BABY'S FIRST CHRISTMAS
TIPS FOR MAKING IT SPECIAL
UNLESS you're a bit of a child prodigy you probably don't remember your first Christmas. And there's unlikely to be much evidence of the event either, since most of us were born before the advent of fancy technology such as camcorders and digital cameras.
Of course in recent years all this has changed. Every waking moment of your child's life can be recorded for posterity, on camera, on the computer, on the iphone. The options nowadays are vast.
That said, while technology is brilliant for getting an exact replica of what actually happened on the day, there are other equally lovely ways to mark the occasion.
The art of letter-writing is all but lost, but why not resurrect it for a quaint and beautiful Christmas memory for your child? First of all, buy a keepsake box or a decorative container and some nice Christmas-themed stationery.
Write a letter to your baby in the style of a Christmas letter, focusing on the baby's achievements over the year. For example, talk about the day they were born, what kinds of things you did for his or her first outings, what their favourite toys or books are, where you travelled, what kind of milestones they have reached this year etc.
Go month by month or do it free form. If your baby was just born in the latter part of the year, describe your excitement and preparation leading up to the big event. Save the letter in your keepsake box. You could make this an annual tradition by writing a letter just like this one to your child every year. Then give the box to her when they turn 18. It will be a lasting chronicle of his or her life, something you'll both enjoy reading again and again, and will be especially touching if they've no idea you've been doing it all along. Or, of course, you can show it to your child earlier, when they start reading, and open up a fun conversation about their baby years.
BUY AN ORNAMENT
Another way of marking your baby's first Christmas is to buy an ornament for them. It's a good idea to find one with something that says 'Baby's First Christmas' as well as the year on it. On Christmas Day, give it to your baby from either yourself or Santa Claus and continue to do this every year. Once your child moves out of the house, give them their collection of Christmas ornaments. That way, they can put it on their own Christmas tree! For personalised decorations, Irish website www.theornamentshop.ie does a lovely range, which can be customised to suit.
PICTURES WITH SANTA
Just like buying ornaments and letter-writing, the first photo with Santa can become an annual event. Once the photos add up, you can transfer them into a special 'Santa album', allowing your child to see what they looked like down through the years and how much they've changed. However, be aware that small children/babies may 'make strange' with Santa so be prepared to get in the photo yourself if needs be.
What not to do
Though it may take every piece of resolve you have, don't go completely crazy in the toyshop. After all, your child is so young they will probably get as much enjoyment out of the wrapping paper as the actual present! Don't overschedule yourself during the holidays with a new baby. Trying to do too much will exhaust you and your child, and will just leave you feeling fed up. Decide what's most important and let the other things go until your baby's a bit older. Don't assume that you can decorate for the holidays as you did before there was a baby in the house, especially if they're crawling. You'll need to make sure that electrical cords and breakable ornaments are out of reach, and that they're never left alone near a Christmas tree that could easily topple over onto them.
Of course, no first Christmas would be complete without plenty of digital evidence! Ken Healy of the Camera Centre in Dublin ( www.cameracentre.ie) says the days of the camcorder are on the wane, with customers opting more for good digital cameras with excellent recording features.
"Canon is a consistently popular brand, with the Canon SX 220 HS a really good option for parents looking to both take shots and record. It has a nicesized zoom, which means you can capture your kids' little moments from the corner of the room, and it seems as if you were very close," he explains.
It currently retails at 260 (with 35 cash back of€ € fer from Canon). He also recommends the Panasonic TZ20, which retails in the Camera Centre for 320, € with a 45 cash back from Panasonic. € Smartphones are also popular among parents for
Mother & Babies