Does a Baby Really Need a Christmas Present?


Baby's First ChristmasSo it's Kavya's first Christmas. She'll be 10 months old, and we'll be in California, sans snow, sans tree. Sans celebration? Christmas has always been an odd holiday for my family. We're not Christian, by any stretch of the imagination, yet since we got to this country when I was all of 4, we've celebrated. Growing up, we had a tree -- fake and white, with silver accents, bought for five bucks at a garage sale -- and presents and even Christmas cookies. Of course, then there was the signature masala turkey and spicy alu ki tikkis to round things out.

Now it's time to create our own version of Christmas with Kavi -- and I'm wondering, since she won't even remember and we're on a budget and all, is it worth going all out?

And my answer is a resounding yes!

So what if we'll be in California, where there will be no snow. And perhaps no tree. We'll still manage to make it festive. We're planning to institute our own holiday traditions for Kavya, right from the start. More important than presents, really, is the sense of ritual we give her, the memories we'll be creating, even when she's too young to realize what's happening.

After all, I don't remember what I got for Christmas when I was 5 or 8 or 12. But I do remember the timeless moments we spent as a family, gathering around, playing in the snow if it was a white Christmas, baking (usually inedible) cookies, carving masala turkey, and making memories. My parents pulled it all together to make us feel a part of our new community and its traditions. They didn't always get it "right" -- the first few years, the presents ended up in the chimney instead of under our day-glo tree -- but we have fond memories of the holiday. It was about the ritual of the act, the gathering of loved ones in celebration, whether it was Christmas or Diwali or New Year's eve.

And Kavya's first Christmas will be extra special, because she'll get to spend time with her Dada and Dadi, the grandparents she hasn't seen since she was 3 months old. She'll get to hang with Navreet Buaji and her cousin Seerit, who'll no doubt be taking on the big sis mantle by now. And maybe there won't be masala turkey -- or maybe I'll just swipe the recipe from my mom and make one anyway.

Then she'll get to celebrate all over again when we get back home to Jersey, with her nani and nana and Meena Masi and Tarun Mamaji, all of whom will be waiting with presents and extended holiday cheer. Because it's the spirit of the season that counts, more so than a date on the calendar.

Either way, there will be presents and definitely major memorable moments, all commemorated on film so Kavya can see that even when she was too small to realize what was going on, her parents were right there with her on her first Christmas, making sure it was super-special. As it should be.

How are/did you celebrate baby's first Christmas? Do you institute any specific holiday traditions or rituals?

Image via wfyurasko/Flickr

baby first year, christmas, holidays


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nagyo... nagyordog

Isn't better to give than get. Is so THAN YES it is imperative for that baby to get a damn gift!

qrex912 qrex912

My daughter will be 5 weeks old this Christmas. Chances are, she will sleep through all of the Christmas morning festivities, since she is a "sleep all day, party all night" kind of gal. We have gotten her a few special gifts, a toy, and a few keepsake type items. Really, that was more for us though. We will probably take some cute pictures of her with the tree and her stocking. I don't think its imperative to get a little baby a gift, especially if you aren't actually religious and don't value the holiday that much. Us getting our baby gifts was much more for our own sentimental value. I don't think she would care much either way.

jerem... jeremysmom04

My son was born Nov 23. His gifts are items he needs/I want for him: a few onesies, burp cloths, etc. Seriously, what else can you get a newborn? Useless plastic crap for him to stare at? No thank you.

nonmember avatar mouse's mom

my little mouse will be 9 months old. i will be wrapping up her favorite toys for her Christmas gifts. she will get to tear at paper (which she loves!) and see her favorite rubber giraffe (which she also loves). i know the fam will inundate her with gifts so i will let them go all out. perhaps this can evolve into a fun tradition. for future Christmas' i see one gift being an old, forgotten yet much loved toy. she can do the same for me when she gets older. perhaps a scarf i have forgotten about, the fun will be in trying to find the 'lost' item after it goes missing, only to have it reappear as a gift months later!

Magno... MagnoliaQueen

I think it's great that you make the holiday season your own with important memories to carry with you, and if that includes gifts for a LO that won't remember it, so be it.

YoRkI... YoRkIeMaMa2009

I got my daughter a few special things for her stocking. A new pair of earings, a "sing-a-ma-jig" , a light up ball, a pink rattle and a teether toy. lol. But most importantly her 1st Christmas Ornament/Stocking. Those always mean the most to us. She is 4 months old so I'm sure she won't care much :)

But as for our older boys....that's a different story.

sodapple sodapple

my oldest was only 3 months old when christmas came around, we got our tree and got her a present that she used when she was a year old, lol. our youngest now 8 months, i have no clue what to get her since we also don't have a tree and will be in another state.

miche... micheledo

Our firstborn came on December 20!  We took him to church on Christmas Day and my husband's entire family was at our house!  It was tons of fun.  He came three weeks early so we didn't have any presents for him.  :D

Chris... Chrissy9479

My son will be 11.5 months old on Christmas and then his birthday is 10 days later! So yes he has a few presents for christmas and a few for his birthday. hes almost walking so it should be fun! :)

Lara Kofron Babb

Why do you celebrate Christmas if you are not a Christian? I have never understood this. It is the birth of Christ. What are you celebrating then?

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