santa Claus. At the same time, all babies are different, and they will react differently to strangers. Pay Santa a visit only if you feel that your baby will enjoy the activity. Remember, they are still experiencing the world, so any small adventures you can give them will help with their development.
If you already have a tradition in your family, make sure that it is safe for your baby before having them participate. For example, a long road trip may not be a good idea to celebrate your baby’s first holiday. Also, if your baby’s birth family has a tradition of their own, try to incorporate that into your holiday. It’s a good way to pay respect to them and to your baby’s heritage.
Celebrate Your Baby’s First Holiday with a Silent Night
The holiday season is a wonderful time, and it is even better when your baby finally arrives in your arms. His or her first holiday with you is worth the festivity. At the same time, the most irreplaceable gift that you can give your baby is your love and time. As great as parties and physical presents are, enjoying each other’s presence is the best way to celebrate your child’s first holiday with you. He or she will love the extra attention, and you will want to have a tranquil bonding time. You all deserve a quiet night, being surrounded by the people you love most in the world. That’s what the holidays are for.
So catch your breath and hold your baby close to your heart.
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
Lisa Truong is an undergraduate journalism major at the University of Denver. She is minoring in writing and Chemistry. She has been commended by professors for her news stories as well as creative writing.
During her freshman year, her essay “See Ya on the Other Side” was displayed at a writing exhibition sponsored by the University of Denver. That essay later went on to be published in Many Voices One DU, a book also sponsored by the university.
Lisa frequently volunteers to be a leader at the Daniels School of Business for their quarterly Ethics Boot Camp where students learn about the importance of character in business. In her free time, Lisa enjoys watching animated movies with her mother, listening to music, going for bike rides, and eating breakfast food.
“15 Ideas for Baby’s First Christmas.” Parents. Accessed December 2, 2019. https://www.parents.com/holiday/christmas/babys-first-christmas/baby-first-holiday-ideas/.
Heidi, and Murkoff. “Your Baby’s First Holiday Season.” What to Expect. WhattoExpect, December 18, 2018. https://www.whattoexpect.com/ask-heidi/your-babys-first-holiday-season.aspx.