Congratulations! You had a baby this year and now you get to enjoy all the wonder and beauty of their very first holiday season. These tips from our seasoned experts will help you prepare for all the excitement the end of the year brings.
1. Stock up on Wine.
This is the first and most important step. This will set the tone for the next two months, so it’s imperative you don’t skip this one. If you don’t care for wine, that’s no problem. Eggnog, apple cider, or Irish coffee work just fine, as long as they are spiked with the alcohol of your choice. Be sure to carry your festive drink with you wherever you go.
2. Have your local pizza delivery shop on speed dial.
Let’s be honest, you don’t even like turkey the other 364 days of the year. The stuffing and pie might be tempting, but with a newborn, you won’t have time to cook a big meal from scratch. Just surrender to the fact that this year you’re saving your sanity and ordering pizza delivery. If you want some variety, chinese take-out is a good substitute.
3. Sign up for an Amazon Prime membership.
Forget the Black Friday sales. Don’t even think about stepping foot in the mall. All your baby wants is an empty cardboard box and some wrapping paper to tear up. For everyone else, there’s Amazon Prime. We live in a world where we can have anything we could possibly need delivered to our front doors with free two day shipping. This is the true holiday miracle.
4. Stay home.
Speaking of avoiding crazy parking lots and long shopping lines, just stay home altogether. Yes, holidays are meant to be spent with those you love, but it’s cold and flu season and you don’t want your baby getting sick. Use this as an excuse to stay home and avoid your drunk Uncle Al and judgmental Aunt Cheryl. If nobody buys that excuse, just tell your in-laws you’re spending time with your family this year and tell your family it’s the year to spend with your in-laws. You can sort that out next year.
5. Set your child’s expectations now.
It may be tempting to buy your baby all the popular toys and start a bunch of new traditions, but by setting the bar low early on, you’re actually setting yourself up for success when they’re older. For example, Elf on the Shelf may seem like a cute idea now, but wait until your child wakes you up at 5 a.m. crying because Elfie has been “resting” in the same spot for four days. When it comes to gift giving, tell people you’re raising your child to focus on relationships instead of material items. This will make you seem sophisticated.
6. Put your holiday decorations in storage.
Plan to keep them there for approximately 10-15 more years. Whether it’s Christmas lights and glass ornaments, a Hanukkah menorah, or a Kwanzaa kinara, they’re all basically death traps for babies. There’s no way to baby proof everything, so don’t even try. You can have nice things when your child is in middle school, or possibly in college.
7. Get a babysitter for New Year’s Eve.
This is the one holiday of the year when it’s acceptable to ditch your child and spend time with other adults without a baby screaming in your ear. You won’t get another chance at this until next year, so ignore the spit up on your cute dress and go let loose.
8. Have fun!
In all honesty, all you need is your sense of humor and a little patience. Try to take it easy. Enjoy your baby, your loved ones, and all the excitement (and food!) this time of year brings. The holidays will never be the same!