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How do you celebrate Christmas? How to celebrate Christmas with a young baby?

(11 Posts)
SpunkyMummy Fri 04-Nov-16 20:09:51

This will be our first Christmas with our LO (due date is 4/12).

So, I guess we're both a bit unsure about how things are (most likely) going to be with the LO. DH's family has always celebrated Midnight mass, for example. We both really like it, but with a newborn? How do/did you do it?

And I'm also really interested in different Christmas traditions. DM and DF have always had lively discussions about that. (They obviously never agree, but ultimately Christmas has always been lovely. And it nowadays is probably more of a tradition to discuss it, because they always come to the same conclusion...)

AcrossthePond55 Fri 04-Nov-16 20:55:38

I think the best thing would be for you to decide first what you want. Do you want a quiet at-home Christmas, just your little family? If not, is your (or DH's) family conducive to a tiny baby and new parents?

DS1 was 6 weeks old for his first Christmas. It was spent with my parents and it was really wonderful. I was cosseted and told to put my feet up, DH was fussed over and back-slapped, and DS1was loved and cuddled by extended family. But my family has always been 'baby-mad' and there are no 'drama llamas' or problem relatives.

Ours are pretty typical American Christmases with a bit of English and Pennsylvania Dutch traditions from my grandparents. Add in a few things we've picked up along the way that we thought were fun. You'll figure out how you want to 'do' Christmas as time goes on.

Congratulations! Your baby (if arrives on time) and I will share a birthday. smile

As far as midnight Mass, I think it's a lovely tradition but I'd give it a miss this year. You're going to be sleep deprived with a 3 week old baby still figuring out how to live in his/her new world. I think you'd do much better to be snuggled up in your own bed at midnight!

Ginslinger Fri 04-Nov-16 21:00:18

my first was a xmas baby and we stayed at home and our parents visited - they didn't stay in our flat but found their own accommodation - they organised food for us and we had a lovely time.

Ginslinger Fri 04-Nov-16 21:00:48

and traditions evolve - they're not created

cowbag1 Fri 04-Nov-16 21:04:49

Ds was 2.5 weeks old for his first Christmas and we actually did Midnight Mass. He slept throught the whole thing but I would just have sat at the back and bf him if I needed to/he was fussy. Last year we didn't bother though and went to the Christingle service instead, as that's a bit more toddler friendly.

We spend Christmas day by alternating between my DPs and PILs and it's great when you have a little one to have all the cooking done for you and lots of family about who are happy to hold baby/play with a toddler. In fact, we left ds with PILs for a few hours on his first boxing day and had a 2 hour nap upstairs!

We follow normal UK traditions, opening presents in the morning, roast with all the trimmings etc.

Clankboing Fri 04-Nov-16 21:06:58

It will be early days and if you are late the baby could be days old. I would keep it simple, have some nice sparkly lights for the baby to look at, nice TV and easy food to cook.

MaryWortleyMontagu Fri 04-Nov-16 21:13:45

My daughter was born on 11 December. We are a Christian Church attending family but that year we did not attend midnight mass! I normally love it as well but I really would not have liked to have been out in the middle of the night in the middle of winter with a newborn! Dd fed and slept well, but any time in the night when she was sleeping, I wanted to be sleeping as well! Instead we went to the morning service on Christmas day, just me, dh and dd and afterwards we went to the pub for Christmas lunch. It was one of the best Christmas' meals we'd ever had (helped by the fact that dd slept all the way through it!)

SpunkyMummy Fri 04-Nov-16 21:18:00

Oh... so many responses. Thanks smile

My little sister currently lives with us. So, Christmas has to be somewhat teenager appropriate...

We invited her boyfriend for a small Christmas lunch on the 24th.

The last 3 years we did it like this:
go to PIL's house on the 24th and go to midnight mass together (after playing charades). Then we'll go to midnight mass, MIL will invite a few friends over (the woman apparently doesn't need to sleep.
A small Christmas breakfast, a rather long, quite brisk walk, opening the presents, lunch....

Then we'll go back home and celebrate Christmas and boxing day with my family (the ones that currently aren't in the UK come over for Christmas).

Your comments seem to suggest that this will be too much. Maybe I could ask DB if he'd be ok with hosting Christmas...
I luckily won't need to do the cooking.

I hope MIL will understand that I may be too tired for midnight mask (this woman is impressive, it seems like no physical ailment can keep her from doing what she wants to do...)

SpunkyMummy Fri 04-Nov-16 21:27:16


Exactly. I'm also afraid of the LO getting hypothermia and frostbite.

The way to the church, the service, the way back...

And the morning walk as well... idk.

OhTheRoses Fri 04-Nov-16 21:27:38

I am the Christmas baby expert wink. I think you should play it by ear, make no commitments and see how you feel.

Xmas 94 was meant to be quiet, just me and DH, roast pheasant, nice walk. Didn't work out like that, ds didn't have a single present. Arrived at 0.47 on Xmas day, three weeks early.

I made a rod for my own ba k and have hosted Christmas ever since. Not only do we do Christmas, we also do birthday.

Keep it low key o, do what feels right. Go to midnight mass if baby is wide awake and not starving. Crib service at 4pm might be the way to go for a few years.

Enjoy and feel the love. Ignore the duty.

SpunkyMummy Fri 04-Nov-16 23:19:27


Good advice. I honestly wouldn't go to church if it wasn't for DH's family. I'm not particularly religious (not that I'm anti-religion either) blush. But I agree, celebrating midnight mass with a toddler might be a bad idea. Especially because they shouldn't be lethargic or hyper the next day....

We could maybe host a Christmas if we bought one of these basically ready made Christmas dinners. Or asked our housekeeper (nothing particularly "fancy", she comes just twice a week) if she could prepare something beforehand. Something we could warm up...

But your sentence about ignoring duty. That's really important to remember. Thank you smile

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