These sweet and low-cost family holiday traditions will help you include your baby in the holiday spirit.
1. Start an Ornament Collection
This tradition is something you can start for your baby with the intention of handing off the collection when they are grown and start their own family! My grandmother did this for me as a baby. I now have some precious ornaments on my Christmas tree that Grandma gifted to me each year as a child. I then started this tradition with my son and he has a collection of all Disney movie ornaments! You could also craft a yearly ornament for Baby’s collection instead of buying.
Consider these creative collection ideas – a picture frame ornament with your child’s recent photo inside, brass ornaments with the year engraved, or a favorite character featured on a new ornament each year.
2. Take a Yearly Photo
Those annual holiday photos are solid gold memories! Choose a spot each year where you’ll take Baby’s holiday photos. For my family, it’s in my mom’s front yard, next to the picket fence. I love to see how much the kids have grown each year!
Consider taking the annual photo in front of your Christmas tree, holding the first gift of the season, next to a snowman your child helped make or at the front door of your home.
3. Give an Heirloom-Worthy Gift Each Year
I love gifting my kids’ quality toys and gifts that they can use year after year. Think about purchasing items that can be handed down. Wooden blocks, a handmade quilt, and special hardbound classic storybooks can be enjoyed for years to come.
4. Serve a Traditional Favorite Food
What are the favorite holiday foods that you enjoy each year? If Baby’s on solids and it’s been cleared with the pediatrician, serve up some tasty bites of these sweet and savory holiday favorites. Be sure to have the camera ready when you introduce Baby to fruitcake or latkes!
5. Have an Annual Story Reading
Choose your favorite holiday story and incorporate a family tradition of reading the book aloud. No matter that Baby doesn’t understand the story – if you keep up the tradition year after year, soon enough your little one will be reading the words along with you.
6. Take a Neighborhood Walk
One of my favorite family traditions is walking through our neighborhood in the evening during the holiday season. We put my daughter in her stroller, the older kids bundle up, and we take a walk outside to see Christmas lights. Each child has their favorite decorated house and the baby just enjoys being outside to see all the brightly colored lights!
7. Give to Others
Your baby is never too young to see how important it is to give to others. That’s the basis of sharing! Whether it be volunteering at the food bank or purchasing gifts for less-fortunate children, bring your child with you and let them see how you share and care for others. This will be a great discussion point as your child gets older.
8. Gift a “Night Before” Box
My family had the tradition of allowing my brother and me to open one gift the night before. Think of the “night before” themed items you could include in this special box – a new pair of pajamas, warm slipper socks, a book to read before bed and maybe a sweet holiday treat. What a fun and memorable tradition to have that builds anticipation for the holidays!