As a new parent, each and every day holds an exciting experience. From the first time, your baby clasps onto your finger, to their very first Christmas, each day adds to the wonder of being a mum or dad. Clearly, you want to make your first holiday season as a parent run as smoothly as possible.

Our tips for planning your first holiday as a new family:

Decide if you want an intimate or traditional celebration

As a new parent, it’s well within your rights to want to spend your first holidays as a new family alone. If you plan to go this route, be prepared to explain to the grandparents why you’re choosing to exclude them from your holiday plans this year.

Keep in mind that this holiday is special for others in your family, too. If you’re planning to spend a holiday alone with your new family, consider spending a few days before the actual holiday with both sets of grandparents to satisfy their wishes.

If you’re being pushed into attending your parents’ traditional dinner, firmly stand your ground. Be as respectful as possible, but lovingly remind your family that this holiday is about you, your spouse, and your baby making your mark as a family.

Prepare for any religious differences

Even if you’re already married, cultural and religious differences can often come into play for the very first time when the baby’s first holiday is near. If you and your spouse are clearly on the same page, this is much easier. However, if you believe differently, have a sit-down chat about what compromises you’re both willing to make.

If you’re aware that your family and your spouse’s family have differences in cultural and religious beliefs, consider incorporating both traditions into the holiday as much as you can.

Banish the guilt

You are now a parent. And, as a parent, you make the decisions as to what is considered best for your child.

Avoid feeling guilty for wanting to start your own holiday tradition this year. As a family, your own special traditions are a wonderful part of your family’s story. If people are truly upset that you are marching to your own drum, continue to keep your focus on the bigger picture.

Remember that every member of your family that has children has dealt with family guilt when they attempt to start their own holiday traditions. Ask others for advice. You’ll ease your guilt and gain support at the same time.

Relieve the stress

Your new baby is too young to care whether you hung the garland correctly, burned the ham, or put too much mayonnaise in the potato salad. Stop stressing over the small details and just enjoy your first holiday as a parent.

Many new parents feel as if they must do everything themselves in order to appear put together. But you’ll enjoy your holiday more if you ask for help!

Chances are that your parents needed the help of their parents in your early childhood. And they’re likely waiting to blissfully lend a helping hand in your early stages of parenthood. Ask and you shall receive!

Clearly, your first holiday season as a parent is important. But if it’s laden with stress, it’s also important to take a step back, analyze the situation, and tame the source of your stress. This is a time for joy, love, and family. And, most importantly, it’s a time for snuggling with your little one!

Enjoy this holiday season as a new parent. After all, you only get to experience this once in a lifetime.