Baby’s First Christmas With Babies R Us Giveaway

parentingages and stages

Twelve years ago, it was my son, Chase's... my then baby's first Christmas. Now, in a little more than a month, he turns 13 and even though I'm still 29 (amazing how that happens!), I'm not the young parent I was back then. I remember the holiday picture we had taken of him in a dark gray turtle neck sweater and suede lace-up shoes that year. So stylish and fun! And now, he's wearing size 30-34 jeans and shoes bigger than both his dad's and my dad's. Where has the time gone?

Baby's First Christmas_Chase in Snow

When Babies R Us offered me gift certificates, one for our team and one for one of our lucky readers (see below for more details), to share memories of our baby's first Christmas, I was immediately take back to a difficult time in our Nation's history and I wasn't sure I wanted to document my feelings. But, as I got to thinking back on Chase's first Christmas, the main takeaway for me became so positive, which made our baby's first Christmas one to remember and one worth sharing.

Baby's First Christmas on the Heels of 9/11

Baby's R Us-9/11 MemorialTwelve years ago, December 2001, only 3 months had passed since 9/11. We took a trip back east to enjoy Thanksgiving with @TroyPattee's brother and his family in Connecticut. While there, we took our children to New York City, where we intended to spend our time on things like taking horse and buggy rides in Central Park, riding the ferris wheel at the Toys R Us in Times Square, and hanging out at the South Street Seaport. You know! Things that were fun for kids, even those of us who were kids at heart.

But, due to a subway diversion in the Financial District and not knowing where we were, we inadvertently happened upon the wreckage of the Twin Towers. Not realizing we had created our fun plans to avoid the reality of the situation, we all of a sudden had to face what was right in front of our eyes.

New York City was in massive recovery mode that Thanksgiving. Subway stops were closed and lines were diverted. Stores in the Financial District were still closed with product covered in dust from the aftermath. Pictures were plastered on church fences and walls with messages for loved ones.

In Salt Lake City, where I lived, life seemed normal. But, the suffering going on in New York City was palpable. I remember looking at my son with his bright red hair and innocence. He learned to laugh for the first time that same September. His excitement for all things bright and shiny was contagious. Seeing his innocence next to the destruction confused me. What would his world be like? How would things be different for him? Would innocence still abound in a world with such hate and destruction?

Later that night, we went to eat Italian food and Chase experienced his first plate of spaghetti. We put the plate in front of him, meaning to feed him ourselves, but he had different plans. Determined, and with both hands, he grabbed fists full of noodles brightly colored with tomato sauce and went to town like a man on a mission. Everyone in the vicinity laughed at his determination and soon enough, he had nearly eaten the entire plate and looked up with tomato-stained cheeks, wondering what we were looking at. Something in his innocence reminded me that hope and goodness would always win. And that light would always push away the darkness.

We went into the holiday season for our baby's first Christmas putting the light above the darkness that had entered our world that year. Not in a spirit of forgetting or making less of the significance of what our country had experienced and the loss so many people still feel. But, in a spirit of resilience that is born out of hope.

This past summer, our family took a trip to New York City and while there, we visited the Memorial and I thought back to our baby's first Christmas that took place just weeks after we were there 12 years ago and was immediately reminded of the quote by Confucious:

Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.

Whether your baby's first Christmas (or whatever holiday you celebrate this season) is forthcoming or took place many years ago, Babies R Us would love to help you celebrate with joy. See our giveaway below and enter for a chance to win a prize to make this Christmas even brighter.

Baby's First Christmas Giveaway Prize

One lucky winner will win a $100 gift certificate to Babies R Us.

Giveaway Terms and Conditions

No purchase necessary to enter. This giveaway ends at 11:59 p.m. ET Friday, December 6, 2013. See all terms and conditions here. This giveaway is available to U.S. residents only.
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An active part of the Mom It Forward team, Jyl primarily writes about parenting, social good, and all things travel related. In a past life, Jyl was an award-winning copywriter and designer of corporate training programs for Fortune 100 companies. Offline, Jyl is married to @TroyPattee; a mom to two teen boys and a beagle named #Hashtag; loves large amounts of cheese, dancing, and traveling; and lives in the beautiful Rocky Mountains. Topping her bucket list is the goal to visit 50 countries by the time she's 50.


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