The entire family has the date on their family calendar, as an iPad reminder, and as an event of their smart phone.
The day that the whole family gets together for Christmas with your husband’s side of the family is everyone’s favorite. Even when the family has to deal with nieces and nephews who are in the middle of the terrible twos tantrums, the event is fun. With far more adults than children, in fact, there is always an aunt, uncle, older cousin, or grandparent to help with any behavior issues, even the terrible twos tantrums.
For most families, getting together for the holiday season is an evolving event. What first starts as years together with a whole bunch of young children and infants, quickly turns to a group of older cousins and their significant others opening gifts. On these quieter years, the entire group may secretly wonder how much longer they will have to wait until they again have some younger ones in the crowd. New babies, crawling infants, and even infamous terrible twos tantrums can bring a new level of excitement to both Thanksgiving and Christmas.
From picky toddler eaters navigating the wide array of foods and desserts when everyone brings something to contribute to the meal, to the stories of grandchildren who are home for their first Christmas from college, family Christmas events are the memories that last a lifetime.
Will Your Family Holiday Gathering Include New Babies This Year?
Newborn baby sleep patterns seem to be especially important to young parents. Especially for the parents of a first time child, the decision as to when the family can get together for a holiday celebration can require some tricky timing. While parents of previous generations may have been far more likely to “go with the flow” of family schedules for big events, today’s newest parents often are very adamant about the sleeping and eating schedules of their babies.
And while it may be tempting to dismiss the structured schedule of a family with a new baby, it is also important to realize that the frustration a new mother can feel when family members try to parent her parenting decisions can rival the emotions included in the loudest terrible twos tantrums.
Tips for Being a Great Relative When the Family Gathers This Christmas
From critical aunts to doting grandmothers, new parents often find themselves both anxious and excited for large family gatherings. And while we all know that most babies start some kind of babbling by the age of seven months, you would be remiss to be an aunt, uncle, grandfather, or grandmother if you did not at least one time marvel about the beginning speech efforts of the youngest babies in attendance.
It takes a little foresight to prepare, but it is pretty easy to be a supportive relative at most family gatherings. Consider these tips:
Offer to hold the baby! While parents of the youngest infants are sometimes particular, most new parents enjoy the spotlight when they bring their young children to family events. Although you may not be able to hold the baby for hours, make sure you get your turn. If you want a few bonus points, and a chance to comfort the stressed parents at the same time, offer to hold the fuzzy baby while the parents eat. Taking a turn walking a crying infant, in fact, may be one of the best tips as you approach the holiday season.
Make the baby laugh. One of the most fun things about being around a baby is the sound of their giggles and laughter. From simple eye glances to a young child sitting across the table at a meal or from rolling around on the floor when you a young child is playing with new toys, laughter is often the best part of the holiday. Make them laugh.
Offer reassurance to the parents. Questioning new parents about the choices they make sets up a losing battle. Even if you disagree with some of the decisions that your children or nieces and nephews make, a more productive approach is support. New parents who feel supported by their older relatives may actually even feel comfortable asking for advice at some time in the future.
Oh, There’s No Place Like Home for the Holidays