Throughout the run up to Christmas I read lots of blog posts about ‘Baby’s first Christmas’ and to be honest I was slightly baffled by the efforts some people seemed to be going to when their babies weren’t old enough to even be aware of Christmas let alone remember it. Toby was just over five and a half months old on Christmas day and I knew for him it would just be another day. He quite liked playing with our fibre optic Christmas tree but apart from that Toby had no idea anything was going on. And so I didn’t really see the point of doing anything to make his first Christmas ‘special’. Some people may think that’s a bit mean-spirited of me but I think it’s just that I’d rather save the fun stuff for when Toby is old enough to get excited about it.
We did make one concession to it being Toby’s first Christmas and that was to stay at home on Christmas day rather than go to my parents’ house like we usually do. That was a bit of a political decision too really – my in-laws usually go on holiday for Christmas so for the three years we have been together the hubby and I have always gone to my parents and there hasn’t been any worry about offending anyone. However, this year my mother-in-law is recovering from an operation on her neck and can’t travel so they were staying at home. My parents live in Blackpool and my in-laws in Manchester while we’re up here in Scotland so visiting everyone in one day just isn’t possible. By choosing to stay at home we didn’t have to decide which set of grandparents Toby would be with on his first Christmas morning. Instead we stayed with my parents on Boxing Day so we could see them and my brother and sister-in-law too and then we went to visit hubby’s parents for a few days after that which worked out well for everyone in the end.
I did buy a ‘My First Christmas’ bauble from Mamas and Papas but it does have the year on too so it’s a nice keepsake and something we can put on the tree year after year. We didn’t get Toby too many presents either. A couple of toys and books and some clothes. Seeing as Toby wouldn’t know what he was unwrapping (he did manage to help a bit with pulling the paper off though!) I didn’t tell the hubby any of the presents I’d bought and he got Toby something that I didn’t know about. That way at least someone got a nice surprise when the presents were opened. I don’t think I would have even bothered wrapping them this year if we had both known what was inside!
We still had a lovely Christmas day together and I got the chance to practice cooking my first Christmas dinner. But for Toby it was still a normal day. I did get him some new pyjamas for Christmas Eve but I didn’t bother with a Christmas Day outfit – he’s just moved into his 6-9 month clothes so there are lots of things he hasn’t worn yet. We managed to fit most of the day in around Toby’s usual routine pretty well though. And after weeks of waking up at least once during the night Toby gave us the best Christmas present he could – he slept from 6:30 pm on Christmas Eve until 8:30 am on Christmas Day without waking up at all! So then after we all got up and had our breakfasts we opened a few presents. Toby then went back to bed for his morning nap, we opened some more presents and I got started on the prep for dinner. After nap time we opened the rest of Toby’s presents, had lunch and a bit of a play then it was back to bed for Toby. The plan was to have our starter while he was still asleep but he woke up slightly earlier than planned. He was quite happy having a play on his baby gym while we ate though. Then we put in him in his new highchair while we had our main course and we gave Toby his first solid food to play with. We are planning on going down the baby led weaning route (more blog posts on that to come!) and although Toby isn’t quite six months yet we thought Christmas dinner might be a nice time to give him something to have a look at. So he played with a few carrot and parsnip sticks (although none made it into his mouth) while we ate our dinner. After that it was bed time for Toby and we eventually had our dessert (sticky toffee pudding – yummy!) at about half past eight.
So for us there was no disappointment, no anti-climax. Toby’s first Christmas was exactly as I expected it to be. It was a bit strange for me not to be with the rest of my family for only the second Christmas in my life, and I actually had a little bit of a cry in the evening because I realised I’d missed them, but overall we had a lovely time just the three of us. I’m not sure what we’ll be doing next year. The idea of going to my parents’ is actually quite tempting – at least then I might get a bit of a break. Although our Christmas day was great we still had to do all the things we do every day; nappy changes don’t stop for Christmas! I even had to do a nappy wash because we were going away the next day. And I had to cook Christmas dinner! At least at my mum and dad’s someone else would do the cooking and there would be other people to entertain Toby for a bit. I might even get my traditional Christmas afternoon nap myself! I know next year will be totally different anyway. Toby will be 18 months old and I’m sure he still won’t understand what Christmas is about but he might be able to open his own presents and maybe enjoy playing with some new toys – or the wrapping paper and boxes anyway!
If you had your first Christmas with your baby I really hope you managed to have a good one. If you want to read more about how babies’ first Christmases don’t always turn out how you planned then Donna has written a great post over at Redhead Babyled. And if your baby’s first Christmas wasn’t quite how you’d hoped then remember there are lots more Christmases still to come.