Baby’s first Thanksgiving is here—and you want it to be perfect, right? Well…we’ll let you in on a little secret: it doesn’t have to be perfect in order to be wonderful and memorable. To that end, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite ideas for celebrating with baby.
- Gather together, however you can
You might be hosting or attending a Thanksgiving gathering with friends and family for the first time in two years. What better opportunity to celebrate baby’s arrival on the scene! And if you can’t see your loved ones in-person, you can still spend meaningful time together online. Schedule a video chat with grandparents, aunts and uncles, or special friends who are far away or can’t make the trip. They’ll love seeing baby, and it will be a special memory for you, too.
- Capture the cuteness
No matter how big or small your gathering will be, seasonal attire makes any celebration more festive. And, amidst all the hubbub and food prep, don’t forget to capture some precious photos of baby’s first Thanksgiving. Might we suggest our Thanksgiving Hand baby bodysuit? Or, if dessert is more your jam, a Thanksgiving Pie baby bodysuit. These are also available in matching toddler tees, for maximum photo-snapping cuteness!
- Make a gratitude tree
We love this idea of a Gratitude Tree for Thanksgiving. All you need are some twigs from the yard and some colored paper. On leaf-shaped pieces of paper, each person in your family can write something (or someone!) they’re thankful for. As baby gets older, they’ll get to take part in this simple yet meaningful tradition. (If you prefer, you can put your gratitude notes in a jar, basket, or whatever other vessel you like.)
- Read to baby about Thanksgiving
Leading up to Thanksgiving, and/or on the day itself, read stories to baby about what the holiday is all about! Here’s a great list of 11 Picture Books to Celebrate Thanksgiving, to get you started.
- Watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade together
Did you grow up watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade? It’s such a classic for kids of all ages! Snuggle on the sofa with baby and get ready to “ooh” and “ah” over all the amazing balloons, song, and dance. And, here’s one more book that we love: Balloons Over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy's Parade.
- Start a new tradition
Whether it’s a gratitude tree, watching the parade, or something else, find an activity big or small that you’ll want to do each year as baby grows. It’s something for you and your child to look forward to. A few ideas: a family walk on Thanksgiving morning; volunteering locally; kicking off the holiday season with a favorite movie; playing board games.
- Embrace the chaos (and naps for everyone!)
We know Thanksgiving can be chaotic, and you might be worried that baby won’t behave as well as you’d like—especially if you’re at someone else’s home or a location that’s new to baby. There’s no shame in taking a “time out” to calm baby down in another room, and—whatever you do—don’t forget nap time! (What a great day to take a nap for yourself, too, if possible!)
- Take a moment (or two, or ten) to be thankful
Thanksgiving is inevitably a busy, sometimes-stressful day, and there might be a kitchen snafu or two, a crying fit from baby, and any number of other things that could go “wrong,” but…take a deep breath. The whole point of the day is to take a moment to be thankful and to spend time with those you love. If you accomplish those two things, you’re golden.