FOLLOW THE TIPS BELOW TO PLAN YOUR FIRST CHRISTMAS AS A NEW FAMILY WITHOUT A HITCH:
1. Intimate or traditional Christmas?
As a new parent, it's well within your rights to want to spend your first Christmas as a new family alone. If you plan to go this route, be prepared to explain to the grandparents why you're choosing to exclude them from your Christmas plans this year. Make the decision several weeks in advance, then be clear with both families to avoid hurt feelings.
Keep in mind that this exciting time is special for others in your family, too. If you're planning to spend a Christmas alone with your new family, consider spending a few days before the actual Christmas or maybe Christmas Eve with both sets of grandparents to satisfy their wishes.
If you're being pushed into attending your parents' traditional Christmas day dinner, firmly stand your ground. Be as respectful as possible, but lovingly remind your family that this Christmas is about you, your spouse, and your new baby making your mark as a family.
2. Religious differences.
Even if you're already married, cultural and religious differences can often come into play for the very first time when the baby's first Christmas is near. If you and your spouse are clearly on the same page, then this is much easier. However, if you believe differently, have a sit-down chat about what compromises you're both willing to make.
If you're aware that your family and spouse's family have differences in cultural and religious beliefs, consider incorporating both traditions into the festive season as much as you can.
3. Banish guilt.
You are now a parent. And, as a parent, you might be the type of person that makes the decisions as to what is best for your little one and your own family life. Just remember that everyone's emotions are a bit heightened at Christmas time, so don't be surprised if you feel a bit teary or irritable yourself as the festive season can be overwhelming.
Avoid the festive stress and feeling guilty for wanting to start your own Christmas tradition. As a family, your own special traditions are a wonderful part of your family's story. If a family member is truly upset that you are marching to your own drum, continue to keep your focus on the bigger picture of how to survive Christmas.
Remember that every family member that has children has dealt with family guilt when they attempt to start their own Christmas traditions. Ask friends or loved ones for advice. You'll ease your guilt and gain support at the same time.
4. Relieve the stress.
Your new baby is too young to care whether you hung the garland correctly, burned the ham, wear a Santa hat or forgot to put twinkling lights on the tree. Stop stressing over the small details and just enjoy your first Christmas as a new parent.
Many new parents feel as if they must do everything themselves in order to appear put together. But you'll enjoy your Christmas more if you ask for help!
Chances are that your parents needed the help of their parents or relatives in your early childhood. And they're likely waiting to blissfully lend a helping hand in your early stages of parenthood. Ask and you shall receive!
Clearly, your first Christmas season as a new parent is important. But if it's laden with stress, it's also important to take a step back, analyse the situation, and tame the source of your stress. This is a time for joy, love, and family. And, most importantly, it's a time for snuggling with your little baby!
Celebrate this wonderful time as a new parent. After all, you only get to experience this once in your baby's life so have some fun.