Baby’s First Christmas Presents Gift Ideas
My daughter was only two and a half months old when her first Christmas came. She was still young and hadn’t really mastered the art of grabbing or playing. Her best play was done through eye contact and smiles that first Christmas. She didn’t have any interest in ripping open paper packages and was barely learning to grasp things with her tiny fingers. We were at a loss as to what to get her that Christmas. It almost seemed unnecessary to get her anything, but for our sakes, we were determined that her first Christmas would not be without presents. Finally, we decided to buy her the Holiday Barbie of her birth year (a Barbie that still stays in her box despite her best efforts to convince me she should come out), and a couple of stuffed animals: sheep because that was her nursery theme. Family bought her little toys that she wasn’t yet interested in but would care about soon— rattles, maracas, talking stuffed animals— but we knew that none of those things would matter to her at the time when she opened them (and that she already had plenty of toys she had yet to use), so we kept it simple with those few, sentimental gifts.
Now, as Christmas comes near again, I can’t help but think of our first Christmas as parents and how we agonized over what to get baby Bunny and had very few ideas. In retrospect, I have lots of ideas that the experience of being a parent of littles for five years has brought. So, the following is my list of meaningful presents to get for your baby’s first Christmas—especially if that baby is just born.
Savings bond.These grow in value over the course of some years and will be useful when your child comes of age and is starting out on their own for the very first time. I would know. Some of my aunts and uncles got me savings bonds my first Christmas and I used them as a junior in college when I studied abroad.
A special book.I don’t know what books are special to you, but get something with meaning that your child can treasure forever: a thick book of fairy tales, a children’s Bible, Dr. Seuss’s Oh the Places You Will Go. Write something meaningful in the first pages, including the date it was given. It will become more than just a present, it will be a keepsake of that first Christmas. Also, giving a book is like giving the gift of time, because it promises hours of special cuddles as the book is read to them throughout their childhood A collectible. A Hess Truck, Holiday Barbie, or some other meaningful collectible from the year of their birth will be very meaningful. Whether or not you allow it to be a plaything in the future is up to you.
Cloth Diapers.Okay, so this is more a present for the Mommy (and maybe Daddy), than the baby. However, since cloth diapers are such lusciously amazing things to have against tiny, sensitive baby bums, I say go for it. You might as well complete your bumGenius print series while you’re at it.
Clothing.Clothing is always useful. Though your baby won’t appreciate it at their age, they can’t really appreciate anything so young. Clothing is something he or she can use immediately.
A photo book or yearbook:Gather together a collection of photos and anecdotes from the short months of their life that include how special and amazing they are to you. Even phrase it like a storybook! This will be another great memento of your first Christmas together and something your child will be able to cherish and enjoy when they’re older. Bunny loves reading her yearbooks and photo books from time to time. I think it makes her feel loved to see that I spent so much time documenting her life.
Baby’s First Christmas Ornament.This is kind of a must for me. Every year my kids get a beautiful ornament of some type, but the first ornament is the most special and cherished. Usually the grandparents will get one of these too, so you can coordinate with them ahead of time to make sure you don’t get duplicates.
Handmade presents.If you knit, sew, crochet, embroider, paint, etc, take the time to make some special memento that your baby can cherish forever. Make a stuffed animal, special booties, embroider a bib, or paint a picture. You can even add something special like the outline of handprints and footprints if you paint or embroider. My aunt used to embroider birth announcements for each of her nieces and nephews and they hung in our bedrooms. She also embroidered us blankets that became our lovies and that all of us still cherish and sleep with even as adults. Those things were more special than store bought presents. Even as a child I understood that.
Toys.Okay, so you can get toys. A baby won’t appreciate them yet, but they will some day. Stuffed animals often become friends to cuddle to bed at night and hold onto when they’re feeling sick or afraid. They become best friends. Toys also become very useful vehicles for learning. A nice heirloom set of wooden blocks, or some puzzles will be something your baby will grow into before you know it.
Be practical.What does your baby use and need now? Do they use pacifiers, teethers, bottles, spit rags? Go ahead and buy those things and put them under the tree. They may not be fancy or sentimental gifts, but you just bought your husband some practical socks because you love him so there’s nothing wrong with buying that teething necklace that your baby’s achy gums will appreciate immediately.
Really, that first Christmas isn’t about the presents. Your baby will be just fine without them. However, since present giving is a tradition many of us have through which we demonstrate our love, it’s nice to include the baby in this display of merrymaking even though they won’t appreciate it yet. Really, their gifts that year, are about the giver. But isn’t that always the case anyway?