When becoming a first-time parent, a lot of things change including the way you celebrate Christmas. Holiday season is a wonderful time of the year, but it can also be very stressful, especially when throwing a baby into the mix. On today´s blog we - the Tula Team - are sharing our some of our personal experiences on how to have a peaceful holiday with little kids.
Robin from the German team - Take things slow
Like with every other holidays or event, you feel pressured to make Christmas “perfect”. There are a lot of things you feel required to do such as to make a great meal, take family pictures in front of the Christmas tree or to call all your relatives. Christmas can easily become all about racing from one thing to another and forgetting, what it should really be about – spending time as a family. When you are planning, what do for Christmas, always ask yourself “do I really want do this or do I just feel like I have to?” If you for instance don´t care about having a Christmas tree, you don´t have to get one. If you somehow mess up making Christmas dinner and end up defrosting a pizza, this will make a great family story you will tell for years.
Laetitia from the French team - Speak openly with your family
It´s a great thing to have a big family surrounding you. But it´s hard to figure out, who you are going to spend the holidays with. In an ideal world you would be able to visit one set of grandparents on the first day of Christmas and the other sets of grandparents the next day. But nowadays many families are spread across different parts of the country or even all across the world. For this case try to make a decision, where you are going to spend Christmas, a couple of weeks in advance. And make sure to communicate your decision to your family ahead of time, so no one will be disappointed. Another thing you should discuss openly is, what gifts to get for the kids. Create a wish list of things you feel like your kid could REALLY need/use and share it with your relatives. It´s very understandable that every grandparent wants to make their grandchildren happy and get them the most amazing gifts, but LESS IS SOMETIMES MORE! So it´s not a bad thing to say NO to their gift-plans and to redirect them to something more reasonable.
Marta from the Polish team- Get one special gift
When it’s your first child you want to give them everything in the world and Christmas becomes a good opportunity for that. Try to stop yourself from buying too much especially things, the baby is too small to understand. Better think of one special gift that will stay with them their whole life. And one more very important piece of advice for once your baby has started crawling: Don’t hang ornements on the lower part of your Christmas tree!
Anica from the French team - Listen to your and your child´s needs
As a new parent you might still be working on figuring out all your routines, now that nap and eating schedules are suddenly a thing. And Christmas is no exception. There is a good change you might end up dealing with a fuzzy baby, while wanting to prepare Christmas dinner. Make sure to stick to your normal routines even during all the holiday excitement. If you think celebrating Christmas with a bunch of family members and activities would be too stressful, there is nothing wrong with having a low-key celebration just for you, your significant other and the baby.
Once your kids are a bit older, it´s easier to participate in big family gatherings. But when the whole family comes together for food and chatting, the kids might get bored. (I mean why would anyone willingly just sit together and talk for hours.) To keep the children entertained it´s fun to have a couple of family games on hand. An easy one to play is the “forehead game”, where you each write down the name of some celebrity and hand it to someone else, who then must to guess, what celebrity they are. When playing with kids you change the game into guessing an animal or a character from a book or movie instead. And if you still want more games, you can even turn gift-opening into a game. One example would be to have everyone form a circle and take turns rolling the dice. Whoever rolls a 6 gets to open one of their presents. This way every gift gets the attention it deserves.
Priscilla from the US team - Don´t do too much
That first Christmas can feel extremely special, but you are still learning and navigating parenthood and postpartum life. So, while you may want to really celebrate the season give yourself the space to keep your holiday activities simple and minimal. Be forgiving of yourself and remind yourself that you will have many future Christmases to make it spectacular.
Now that you are all set for the holidays, there is nothing left to do, but to wish you A MERRY, MERRY CHRISTMAS!