Babies, as adorable as they are, have no freaking clue what’s going on. For a brand-new parent, this is a total blessing in disguise. You can screw them up and fumble your way through parenting for a few good years before you have to answer for it.
This couldn’t apply more to Baby’s First Christmas.
Last year was my first Christmas with my first son, and I wanted to make it epic. Of course, he was born in January, so he was almost a year old by the time his first Christmas rolled around. He was able to actually open presents and enjoy some of the toys and trinkets we got him.
But now it’s my second Christmas with children, and I also have a second son who will be seven months old. So, you could say this isn’t my first rodeo.
When I started thinking about Christmas gifts for my baby, I really did try to come up with something adorable/meaningful/relevant to a baby. But you know what? There’s almost nothing that fits in that category. (Unless you’re talking about an engraved rattle ornament, but come on.) You know what else? My baby won’t even remember this holiday.
I really did toy with the idea of not getting him a gift at all, but that may be taking it a little too far. On top of the fact that it’s pretty hard to shop for a baby that has no memory, my second son is already the “baby that has everything.” We have loads of toys from my first son, my second son is wearing like-new hand-me-downs, and we’ve kept every baby gadget that we needed.
So… Even though I know it’s a total faux pas to give kids practical gifts like socks and underwear under the Christmas tree, it’s happening. Baby’s First Christmas is going to be as low-cost as possible since he’s not going to remember it anyway.
So far, I’ve bought him a cute little matching tracksuit, Christmas pajamas, and a sippy cup decorated with mustaches and neckties. Before you think I’m totally heartless, I also ordered him a monogrammed stocking to match with the rest of the family’s stockings. Still, the total value of my baby’s Christmas gift this year is probably…wait for it…$20.
At least I didn’t go with plan A, which was going to be a few cartons of formula tied with pretty bows under the Christmas tree. (So then I could say, “Formula doesn’t grow on trees, kid!”)
And I think that’s going to be it. A seven-month-old can’t open presents, and he definitely won’t remember the holiday. On top of that, he has tons of doting family members that are going to buy him piles of frivolous gifts that he may or may not play with.
That’s not to say I’m not grateful for every gift my kids are given, and I’m also not a Scrooge. I absolutely love the holidays! I can’t wait to start special traditions and make family memories during what I consider literally the most wonderful time of the year – as long as my kids remember them.
I’m not a cheap ass, but in my second holiday season with kids, I’ve learned a thing or two. I’ve realized that piling gifts under the Christmas tree for a baby would be more about me than him. Sure, I want my kids to have a blast every magical second of the holidays and can’t wait to read their Christmas lists. But babies, God love ’em, do not have Christmas lists, and they will be happy with anything you get them.
That’s the great thing about babies – they won’t remember! Get them a gift, or don’t, it’s all the same to them! If you have no idea how to parent and feel like a total failure, just think – your baby won’t remember!
If I may take this time for an aside, that really is the biggest advantage of the baby years. Yes, they’re unreasonably hard at times, and your baby may make you question the meaning of life – and not in a good way. But every time you feel like you’ve effed up royally, you can always comfort yourself with the fact that your baby has no idea what’s going on. Win-win!
But back to my point. My baby has no concept of what Christmas actually is. He’ll probably be overjoyed just to get a sippy cup in his stocking that he can gnaw on for the remainder of the day. As my kids get older and start to understand what Christmas is all about, I’ll be happy to buy them the number one gift on their list (within reason). Until then, practical Christmas gifts will have to do. Bah Humbug?