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Aunt Sally’s Holiday Guide to Nieces and Nephews: Baby’s First Christmas

If your niece or nephew is celebrating a First Christmas, congratulations! There is nothing more fun than involving children in Christmas traditions, and what’s great is that your family has a few years to experiment with what traditions they’d like, because kids don’t remember their first few holidays anyway!

Baby’s First Christmas is really about adorable infant outfits, first ornaments and maybe a picture with Santa. Unless your niece was born on December 26th of the previous year, chances are she won’t be opening any of her own gifts, and might even sleep through the gift opening all together.

Here are some of my favorite ideas for a Baby’s First Christmas. Keep in mind, this milestone is also as much for the parents as it is the baby. There’s something about holding an infant while listening to the Christmas Story that makes it seem like you’ve never really listened to it before that moment.

Personalized Ornaments: You really can’t go wrong with a Baby’s First Christmas Ornament, and if you can get the baby’s name on it? Even better. On the same token, if the baby didn’t get a personalized blanket, picture frame, etc when she was first born, go ahead and do it now.

Baby Gear: Here’s the thing — babies don’t know what presents they get, and chances are they don’t really need another stuffed animal or toy. So ask if the baby needs the next step up — a booster seat, crib sheets, etc. If the baby was born in the fall, the gift registry is probably still active. Check on that, ask around ,and see if there’s something that might work as a gift. No one will mind. Trust me.

Savings Bond: It’s boring, I know, but really, most kids don’t need a darn thing. And a collection of savings bonds will come in handy later in life. You can buy them at most banks (call first) and the deal is that you buy them for (typically) half the price of the eventual worth. For example, you purchase a $50 savings bond for $25. When the bond matures, it will be worth $50. If there’s already a college fund, ask the parents if you can contribute to that.

Everyday Items: If you get the feeling that the baby really does need some things, or that diapers or formula are getting to be a burden, go that route. Again, any available registry list may come in handy, or even a gift card to where they originally registered is a great idea. A can of formula (check to see what brand they are using –yes, it matters) and a festive holiday bib is a great way to say “Merry Christmas” and it’s a gift that will be put immediately to good use.

Offer Yourself: If you want to go the basically free route, offer yourself to the new parents. Send them out on a date and babysit. Become a rockstar by offering to get up with the baby one night while you sleep over.

Whatever you decide, be sure to get great pictures of your niece or nephew under the tree in the required Santa hat. He or she will never sit so still again.

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