Your Babys 1st Christmas Is Special

By Edie Mindell

For Christians throughout the world, one of, if not the most awaited event in the year, is Christmas season. In the Philippines, a predominantly Christian nation, the holiday season is ushered in by the 1st BER month " September and goes on thru October and November till the last day of December, and even extends to the Three Kings in January. That looooong I myself, a sentimentalist, eagerly welcomes the BER months and even returned Merry Christmas greetings from officemates on the 1st day of September. Corny? You might say so but I tell you " its Filipino life and I love it. Early morning of September 1, the radio plays Pasko na, Sinta ko (Its Christmas time, my Love) with its melodramatic tune and lyrics that gives goose bumps to many.

The song relates the longing of a partner for a lost loved one, her sadness heightened during Christmas. Well, Christmas indeed brings out mixed feelings depending on what circumstance one is in. On the brighter side, Christmas trees and adornments are carted out from its storage place, dusted off and readied for display anytime. This goes for homes and shopping malls. For many, this also signals the start of asking oneself, What can I give you this Christmas? prompting the writing of Christmas gift list. I cant help but go down memory lane when in my childhood days I would sing at the top of my voice Michael Jacksons Give Love on Christmas Day: People making list, buying special gifts, taking time to be kind to one and all. Its the time of year when good friends are dear and you wish you could give more than just presents from a store. Why dont you give love on Christmas day?.... Well, I still love this song today for whatever value it serves.

Why dont you give love on Christmas day? What to gift a baby on her 1st Christmas? I can count a thousand and one or so gift items from a cute pair of starter walking shoes that squeaks and lights at the babys every step to an electronic musical instrument that plays at the mere touch of the babys soft fingers, guided or not by an adult. It doesnt matter as long as the baby is delighted.

What more can you give the precious little angel? Dont get me wrong. I dont intend to evoke a guilt feeling on not having enough money to buy lots of material gifts for a son, daughter, nephew, niece, godson, goddaughter, etc. On the contrary, while the sentimental side of me desires to shower my loved ones with everything that I believe will make them happy, out of necessity, I have disciplined myself to become a minimalist and practical gift-giver, carefully choosing a gift based on its value - utility, significance and cost without sacrificing its quality. I am referring my question what more can you give the precious little angel to non-material gift but with more intrinsic value, more meaningful, and more lasting. Try this out (I did this with my niece for her 1st Christmas).

1.Read Charles Dickens A Christmas Carol with the baby. The rhymes and pictures will stimulate her audio-visual faculty.

2.Teach and sing with her Jingle Bells as her 1st Christmas song. The tune and lyrics are easy for her to follow and learn fast.

3.Watch together The Muppets Christmas Carol or any other movie cartoons. The animations will surely appeal to her senses.

4.Let her touch the pine needles of the Christmas tree and hold its trimmings especially the glittering colored balls. It opens wider sphere of tactile experience for the baby. (My niece still gets fascinated with it at age 4). Dont mind if she drops and breaks one or two. Its still a learning experience for her. Just remind her to take care next time.

5.Take her to the mall with a display of electronically-operated cartoon characters depicting a Christmas tableau. Watch the excitement on her lovely face as she clasps both tiny hands and squeals with yehey. Another option is to tour her around a local Christmas village with various displays of nativity scenes, colorful lanterns, and brightly-lit glittering trees.

6.Record the events with as many pictures and videos as you can. A creatively made photo album and CD/DVD can be your wrapped gift to the baby on Christmas Day.

There are countless of options sure-fire to make the babys 1st Christmas meaningful and memorable without necessarily draining your pocket. My suggested gifts will only cost you less bucks but you need to invest plenty of time. Time that the baby will cherish and love you more when she grows up in years and walk down memory lane of her babyhood days spent with you. MERRY CHRISTMAS! - 30525

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