Parents and Christmas Firsts

Like it or not the holidays make people very nostalgic. It’s hard for some parents not to think of their son or daughter’s first Christmas when hanging stockings or trimming the tree. Then, there’s the tidal wave of memory triggers that come to us via the media.

For example, if I see that TV commercial about the mom being “forced” to buy her daughter a new cellphone plan because “it’s the first Christmas that she won’t be home,” I’m going to hurl.

Do you remember the first Christmas your child didn’t spend with you? I can’t imagine it’s a very pleasant memory (for most parents anyway). Yet this cellphone company uses this “Christmas first” to its advantage to guilt parents into purchasing expensive plans for their offspring with the hope that they will use some of their minutes to call home on the holiday.

Then, there are those celebrity magazines. This time of year they are brimming with details on how celebrity parents plan to spend baby’s first Christmas.

For example, Oscar-winner Nicole Kidman says she has the perfect recipe for making her daughter’s first Christmas a special one:

“A lot of hugs and kisses and Christmas carols,” the Australia star told news reporters last week.

As for what kinds of goodies 5-month-old Sunday Rose can expect to find under the tree?

According to mom Nicole, “She loves puppets!” So count on a few (including one special turtle puppet) to be opened on Christmas morning.

The actress and her country music superstar hubby Keith Urban also hired a bunch of people to rig their Nashville property with thousands of Christmas lights in honor of their little princess, who according to her parents: “adores lights.”

This, of course, begs the question: With such a young child does it really matter what you do on Christmas?

After all, the chances of children remembering their first visit with Santa Claus, their first Christmas tree, their first stocking, or their first holiday gift is slim to none.

My daughter couldn’t even stand up by herself when we celebrated her first Christmas. Still, I insisted we get a tree, decorate the house, hang stockings, load up on gifts and dress her in fancy holiday outfits.

She looked adorable propped up against a mountain of brightly wrapped presents in her pink holiday-themed ensemble on Christmas morning… and I have the pictures to prove it.

She on the other hand, doesn’t remember a single second.

Did you go all out for your child’s first Christmas or did you downplay the event because you figured she wouldn’t remember it?

Related Articles:

What Do You Do With Pictures of Other People’s Kids?

Holidays and Family Dysfunction

Santa vs. Generous Grandparents

Keeping Your Kids Safe During the Holidays

The Santa Threat

Hey Moms… What’s On Your Christmas Wish List?

Moms Sacrifice for Kids During the Holidays

The Family Christmas Photo

Who’s In Your Christmas Card Photo?

The Annual Holiday Family Newsletter-Yea or Nay?

Family Holiday Viewing Traditions

Holiday Family Bonding Around the TV

What Kind of Parents Take Their Kids Shopping on Black Friday?

Tales from the Holiday Kids’ Table

Countdown to Christmas: The Letter to Santa

My Daughter’s Letter to Santa

My Daughter’s Very Merry Christmas Eve

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Michele Cheplic

About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.

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