As we get older the magic of Christmas and the holidays can fade a bit. I recently read this interesting post that explains some of the reasons why that can happen. However, you have a new baby and all that changes – the excitement of the holidays intensifies. Getting to see the magic of the holidays through the eyes of a child is a fun, new perspective. It can also bring quite a bit of pressure trying to make things perfect for the holidays and getting baby’s first traditions just right.
What Typically Happens?
According to a rent Gallup poll, the average American family spent $906 on gifts for the holidays in 2017. As new parents, it can be easy to go overboard trying to make sure your baby has the best experience possible. Then, comparison begins to happen or well-meaning friends and family give advice on what baby’s first traditions should be. Also, you may get sucked into searching Pinterest for a fun family idea and become overwhelmed with all of the DIY activities and unrealistic expectations. At is at this point, you become overwhelmed, possibly feeling like a slacker parent, putting a damper on your holiday joy.
What Can You Do?
There are many holiday traditions that are valuable and add a sense of family connection and getting back to the meaning of the season. Make sure you spend your time and resources doing things that are important to you and your partner. Below are a few tips on how to create baby’s first traditions so that you can enjoy Christmas with your new family rather than trying to live up to unrealistic expectations.
Have a conversation with your partner well before Christmas or even before having a baby about what holiday traditions were important to them. What traditions did they have as a child? Are these traditions that you would like to continue with your little ones? Are there traditions you always wanted to do but didn’t? Could your family try that starting now? Basically, talk to your partner and find out what would they like baby’s first traditions to include.
Manage Your Expectations
Hearing and seeing what other parents do with their baby’s first traditions can set you up for feeling let down. Make this YOUR experience and the experience you want to continue for your family. Think about the amount of time and money you have available and how realistic some of your plans are. Never compare your life to pretty pictures on Pinterest and social media – that’s no one’s real life. It’s more important to enjoy the moments with your family than to worry about your life looking like a perfect Instagram post.
Think Of The Entire Holiday Season
There are many family traditions that happen before the day of Christmas. Baby’s first traditions can start long before Christmas. Have a decorating day, pick out a special family ornament (or make one) each year, taking family pictures, Christmas movie night, Christmas Eve “boxes” with new Christmas pjs and a holiday book, etc. The possibilities are endless and you can try new things and spread the activities out rather than trying to live for one magical moment.
Have A Plan and Stick To The Plan
Once you decide what traditions you are going to start with your growing family, write them down, put it on the calendar and honor those dates. You should also sit down with your spouse and create a budget. Nothing can add stress more than overspending during this time, which can be really easy to do. Plan the traditions in order to budget for them and enjoy them fully.
What If You Still Feel Pressure For The Perfect Baby, Perfect Family and Perfect Holiday?
It’s hard! Especially if you find that you and your partner can’t talk through compromise with holiday traditions. You also may find that there is more tension in your home around the holiday season. If you get so overwhelmed with expectations from your family or comparing yourself to others that you can’t enjoy the season, I’d highly recommend talking to a therapist. Even if it’s only for the holiday season, therapy can really help you learn how to feel good about yourself and your family despite how impossible that can sometimes feel. Click here to learn about a group I highly recommend.