laughing baby in santa outfit

Ideas for making holiday memories as a family

It’s baby’s first holiday season! Even if your little one is only a few weeks or months old, now’s the time to establish some sweet family traditions and begin making memories. A word from those of us who’ve been there: You don’t have to do it all. Choose a couple of traditions that have meaning—ones you can make your own and continue throughout your little one’s childhood. To help get you started, here are some of our favorite holiday traditions:

1. Snap a Family Photo

Schedule a professional session, take a few casual photos on your phone, or go for an old-fashioned photo sesh on Santa’s lap. Document baby’s first holiday this year, then take a photo of your family each year to see how you grow and change. While these photos are perfect for an annual holiday card mailing, they can also capture the moment for display at home or a personal photo book like this one.

2. Start an Ornament Collection

Whether you’re a fan of the Hallmark collection or prefer to craft a salt-dough creation, this year, kick off your little one’s ornament collection. Grab a DIY ornament kit from your local craft store to cement the memory of your baby’s tiny footprints or handprints. Or there are loads of options for photo ornaments featuring a snapshot of your baby or family. If DIY isn’t your thing, buy an ornament that represents what your child is loving right now (Elmo, anyone?) or commemorates a family milestone. By the time your little one is grown, he or she will have an entire collection to trim their tree.

3. Wear Holiday Pajamas

Is there anything cuter than a baby in a holiday onesie? Donning plaid PJs, funny footies or striped long johns are a sweet tradition that’s also cozy, functional and worthy of a photo opp. Don’t forget the matching set for you and your partner!

4. Read Seasonal Books

Gather a few holiday books to read together—the classics (We love “The Polar Express), the modern takes (“Llama Llama Holiday Drama,” anyone?) and everything in between. From hard books to vintage editions (or perhaps a few from your childhood), these are the stories your family can cuddle up with for a seasonal storytime.

5. Bake Something Special

It’s OK if you’ve experienced a few #Pinterestfails in the past—go ahead and pick up ingredients for a batch of holiday cookies or a traditional dish. Cook up that special breakfast casserole or a holiday side dish that gives a nod to your family heritage. Plus, sweet treats are always a much-appreciated gift to share with neighbors, babysitters and friends.

6. Tour a Light Display

Load everyone up in the car and take a drive through a local neighborhood known for its dazzling lights and decorations, or a nearby professional display. Even the littlest ones can appreciate the twinkly, blinking lights. Don’t forget some festive music and some snacks for the ride.

7. Donate to a Family in Need

’Tis the season for giving! Spread some joy to others by purchasing gifts for a family in need, donating food for a holiday meal or volunteering with a local organization. While your baby may be too young to fully understand the gesture this year, giving with kindness and supporting your community are traditions that can live on year-round.

The best part about traditions is that they don’t have to look the same for every family—add your unique twist! Silly, sweet or sentimental, this is an opportunity to make memories this year and for years to come. As moms ourselves, we know how special baby’s first holiday is, and we’d love to see what traditions you’re starting this year. Share your meaningful family traditions with us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.