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When you have children of your own, Christmas becomes almost as magical as it was when you were a kid. The presents, the cookies, maybe even the magic of Santa Claus–it’s all wonderful. But how early should we start sharing Christmas with kids? Probably not quite as early as the “baby’s first Christmas” onesies would have us believe.

Think about it; in the first months your child’s life, he’s still learning to use his eyes. It’s only at about months eight to 12 that baby starts to reach out and touch things, meaning if his first Christmas starts before that, he can’t quite reach the Frosty the Snowman rattle you’re holding out to him. Nor can your little one eat candy canes and cookies.

And what about presents? A lot of babies get flooded with gifts in their first two years or so. Every aunty and best friend sees something in the store baby just has to have, be it clothes or an adorable toy. But the truth is, baby is probably happiest playing with your car keys.

Maria Guido at Mommyish has the right idea when it comes to celebrating Christmas with her baby this year:

“Spending money on presents for a child who has no idea what day it is, what Christmas is, or what a present is is silly when you are on a very tight budget. So this year, my infant is getting wrapped hand-me-downs – from my son’s closet.”

Though Guido’s youngest is a little girl, it doesn’t really matter, does it? She says everything she wanted to buy her little girl looked a lot like things her son already owns, so she just went with the hand-me-downs. For babies who have the motor skills to actually unwrap a present, the fun, noisy, crinkly paper is the best gift of all.

If anything, it’s a blessing to have a baby too young to realize it’s Christmas. You have a few more years before you have to break the bank to spend money on toys. Put a photo of your little one on a cute holiday card for family and friends and maybe use that tiny hand to make a cute hand print Christmas tree ornament, but is there really anything else to actually do for baby? The card and the ornament would be for you now and for your kid to treasure in the years to come, but actually making Christmas a big production for baby is a bit much in that first year. Set up some twinkly lights on the tree that your little one can focus on, maybe buy one of those “baby’s first Christmas onesies” (it’ll fit for a few more months and be great under sweaters during the winter months), and call it a day.

How did you celebrate your baby’s first Christmas?

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