What the New Baby Brings to the Christmas Family Gathering

The Star of Our 2013 Family Gathering
The Star of Our 2013 Family Gathering | Source

Christmas 2013 was special. My daughter, my son, their dad and I spent the week together for the first time in almost 20 years.

  • The venue: home of my son and daughter-in-law.
  • The reason: my precious grandson.

We all wanted to share Christmas with the new baby in the family.

On the surface, it looked like simply a week of fun, but on reflection it revealed much more about the impact of the baby on family life and also about what Christmas means to us individually and collectively.

We are hoping for more babies, so for us and for others who are welcoming new babies into their families, we reflect on the joy of the family gathering with a new baby at Christmas.


(1) The New Baby Creates a New Family Nucleus

When my children were growing up, our home was the venue for the Christmas gathering of the extended family. The group consisted mainly of the dad’s relatives, for being an only child I had no siblings, nieces and nephews to invite. By the time our marriage ended, my children had become accustomed to the big family gathering, so they continued to spend Christmas with their dad and his crowd of relatives.

The arrival of my grandson in 2013 established a new family nucleus. Neither my son nor daughter complained about missing their aunts, uncles and cousins at Christmas. Nor did I hear my daughter-in-law complain about missing her extended family. The baby initiated a new era and created a new family nucleus.

Because of him, our world has changed without a single bit of resistance from any of us.


(2) He Affirms Our Sense of Family

Our baby is male, but these facts are as true for the female. The response of family members to the baby reveals our belief in and our loyalty to the family values we adopt.

  • Why did it not matter for my children that the family gathering was so much smaller than usual?
  • What other Christmas programs at work, at church or with friends did we all pass up during Christmas week?
  • Why did my children's dad and I want to share the same space for Christmas, although we have not exchanged Christmas greetings for several years?

This was our opportunity to tell the new baby that family is a priority; that he can count on his closest relatives to be present when it matters; that we welcome him and thank him for the opportunity to emphasize our commitment to family.

I can assure you that this is not the last time we will show up together to celebrate with this new child.


(3) He Brings Out the Best In Us

But Why Are They So Cute?

"Being cute is a baby's most powerful means of survival. When we look at those big eyes, tiny lips and noses, even their large foreheads . . . the center of our brains light up and our hearts melt."

Secret Life of Babies, BBC Documentary, Directed by Barny Revill

Older Now And He's Still Cute

Source

We brought presents for our baby and for each other. We posed together with him for photographs. We smiled together as we watched his reaction to the Christmas lights. We applauded together the movements and sounds he made.

The love, the joy and the peace of Christmas was very real. Such was the impact of the new baby on our show of affection for him and for each other.

We were just as happy at the special dinner with the mother and extended family members of my daughter-in-law. We appreciated each other for a family love initiated by our love for the baby.

On one of our shopping sprees, I pushed the baby in the stroller back to the car. The granddad came round to fold the contraption and put it in the back of the vehicle, but he was having a problem. I stayed with him and laughed about how much more complicated these new devices were than the ones we had back in the day. My daughter saw us laughing and joked, “Look at them, they’re having flashbacks.”

I have to admit that I do not mind remembering the incident. Even now, when my grandson reminds me of my days with my babies, they are always happy memories.


(4) He Makes Us Keep Up with Media Gadgets

The real gadget is just another toy.
The real gadget is just another toy. | Source

Parents are expected to keep up with the last models of toys and gadgets, but do other relatives have to? When I saw the type of gifts my grandson received at Christmas, I knew that I was way behind the times. What happened to the toys we could dump in a bucket of water to wash them?

All his toys had batteries. Many of them had computer screens, flashing lights and talking voices. One of them had the old house phone attached, and he had no idea what to do with the receiver. Equally surprising was that applying his index finger on these gadgets seemed as normal as drinking from his bottle.

In my article Promises to my Unborn Grandson, I wrote “Hopefully, I’ll keep up with you on your electronic gadgets, at least until you’re five.” Now that he is born, I realize that I was even behind in my thinking. I'm sure that I am not the only relative trying to keep up with the latest media gadgets because of the desire to communicate with these modern babies.


(5) He Validates What Christmas Means to Us

How about Your Family?

Will there be a new baby at your Christmas gathering this year?

  • No, but I've been wishing for one
  • No, but there'll be enough babies.
  • Yes. Seems like one's always there.
  • Yes and I'm so excited.
See results without voting

Having a new baby with us at Christmas makes us think about what we need him to know about the season. What we need him to know is what we ourselves believe. There were some basic traditions that we agreed upon:

  • The Christmas family gathering (as complete as possible) every year;
  • The reading of the Christmas story (Matthew 1: 18-25) on Christmas Day;
  • No Santa Claus.
  • The sharing of Christmas joy with those present and absent.

There we were in the family gathering on Christmas Day, setting the precedent. My son, the new dad, read the Christmas story featuring Jesus as the reason for the season. We communicated with members of the old family gathering by Skype. We had a Christmas celebration we will be happy to talk about when my grandson can understand.

God knows that after so many years of celebrating Christmas the same way, and in some cases with the same people, we would appreciate a new feature now and then. He sends babies to help us renew our faith, our love and our joy, as we repeat to them the story of the first Christmas.

© 2014 Dora Isaac Weithers

More by this Author


Comments 44 comments

DDE profile image

DDE 2 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

Wow! A beautiful baby and will always be adorable but in a different way when older. You shared a lovely part life.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Thanks, Devika and you're right. There'll always be new things to admire about them.


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 2 years ago from Wales

Such a great read and I vote up plus share. Wishing you a great day.

Eddy.


Ericdierker profile image

Ericdierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

Thank you for sharing a special Christmas story. I must admit I teared up a bit. Love creates all things anew.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Eiddwen, thanks for your encouragement. Hope you also have a happy day.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Eric, I love your statement, "Love creates all things anew" because it is true. Thanks.


ubrish profile image

ubrish 2 years ago from Pakistan(Asia)

children are my weak point ,I love them a lot and feel happiness while spending some times with them.your articles towords kids so lovely


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Thanks Ubrish. I think every female heart loves the babies, and we're blessed to have them around at Christmas.


billybuc profile image

billybuc 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

What a very special Christmas that must have been for all of you. I think it's wonderful that you all spent it together. Well done...thank you for sharing that with us.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Bill,thanks for your comment. It really was exceptional.


lambservant profile image

lambservant 2 years ago from Pacific Northwest

Oh Dora, he is precious. What a smile. I have 12 grands (I think, I keep losing count). I know very well how a new baby changes the lives of families. They are gifts from heaven. I always think of Psalm 139 when I hold one of them. Have a blessed Christmas and Thanksgiving.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

new babies do give that sense of family a new grip and outlook.. it makes the family stronger in my opinion, a very good hub as always MsDora...thank you for sharing and caring :)


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Thanks, Lori and congratulations on your 12 grands. The best of Thanksgiving and Christmas to you, too.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Frank, thanks for the affirmation and for sharing your opinion that babies make the family stronger. Best to you!


tobusiness profile image

tobusiness 2 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

Since my parents past on, my family have drifted apart, but I suspect that with the birth of little baby Gabriel, my great nephew, we'll have another chance to rekindle that closeness we once had. Once the whole family came together on special occasion such as Christmas, birthdays and christening, but family dynamics change as we get older, and sad as it is, we seem to lose that closeness. E-mails, texts and fb seem to be the mode of communication these days. Babies does indeed renew our faith, they bring with them a new zest for life, new hopes for the future. Time is too short to sweat the small stuff. Your hub is inspirational and thought provoking as ever, thank you for sharing.


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

Aw, what a cutie! Babies certainly add so much joy in our lives, and once my children were grown, Christmas felt different ...hard to explain, still joyous in celebration of our Lord, but missing the giggles and joy that having babies in the family at Christmas once had. Then my son at a young age blessed me with three beautiful grandchildren, and Christmas and my life all year long has been filled with joy beyond words! Up++++ sharing everwhere ...I am waiting at the doctor's office so I will share once I arrive home, as my phone will not let me share. God bless you and the little one in your family.


DrBill-WmL-Smith profile image

DrBill-WmL-Smith 2 years ago from Hollister, MO

So true. Thanks, for the memories, past, present, and future! Neat! ;-)


ologsinquito profile image

ologsinquito 2 years ago from USA

What a beautiful story. I can relate to missing those large family gatherings at Christmas, but life changes. Your little grandson is really cute.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Jo, your baby Gabriel might just be the earthly angel to bring the family together again. Hope your family togetherness is re-established.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Faith, happy for you that you experience the joy of babies at Christmas and beyond. Thanks for sharing and a happy Christ-centered Christmas to you and your bunch.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Dr. Bill, thanks for your affirmation. I appreciate your comment.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Ologsinquito, thanks for your compliment. You're right. Life changes so enjoy the babies while they're babies.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

What a wonderful Christmas gift he was MsDora. it is amazing how a baby can bring a family together despite differences. I have another grandson due any day now, so there will be a new baby to share Christmas with. I hope you have another special Christmas this year as well. Great hub.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Thank, Jodah and Congratulations on your new grandson. What a special Christmas you're in for! Best to you and the entire family.


annart profile image

annart 2 years ago from SW England

Glad that Christmas has been rejuvenated for you. Christmas Day with my girls and their children is celebrated at my house on the 28th, which has become a tradition for all of us and we have great fun. They spend Christmas Day with the other side of the family.

Spending special time with them all is important for all of us and they are growing in their understanding of what Christmas is all about. There will be another addition next March so the following Christmas will be an even larger gathering!

Good message in this hub.

Ann


CatherineGiordano profile image

CatherineGiordano 2 years ago from Orlando Florida

Babies are a great addition to any gathering, not just Christmas. all I want for Christmas is for Santa to put a grandbaby in my Christmas stocking. Maybe next year.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Ann, Christmas is also about traditions; your family has found a great way to include everyone. Thank you for sharing and Congratulations in advance on your new addition.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Catherine, I like your Christmas wish. "Maybe next year." Thanks for sharing.


dilipchandra12 profile image

dilipchandra12 2 years ago from India

So nice to read, the kid is so cute. The entire home fills with happiness when there is a kid.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Dilip, thank you very much for e compliments both on the article and on my grandson. I agree with your observation. Cheers!


Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 2 years ago from The Beautiful South

Christmas really is all about children and of course the smaller the more magic we can see in their faces. Makes many a scrooge go soft!


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Jackie, I like that. Scrooges have a difficult time with kids in the room. Thanks!


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 2 years ago

I remember the years when my grandkids were little ones at Christmas, it was so special. They do get all the attention, don't they? Thanks for reminding me of how sweet it all is. I am so glad you had this wonderful experience with your family.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Thanks, Teaches. The children are precious treasures. Happy Christmas in advance to you and your family.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

Hi MsDora,

I guess this will be our year as grandchild #7 should arrive around December 13. Out of the seven he'll be the first grandson so I know Pappy will spoil him. Love the pictures. I'm sure he'll grow up to be a very fine young man. Thank you for sharing him with us.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Bill, I know that you are looking forward to a very happy Christmas. Congratulations on your first grandson. I pray for his safe arrival and for added joy to your family.


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

What a beautiful grandson, Dora, and how special that your family was able to reunite to spend the first Christmas together.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Thank you, Flourish. It was very meaningful. Happy 2014 Christmas to you and yours!


word55 profile image

word55 23 months ago from Chicago

Hey MsDora, Gabe looked like he was ready for Christmas then and even now. Yes, of course, he will impact everyone at Christmas time. I'm sure you miss him right now and he misses you but you both have others around as substitutes :-). Have a happy holiday season!


MsDora profile image

MsDora 23 months ago from The Caribbean Author

Word, you know I miss him. Next Christmas, God willing, there'll be two. How exciting!


Joyfulcrown profile image

Joyfulcrown 23 months ago

My niece & nephew just had a baby on December 23rd. He is so cute. Babies bring so much joy into our lives.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 23 months ago from The Caribbean Author

I share your joy. What a blessing to the entire family! Have a great year! Thanks for sharing.


cpaldridge profile image

cpaldridge 22 months ago from MS

Enjoyed your hub! We had a new baby in our family (a new neice to me) a few days into the new year. And it has been fun! I can concur with your point about media gadgets. My mom finally got a smart phone so she can better get pictures/texts about her new granddaughter:)


MsDora profile image

MsDora 22 months ago from The Caribbean Author

Thanks Christy. These babies pull into the techy world. We gotta love the. Congratulations on your new niece and the best to all the family.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working