Our First Christmas Extravaganza

The First Christmas tree.
It was December 21 and we were about to commit our first big parenting fail. (I'm sure there have fails recently, but this was the first huge one.) We were totally unprepared for Little Man's first Christmas.

Christmas had snuck up on us---lost in the blur of December that included the death of The Man's father at the beginning of the month, the week of fun we had with my parents' visit, and the high of Little Man's finalization.

My parents had just returned back to the west coast and I realized, oh crap, Christmas is in 4 days. And with that realization, a bit of panic set in.

I've been battling the 'first' since LM came home. The entire year has been full of firsts and I've tried to document them all and felt the pressure to make each big, amazing and awesome. You know...make each worthy of a Norman Rockwell moment.

But I haven't managed that at all this year. We were still trying to recover from the shock joy of being parents. And dealing with jetlag. And lack of sleep. And a teething toddler. The list goes on.

We didn't go see fireworks on the 4th of July. And when his first birthday rolled around just two-months after he arrived, I felt terrible that I didn't have a lot of energy to throw a huge party. We had a small, casual one instead. (I just remembered that I never did blog about that. Guess I have more catching up to do.)

Halloween was nearly a bust but The Man saved the day by acquiring a costume days before the big night. LM sobbed through our Chuseok dinner, making that first a bust. And he slept through Thanksgiving dinner, so that wasn't picture perfect either.

So, the First Christmas...it was my last chance to redeem myself. My last chance to finally feel the satisfaction of celebrating a first in grand style. And the First Christmas is evidently a freaking huge deal. Everyone keeps asking about it. What are you doing for LM's First Christmas? Any big plans for the First Christmas??

First Christmas=lots of pressure.

I completely realize that he won't remember this Christmas at all. But we will. And I have the need to create a perfect holiday with perfect memories and picture-perfect photos of our First Christmas Extravaganza. (Hereby known as the FCE.)

Hello Type-A Mommy.

We pulled out the Christmas tree on December 23, after much debate over whether LM would try to eat some of the aluminum "needles" on our vintage 1950's aluminum tree or string ornaments all over the house. But holiday tradition prevailed. Tree was installed, sans ornaments. Miraculously, 1) tree has not been tipped over, and 2) no aluminum has been ingested. We didn't manage any other decorations, but the silver tree did wonders.

Giant gingerbread man.
I also managed to secure some actual presents for the wee child. Thank goodness for the wonderful local toy store! We have always said we wouldn't become one of "those" parents who give their kids a ridiculous amount of toys for Christmas. But there were so many things I knew he would enjoy! I kept it to a minimum though, and our FCE was starting to look salvageable.

We tried to figure out a few traditions. Have you ever tried to start a tradition? Freaking unnatural!

We went to the town lighting of the Christmas tree earlier in the month. (Definitely on the list for next year.) Drove through the drive-thru Christmas display at a local resort. (On the list.) Decorated a huge gingerbread man on Christmas Eve to leave for Santa. (On the list.) Opened our holiday pajamas on Christmas Eve. (Not on the list! Was a pain to find holiday pajamas and LM peed through them before Christmas morning anyway.)

So the FCE finally arrived. We got up super early, as LM always does. And we all stayed in our PJs for the entire day. Love that! We opened presents slowly, throughout the day. He wasn't hurried or rushed and played with each for a while after opening it. Then, later on, he'd wander over to the tree and discover there were still presents there, and he'd start again. Since we didn't have anywhere to be, that worked out just fine with us.

Unwrapping presents is serious work.

His favorite gift--a child's broom.
During our video chat with Grandma and Grandpa he opened some of their gifts. That was a fun way for them to be able to see him in action. And, in the afternoon, we ate our holiday meal. Which he was awake and happy for. (Shocker!)
Chatting with Grandma and Grandpa.

It was really, really nice.

There was only one snag. Being the photographer of the family, we have boatloads of great photos of The Man and Little Man together on Christmas Day. But nary a one of me and him. I realized that after LM was in bed, and I cried. Stupid thing to get upset about, but I felt sad that when we look back on it in 5 years there won't be any photos of me with him on this lovely day. After all, it was our first.

We also didn't take a family photo on Christmas Day. Doh! So, on the day after Christmas Day, we took our family portrait.

The day after Christmas photo.

Maybe that's our new tradition? The day-after Christmas photo. Works for me, I guess. Gives me time to get showered and dressed and all Norman Rockwell worthy.


  1. looks like you did a great job, mommy! There is the pressure, but really? All LM needed was what you gave him - time to enjoy. Merry Christmas!!

  2. A beautiful first Christmas! I am LOVING being able to see your beautiful family now!!!


  3. A beautiful Christmas! and a lovely family photo! Our year has be so much like yours, those first come so quick while you're learning to be momma don't they? Some things come together some don't but it's the time shared that matters and I think you've (and we've) had a very successful year! Your Christmas sounds super awesome too, a definitely successful FCE! All the best for many more happy memories to come!

    PS Congrat's again on finalization! Also, so excited to see LM's adorable face!

  4. Beautiful! It's taken a few years but I'm in more and more pictures as my husband intentionally takes the camera out of my hands and tells me to get with the kids. :)
    Happy First Christmas and Happy New Year!

  5. he is SO SO SO cute!!! sounds like you had a wonderful christmas :) and congrats on finalization!


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