Celebrating Baby’s First Christmas
The holidays are here and, for us, that means lots of family time. It was always that way before my daughter, Kayla, was born and it’s especially the case now since it’s her first Christmas and everyone wants to see how she’s grown and the latest milestone she’s working toward! Many of our friends, both with and without children, have clearly designated certain holidays for one family or another each and every year – and it actually works for them. While I understand it can add many other elements to the equation, some friends say having an interfaith family has made it easier on them to alternate Thanksgivings with each other’s family and then, for example, they’ll spend Hanukkah with one side of the family and Christmas with the other side.
Unfortunately my husband and I never figured out a system that worked for us. Location plays a big role where my family is local and my husband’s family is a four hour drive away (which during the holidays can take up to eight – yes, this has happened, but thankfully that was before our daughter was born!). Another factor is that my family works through the holidays and his parents are divorced, which leaves us feeling pulled in several different directions and often with guilt that we’re cutting someone short on family-time.
My husband and I have decided that we HAVE TO sort this out to avoid the family drama each and every year – as if there isn’t already enough holiday stress to go around! Growing up, Thanksgiving was always a very big event typically spent with my extended family. Christmas was more a time for our immediate family, and over the years became less of an event as my siblings and I became adults. That said, it would mean a lot to me for us to stay local and spend Thanksgiving with our big extended family. For Christmas, my husband and I have talked about starting some of our own family Christmas traditions at home and how great it’ll be for Kayla to come downstairs on Christmas morning. My husband is mostly in agreement with me, but the obvious question is, where do his parents fit in? They’re not local, so it’s not easy to spend a few hours or even a night here and then head off to the next house.
I don’t think we’ve come across a solution will stick for years to come, but for this Christmas, my husband and I think it’s important that we make our decision with Kayla’s best interest in mind (and for our own sanity, too). What does that mean exactly? Well, is it worth loading Kayla, the dogs, all their necessities, gifts, and maybe even a few of my husband’s and my belongings into the car for a very long road trip that will undoubtedly cause a lot of stress (and likely a few arguments) and keep us from enjoying our holidays to the fullest? Not in the slightest. So this year, any and all family is welcome to our home to spend the holidays with us. We may not have as much space to accommodate everyone and their needs, but we can absolutely make it work. All we ask is that no matter how many of us end up squeezing in for the holidays, we enjoy ourselves, celebrate Kayla’s first Christmas, and keep in mind what the holidays are truly all about.
I’m a first-time mom, employee of Bright Horizons and a foodie who loves to cook, travel and laugh. In my free time, I like to pretend I know how to use my DSLR like a pro and do basically all things creative (major DIY-er here). I’m excited to share some of the ups-and-downs of parenthood as my husband, two dogs and our newest addition explore life as a family of five!