Most people will tell you that Christmas time is about joy, family, giving and the birth of the savior. It’s literally supposed to be the “most wonderful time of the year.” The song says so. However, for some people the idea of Christmas is bittersweet. For parents who have lost a child, Christmas can be one of the saddest and most anxiety producing holidays. Instead of joy you feel anguish for what might have been, you have an emptiness that’s hollowed out your heart. The first year is especially difficult.
Most people will shy away from bringing up the name of a lost baby or child. But to parents longing to show some proof of existence for that child, not talking about them at joyous times of the year can be as painful. You worry people will forget your baby. You worry you will forget. But the truth is you can still make that baby or child a part of the happy times in your life. They don’t always have to be remembered with sorrow and longing. You can remember them with love and honor them in ways that will help make a difference for your heart and will leave a positive impression on the memories of their siblings.
Here are a few ways to include your baby in “the hap-happiest season of all,” even when it doesn’t feel so happy.
Personalized Ornaments – You can handmake ornaments, purchase them from our Etsy Store (check out our 2020 Holiday Collection!) or create even a simple small tree with many ornaments to honor your baby!
Hang a Stocking – Even if you didn’t name your baby, you can still hang a stocking in their memory. Even without a name to personalize, you can adorn it with a stocking charm or ornament.
Giving toys in the name of that child – As each year passes, our longing to connect with out babies at the age they would have been is normal. Many families find comfort in purchasing and donating gifts for that age range to toys for tots or other holiday fundraisers. You can leave a note on the gift to let the recipient know the gift is in your baby’s memory!
Make them special Christmas flowers – You can create a wreath or seasonal floral arrangement to keep on the dinner or gift table or shelf.
Create a space for them in your home to decorate – Check out this video from Three Little Birds Mama and Volunteer, Ali Ferrara, as she shows the memorial space in her home for her daughter, Mira.
Volunteering –Three Little Birds has several volunteer opportunities available that will not only help you heal your heart, but connect you with your baby and other loss families! Our nest continues to grow with empathetic hearts who are seeking ways to give back in their baby’s memory. We welcome you and your family with open arms! Fill out an application here!
Include them in the Christmas card photo – You can do this by holding a framed photo of your baby, wearing tee shirts with a sign or symbol that is meaningful to you, including memorial items like Molly Bears…the ideas are endless. Three Little Birds Co-founder, Desiree Miller, is a professional bereavement photographer who specializes in providing family portraits for families which include babies who have passed away as well as families who are pregnant after loss. You can read more about Desiree and her involvement with Three Little Birds here!
What are some of the ways you honor your baby throughout the holiday season? Share in the comments!