Ask Design Mom — First Christmas Present

November 16, 2009

Ask Design Mom Question:
So, here is my dilemma. Because of when my baby is due — and the latest date my doctor will let me go before inducing — the little guy’s first Christmas will be when he is at most a few weeks old and at least, 3 days old. So what to do? What kind of gifts do you get for a brand new baby? I, of course, want it to be special since it will be his first Christmas but it seems silly to buy a bunch of stuff that he will be too young to use or even know exists. Any feedback you or the readers could give would be great! Thanks. — Jennifer

Design Mom Answer:
Early Congratulations on the upcoming birth of your baby, Jennifer! How exciting. I think many mothers with babies born in December stress about the closeness of the birthday and the holidays. I don’t blame them — it’s a lot to think about in one month.

But for this first Christmas, you’re super lucky. I agree that it’s “silly to buy a bunch of stuff that he will be too young to use or even know exists.” Instead think “heirloom” and look for something more commemorative that he’ll appreciate when he’s older. For example, when the new millenium was coming, I had two babies and wanted to give them both something to mark the event. For Ralph, I had a sterling silver yo-yo engraved with an R. For Maude, I had a sterling silver star-shaped pendant engraved with her name and “2000.” My thinking was that they’ll be able to tell their grandkids they were alive (just barely) when the new millenium arrived — and pull out their souvenirs to make the story more interesting. : )



Julian & Co. just introduced a product that might be perfect for this. It’s a 6-sided pendant that can be engraved on each side — and further used as a wax seal imprinter. Very cool. You can read more about it here.

What about you Dear Readers? What would you do to celebrate a newborn’s first Christmas?

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Ashlee November 16, 2009 at 11:53 pm

It seems to me that there is no better heirloom than
a beautiful photograph.
Use the money to hire someone to capture
the joy your new baby brought on his first
holiday in your family. Priceless!

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2 Amy November 16, 2009 at 11:56 pm

I think a stocking would be a wonderful gift-each of the kids in my family grew up with the same stocking so it would be special to have the same one growing up that you received your very first Christmas.

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3 Amy November 17, 2009 at 12:03 am

I love the stocking and photograph ideas! In my family growing up, your first Christmas you always got a special ornament that would go with you when you got older and moved out of the house.

In my own family, Christmas is a mostly homemade affair. Each year we make Christmas gifts for our children. Sometimes it is a toy and sometimes it is something more a long the lines of a blanket, cradle, homemade pj's, etc. My mom made us pj's and outfits growing up and those were always my favorite gifts because SHE MADE it for ME. I still have quite a few of those gifts and treasure them. My daughter will soon be big enough to wear a dress I still have that my mother made for me.

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4 sallyavena November 17, 2009 at 8:29 am

I too agree with the heirloom thinking. I had a baby on Dec 16 and he got a special stuffed animal (that he still sleeps with at the age of 9) from his big brother, his stocking with his name on it made by me and a special ornament that he gets to have when he leaves our home to make his own.

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5 Cherish November 17, 2009 at 11:31 am

I was thinking that a snowglobe or music box might be a good heirloom gift. Little kids are fascinated with them and it is also something they can treasure as they grow up.

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6 jamie-marie November 17, 2009 at 11:44 am

My husband and I are each contributing one homemade gift for our new baby girl, Lucy, and hope to continue this tradition each year. I'm exercising my sewing skills by making her first stocking (I still have the one my mom made me) and my husband is creating a book he wrote using blurb.com. We also bought her first Christmas ornament on etsy. My parents gave each of my siblings and I our ornaments we made or received over the years when we moved out and we hope to do the same for Lucy.

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7 Katherine November 17, 2009 at 12:09 pm

My littlest guy was born in December last year. We gave him a stocking, two ornaments and his big brother built him a bear at Build A Bear. My oldest son loved being able to give him a present and painstakingly picked out every detail of the animal.

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8 Anne November 17, 2009 at 1:28 pm

I have been getting my son an ornament. Hanna Andersson has a dala horse ornament series every year. It has special meaning because his (late) great-grandmother's family was from Sweden. Also, buying it supports a children's charity. And they are pretty. I think it will be nice to be able to give him a box of ornaments for his own Christmas tree when he is ready for it.

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9 michelle November 17, 2009 at 1:41 pm

I love all of these ideas – what a great post.

My husband and I made a monkey at Build-A-Bear for my oldest child when I was still pregnant with her and miraculously, out of all of her toys and stuffed animals, that monkey is her favorite and best friend.

So we did the same thing when I was pregnant with my second child, we went to Build-A-Bear and made her a stuffed animal (this time a sheep).

I just love the idea that it was a gift for our child before we even met her.

One other thought: get a special blanket – ideally handmade. Take a picture of your baby on Christmas wrapped up in the blanket and then bring it out each Christmas.

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10 Amy November 17, 2009 at 7:50 pm

My son was 5 days old on his first Christmas. I was a hormonal wreck and cried at everything! We chose to get several outfits monogrammed with his name/date/first christmas that he wore for the 3 days of our holiday extravaganza with relatives and celebrating. They are keepsakes with no other use but the pictures are priceless!

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