Wednesday, October 28, 2009

If you're expecting a baby over the holidays....

Our precious angel #5 was due on Christmas Day. While TTC (trying to conceive) in the very very beginning, I had thoughts like, "We certainly don't want a baby due in Nov. or Dec.!" Well, those days of TTC turned into months and those months turned into years. My longing for a baby was so strong that I did not care when my due date was, as long as I could get pregnant and have a baby!! Our triplets were born on Maundy Thursday, the Thursday before Easter. What a gift of life! Baby #4 arrived in the heat of summer on July 28th. I'm not sure a summer due date is desired in the South! We laughed and were thrilled to learn that baby #5 was due on Christmas Day. My attitude had changed from not wanting a Nov. or Dec. baby to seeing how truly special it is to have a newborn around the time of Jesus' birth. It certainly puts everything in perspective and makes you truly realize what Christmas is all about: Our Savior's birth.

Along with all of that joy is a little bit of panic. "How will we have Christmas? What if I am not at home with our other children on Christmas morning? How will I prepare? Oh. My. Goodness. We are having a Christmas baby! What do we do!???!!!"

As an organizer by nature, there are some things that helped make Christmas 2006 our most relaxed and enjoyable ever. It was a very sweet Christmas, and one where I was not stressed or hurried or caught up in the wrong things. If you're expecting a baby in November, December, or January, here are some ideas that might help you!

-Shop NOW if you haven't started already. Go ahead and buy everyone's Christmas gifts and then WRAP them. Yes, you need to go ahead and wrap them.

-If having a baby is changing your family's 2 income status, buy less expensive gifts and fewer ones if possible. This is not the Christmas to impress everyone with your buying power. I may be wrong, but I think our family members really like the wonderful calendars I make on our Mac. They are filled with pictures taken throughout the year plus all of the special dates for birthdays, anniversaries, and other occasions to be remembered.

-If this is not your first baby, buy something small for the baby to "give" your older children when they come to the hospital to meet the new baby. Again, expense is not necessary. Baby #5 gave each of her older siblings a new can of playdough. They were thrilled and I spent all of $2.

-Charge your cameras now. Buy new batteries. If your camera is old, ask for an early Christmas present.

-Have Christmas cards printed now, as I mentioned in a previous post. Baby needs his or her own birth announcement. Waiting to send Christmas cards puts more pressure on you. If you are making a combo announcement/Christmas card, then you will be anxious about getting them out quickly. If you have already sent Christmas cards, your birth announcement can follow whenever you are ready to do it with no pressure on timing.

-Make gifts for neighbors, teachers, and friends in early November and go ahead and deliver them. Tell them you are thankful for them, and thus, their gift is arriving in November.

-Give to a favorite charity in lieu of gifts. We gave to the American Cancer Society in honor of all of our friends the year my father in law had cancer and died 1 week before Christmas. I sent postcards to all of our friends acknowledging what we had done in their honor.

-Buy your children's gifts now and don't worry about last minute changes on what they really want. They will love whatever you give them!

-If anyone needs new clothes for Christmas parties, etc., buy them now. Make sure everyone has shoes that fit.

-Buy your Christmas tree right after Thanksgiving and go ahead and decorate it.

-Decorate with minimal decorations so that you are not having to take down a lot of stuff with a newborn and a tired body!!

-With our move last year, we just used our Christmas cards as our ornaments!

-Buy some white cardstock and a pad of ink for baby's first hand and foot prints in the hospital.

-Make a list of who to call/email when baby is born.

-If you have older children at home, sit down and write out your weekly schedule. Make a "this happens every week copy". Then, go ahead and write out your schedule for the 2-3 weeks leading up to your due date. I did this and not only did it help those who had to take over when I went to the hospital, but it kept me on track leading up to baby's birthday! Include things on the schedule such as "make lunches before you go to bed and put them in the refrigerator overnight" or "Make sure children have their folder in their backpack before they go to bed" to help caretakers as much as possible.

-Keep up with your laundry.

-Sit back and relax and enjoy Christmas because you have prepared so well!! And... you have a NEWBORN blessing!!!


pink green & southern said...

Pinkie was due on Dec. 28, I had an induction scheduled for Dec. 20 and she came on Dec. 11--so I can totally relate to all these tips. Also being a planner, I can say that I did all this and it really made things so much less stressful!

Susan said...

Well...even though I am way past birthing years this is some GREAT advice! You seem very organized! I wish I were more organized:) We are headed down to Florida for Christmas this year... very first time I will not be with my family... hubby's family is in Florida... it is going to take a lot of unique planning to get all the presents there and back! Our daughter is just hoping that Santa will find her down there! Sigh...feeling overwhelmed just thinking about it! :-)

Henley on the Horn said...

Susan, if you don't want to pack all of the presents, write Santa and ask him to deliver the gifts early to your house... or have them waiting when you return! That is what we are going to do this year!

Jillian, Inc said...

Here's an AMEN from a momma who had #3 on Dec 16 (due Dec 18). We also have 9 family birthdays in November, 2 in December plus our own anniversary on New Year's Eve and three family birthdays in January. We moved into a new house on Labor Day weekend and I got all unpacked and settled in 1 month. Then I started making lists, planning, buying, and wrapping in October. We did a combo christmas card/announcement which worked out really great. I cooked a full Christmas dinner - simple stuff but it was a very special day to me. AND I WORE REGULAR JEANS (not maternity) ON CHRISTMAS DAY. Talk about a great gift- ha!