It’s my first year as a mother, and something feels a little different for me this Christmas. I always knew that I wanted to create new traditions that my children will get to grow up with and take with them into adulthood as little comfort blankets. I knew when the time came that I’d be hellbent on creating those memories for them and that I’d pour my very essence into making this time happy and enchanting. So I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that this year, for my son’s first Christmas, I’ve thought less about gifts and more about experiences. He’s too little to really understand it all of course. But that hasn’t stopped him from tugging at the Christmas tree - I’m looking up ways to bolt it to the wall behind!
There’s a few ideas I’ve been loving to help me get into the swing of things this year, so I thought I’d share them with you.
Handmade tree decorations
A rustic tree for the baby’s first Christmas sounds idyllic, so I thought I’d give handmade tree decorations a go. The classic dried orange slices or cinnamon sticks always win, naturally. For a little bit more effort these baking soda and corn starch “ceramics” add a lovely touch - I prefer mine air-dried for two days, not baked in the oven, as I find that makes the edges curl up a bit. You can use Christmas themed cookie cutters to stay on theme, and add in your favourite essential oil for a lovely scent.
Of course you’ll need sustenance as you decorate the Christmas tree with all those lovely homemade tree decorations. If like me you’d rather not go through the trouble of proofing dough over many hours, then you’ll love this cheat’s way about it - puff pastry cinnamon rolls. They’re just as good, and take no time at all!
Mulled apple cider
A spicy warm drink at the ready! I am partial to a mulled wine, but I thought I’d change it up a bit and offer this perhaps slightly more humble offering - the mulled apple cider. As the temperatures continue to dip I’m finding myself reaching for warm drinks more. In a bid to give the hot chocolate a rest, I’m going for this mulled apple cider instead. It is pure heaven, but don’t take my word for it. Have a go at making it and let me know how you’ve found it.
I’d very much like to pretend that I’m still the sort of person who whips out the sewing machine and quickly puts together something simply marvellous without much effort. Something like, say, perhaps our very own homemade Christmas stockings? But I’m not going to lie to myself. I can hardly find the time in between work and looking after an infant, so I’ll go easy on myself and opt for a gorgeous personalised pair that I can buy instead. These ones from Jojo Maman Bebe are a delight, but perhaps in time I’ll save up for some incredibly special commissions from Hunter and Hope. Theirs have an heirloom and artisanal quality to them that, although modern, makes them feel steeped in heritage. I’m convinced they’d last us for years and years and be part of a lovely new tradition as a young family.
I’ve been known to stick on the Christmas tunes in May - I am that crazy about the season. So it’s no surprise that I have every intention of turning my tot into a Christmas magic fanatic. With eyes ever-peeled and on the lookout for the magic wherever I went, I was uber delighted when I stumbled on The Polar Post. Let me put it to you this way - Santa truly is real, and he’s got actual elves for helpers and everything. This year he wrote my son a little letter for his first Christmas, and congratulated him on being so brave during a tough year just like all the other kids.
I’m sure there are many more lovely ideas that I’ve missed, and they’ll all involve food and comfort and warm cinnamon-scented hugs. So I shan’t be sorry to waddle into the new year a couple or so pounds heavier as I’ll have indulged in it all; all the love and warmth that comes with celebrating my baby’s first Christmas. I hope you’ll make it a memorable one for you as well, no matter the shape or form of your family. Let’s make new traditions, and celebrate the things that matter.