Monday, November 12, 2012

Remembering Your Baby at Christmas

The holidays are a difficult time to face after losing a baby. It is such a special time that reminds you of everything you are missing out on. I have put together a few ideas on how to incorporate your baby into the season. I pray it brings you some peace, hope, and comfort and that it eases the ache in your heart just a little bit. I know Christmas is still several weeks away, but I wanted to share this with enough time for people to be able to participate in these things if they choose. I pray it brightens up your Christmas season. It can be healing to come up with new traditions that honor your little one, along with the rest of your family. It's important to give yourself permission to celebrate, even in the midst of sadness. Just because you have joy in life doesn't mean you no longer care about your loss or that you've "moved on." It is not disrespectful to your baby if you enjoy Christmas. In fact, I think it is honoring to your child to find joy in life and to allow God to use your loss to give you a deeper love and appreciation for each day He blesses you with.

Photo by Carly Marie

-Think about setting up a sacred space in your home in honor of your baby this Christmas. You could get a mini-Christmas tree and decorate it with lights and whatever else you'd like. You could get a pink, blue or really any color tree, or go for a traditional one. I got a mini tree at Michael's with a coupon and my sister had a pink one from last year. So, now I have a pink one and one that looks real and I plan on displaying them both.

After you put the lights on your tree, place all the ornaments you have for your baby on it. If you don't have any ornaments yet, you could create one (or more.) A fun tradition would be to create an ornament each year for your baby. For the year you were pregnant, you could make one with your ultrasound photo, then for the year your baby was born, you could make one with their footprints/handprints. You could also use their photos, name, and birthdate, as well as things that remind you of your baby to create very beautiful ornaments that will last a lifetime. You could even create ornaments in honor of your little one to give to his/her grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, etc. You can also display ornaments for your child on your main Christmas tree. Seeing these special ornaments on the tree can help make your baby a part of the family gathering. You could also tie pink or blue ribbons on the tree. There are ornaments available with the pregnancy loss awareness ribbon on them:
You can look on these same websites and others for other ornaments in honor of your baby.

Put candles around this special space and light them each night. You could even make a candle holder! Something I'm doing is making a photo collage of several Christmas prints from Carly Marie's RedBubble shop to be displayed in this special space. Take an evening to listen to songs that remind you of your baby and prepare this sacred, beautiful space. You don't need to spend much money to create this space. Get creative. Think of other keepsakes you could put on display.

-You could also make a Christmas wreath and decorate it to hang somewhere.

-Set aside a time to think of your baby. Go through his/her things, write a letter, or write in a journal/on your blog. It may mean having a good cry, but that is okay.

-Participate in the Holiday Gift Exchange. You will be matched with another Mom or Dad and can either buy or make something in honor of their baby. They will do the same for your baby. It is a great way to connect with someone new and have your baby remembered this Christmas, especially if it feels as if nobody else is mentioning your baby. The deadline to sign up is November 28.


-Participate in the Remembering Together Swap to bring some light and love to a difficult time of year. You will receive an ornament with your baby's name, hand-made with love, from a fellow bereaved mother (or father or family). You will also make an ornament honoring a lost child to send to another family. This is such a wonderful idea! The deadline to sign up is November 15.


-Get a Christmas Sand Tree in honor of your baby from The Seashore of Remembrance.

-Get a Christmas Butterfly (or two) from The Seashore of Remembrance.

You can post these photos on your facebook, blog, twitter, etc. Another fun idea would be to print them and frame them to be placed around your home as Christmas decorations. That way you can share your babies with others as well. Or as Carly Marie recommends, print out many copies to be sent out with your Christmas cards/letters. Speaking of Christmas cards, you could buy a special ink stamp that reminds you of your baby and use it as a way to "sign" your baby's name on the cards.

-Make a donation in honor and memory of your baby. Consider donating to a place that provides comfort to the babyloss community, expecting nothing in return (places such as Molly Bears, Eden's Wings, Lil Angels Hankies, Jamie's Butterfly Kisses, For Your Tears, among many other places.) You could keep a special book of gifts given in your baby's name.

-Pack and donate a shoe box to Samaritan's Purse. The National Collection Week this year is November 12-19. I was thinking how hard it is not having my girl here to buy Christmas gifts for when I so long to. By participating in this, you can shop for a child the same gender as your baby and the same age they would be now. So, for me, I am filling a box for a little two year old girl. I can give another sweet child in need the things I would be giving Lily and still have the joy of shopping for these things and giving them, knowing they are going to bless. You could ask your close friends and family to donate a box in your child's honor as well. Little kiddos are going to be benefited that wouldn't have been if it weren't for your baby.

-Participate in the Compassionate Friends Worldwide Candle Lighting Service on December 9.


-Make or buy your baby a Christmas stocking to be hung with the rest of the families. It can be healing to create things for your little one and a stocking would be something very special to make during this time of year. You could make it the same size as all your stockings or make it smaller. You could get a card from Lost For Words Card Line to put in the stocking. And if you have other children, they could draw a picture or write a note to their sister/brother. On Christmas Day, you could attach these special notes to a balloon to release to the Heavens. Or keep the letters/notes to keep in your baby's memory chest.

-Decorate your baby's special spot (where they are buried) for Christmas. You could decorate with a small tree, poinsettia, garlands, pinecones, fake berries, a wreath, statues, or anything else you can think of that is festive.

-You could serve the holiday meal at a soup kitchen or homeless shelter in your baby's honor.

-Many newspapers have holiday memorial pages where you can submit a note to your loved one.

-Participate in 12 Days of Christmas With You in Heaven than Fran from Small Bird Studios is hosting. You can share your own ideas there and/or get inspiring ideas on how to honor your baby this holiday season.



-Request a Christmas Angel from Evan's Lil Evergreen.

If you are reading this and know someone who has lost a baby, please tell them you are thinking of their little one this season. Also, consider getting a card from the Lost For Words Card Line, specifically for Christmas.

These things might not be for everyone, but hopefully you have gotten a couple ideas. Remember what you enjoyed and what you didn't enjoy so you can figure out how you want to celebrate the memory of your baby next year. If you have any other ideas, please share them with me! :)

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5 comments:

  1. Awesome list Hannah! I posted it on our FB page too.

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  2. Wonderful! These ideas coming from you are a blessing!

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  3. Thank you for this wonderful list!!!

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  4. Thank you. Some wonderful ideas.

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  5. Thank you for sharing, love all of it!

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