We recently had our first little taste of fall weather. Todd and I took the boys to eat at the pancake house on a cool night, and for some reason we both immediately thought of Christmas. Pancakes, cold weather, and hot chocolate = Christmas? Sure.
But it’s true. The most wonderful time of the year is right around the corner. And with babies, it is even more wonderful. Everyone basically forgets about their own Christmas, and we all just focus on the babies.
One of the things that has always been special for us is that we spend Christmas Eve and Christmas morning in our own home, but we invite all of our family to us. Todd’s parents and my parents all spend Christmas with us at our house every year.
The first Christmas, we knew that everyone was so excited about having Hudson there. And while we wanted him all to ourselves, we knew how special it was for everyone to get to be with him.
For Hudson’s first Christmas, we went to Gatlinburg, Tennessee with Todd’s family and my family. We were all in a big house together for the week, and we had a great first Christmas with our first baby. Everyone got to hold him and watch all the wonder and excitement.
Of course Hudson was too young to know any of what was going on for his first Christmas. But everyone else had high expectations because we were just so thrilled that he was there.
I think, in general, there are some things to keep in mind. It’s important to set expectations for family members ahead of time. Remind them that the baby will need to maintain his or her nap schedule or bedtime schedule. You may also need to establish boundaries in the beginning depending on how excited your family members may be.
Since that first Christmas, and for Hayes’s first Christmas, we opened up our home to our families. It was important to us for our kids to spend Christmas at our house. That first Christmas in Gatlinburg was a lot of fun, but it was a lot of work. And a lot of travel.
Having our kids wake up on Christmas morning in their own homes, and when we “do Santa” in our own homes, there’s a really magical feeling.
We’re very fortunate that our families celebrate Christmas together. We don’t have to drive all over the place, and our families just come to us. This takes away a lot of the pressure, especially when there’s a baby (or two) in the house.
The boys are able to nap in their own rooms and because they are comfortable and happy, the rest of us are, too.
I think compromise is the key to a happy, stress-free holiday with a baby. It’s not easy to travel with a baby, but that first Christmas we found that a big Christmas vacation was a good solution. Since then we’ve found it to be much easier for our family to come to us. This way we’re all comfortable, and it was a low-fuss, relaxing holiday for our entire family.
And we all got to hold and cuddle our sweet new baby.