Your baby won't remember their first Christmas, but you will. So if you’re thinking about starting new traditions for the most wonderful time of the year, go for it! It’ll help you build a strong bond and create a store of positive memories for your little family. And if you want your new traditions for Christmas to be more meaningful and aligned with your eco-friendly values, we've got you. We've rounded up family holiday traditions that will not only make the yuletide season fun, exciting, and memorable but will also bring your family closer and uphold your sustainability ethos.
Meaningful new traditions for baby’s first Christmas
1. Decorate your home with environmentally kind materials
Getting your home dressed up for Christmas is probably one of the most common family holiday traditions. This year, use simpler and more environmentally kind materials. For example, you can go for natural and compostable decorations like a real miniature tree and a fresh wreath. Or choose reusable ornaments and baubles, and twinkly LED lights rather than conventional incandescent lights.
2. Take a family holiday picture
If you own good photos, this is probably the most accessible tradition to start with your baby because you don't have to buy anything new. So don’t let Christmas pass without taking a holiday family picture. You’ll be surprised how simple images can bring a rush of happy memories and evoke powerful emotions.
3. Snail mail holiday cards to loved ones
Another simple new tradition for Christmas is sending out holiday cards to friends and family. Make it more special by handwriting messages of love and thanks and sending them by snail mail. While it may not be greener and faster than ecards and emails, there’s unique beauty and excitement in receiving cards this way. Plus, cards can be upcycled as Christmas decor and reused every year too.
4. Make an annual Christmas ornament with baby
If you’re in the mood to flex your creativity and create something unforgettable with your baby, try making a holiday ornament to celebrate your baby’s Christmas. Pick a long-lasting material, like wood, to decorate on. Adorn it as you like, and write the year on it for record-keeping. Make another every year until you have a collection of Christmas ornaments you can keep using or that you can pass on to your kids.
5. Countdown to Christmas with an Advent calendar
Level up your Christmas countdown with an Advent calendar. For baby’s first Christmas, add environmentally kind and baby-friendly twist by making it a sensory activity for baby. Collect a bunch of textured elements related to the holidays. Like a fir tree branch, glitters, and gingerbread. Let your baby explore and play with one item each day.
6. Read a bedtime Christmas story
Your baby may not be able to wait for midnight, but you can still make Christmas Eve special by reading a holiday story before bedtime. Pick your favorite classic and read it aloud. Not only is it a marvelous tradition to start with your baby, but it’s also an effective way to strengthen their language skills.
7. Write a Christmas story inspired by your family
If writing is something you enjoy, putting together a holiday story about your family is a Christmas ritual you can start this year. Who knows, you may have a collection of stories worth publishing years later.
8. Build a family time capsule
Remember the year just passed by building a family time capsule. Write down milestones, events, and experiences worth remembering and learning from. You can also include photos and letters to each other. Add to this every year and you’ll soon have a bank of family memories. Reading and adding to your family time capsule may be your most heartwarming holiday tradition down the road.
9. Make a wish list
The spirit of gift-giving is very much alive on Christmas. To ensure that you receive and give presents that will be used and appreciated, make it a new tradition to create a Christmas wish list and send it to friends and family. Then, your loved ones will save time trying to come up with the perfect gift.
10. Open one big gift on Christmas
If your idea of Christmas isn’t complete without presents but you also want to lessen your consumption and waste, perhaps you can compromise by giving each other just one big gift instead of multiple smaller presents. Then, you can open them at the same time on Christmas morning.
11. Donate to a cause
If skipping gifts feels like the right holiday tradition for your family, donating to a cause dear to you is an alternative. You can donate in the name of your baby or as a family.
12. Purge and donate
You may have accumulated more items than you’d like to admit over the year. And with the holiday gift-giving likely to add to your stuff, make time to purge the house of items you no longer use and need. Set aside the ones in good condition and donate them to friends, family, or charity. This goes for things like cloth diapers and diaper covers as well as toys and household goods. For things you can’t donate or give, dispose of them properly.
13. Donate to kids in need
As they say, Christmas is for kids. Maybe there's a baby in your neighborhood whom you can help by gifting them with essentials like diapers. For example, you can sponsor a DYPER™ subscription, making sure they always have a steady supply the entire year. DYPER diapers are remarkably absorbent, soft diapers are made with chlorine-free fluff pulp and plant-based materials, and without latex, alcohol, perfumes, or phalates!
14. See the Christmas lights around the neighborhood
The sparkling Christmas lights are a joyful reminder of the holidays. So make it a family tradition to walk around the neighborhood and enjoy them. It’s a simple bonding activity and a great sensory experience for your baby – even if they can only stare and coo at them right now.
15. Go on a Christmas outing
If you have time off during the holidays, grab the opportunity to go on a Christmas outing with your little family. Choose a place where you can easily immerse yourselves in nature activities. You'll gain from the refreshing energy nature gives and while your baby may not remember it, the experience will expose them to different sensory activities, improving their sensory integration and organization.
16. Spend time with family
Celebrate the occasion by spending quality time with your family. It’s one of the simplest and most underrated family holiday traditions. Not only does it knit you closer, but it also boosts mental health and relieves stress.
Setting new traditions for Christmas is great. But for families with babies, it doesn’t have to cause you undue stress. When choosing a family holiday tradition to start this year, consider your baby’s age.
If your baby was born early in the year, you might have a bit more time and energy, and they may appreciate some of the activities and traditions above. However, if they were born later, perhaps you'll benefit more by focusing on rest and doing very simple traditions instead, like taking a family photo.
Remember, no one says you should start holiday family traditions on baby’s first Christmas only. You can always begin later when everything is more manageable.