Traditions during the holidays can provide a sweet way to honor your baby, and to mother your baby, not here. A way to celebrate a life that is and always will be a part of your family.
In this post I have pulled together 5 simple traditions that you could incorporate into your Christmas celebrations year after year to honor your baby. I added the words of real mom’s into the post so you could see just how they do it in their families.
Just like in all of grief, there is not one “right” way to honor your baby throughout the holidays. I pray these ideas would create joy in your heart as you feel the freedom to celebrate and honor your baby this Christmas. I pray that they would also spark conversation with those closest to you about how you would like to potentially incorporate some of these ideas in your own Christmas traditions.
If traditions feel overwhelming, I love what this community member had to say about honoring her son at Christmas:
“We decided to be traditionalists with a simpler expectation of what traditions we would do each year. Our simple tradition: honor our son’s memory. I don’t know what our grief will look like from year to year and this gives us the grace to do what feels right for my husband and I.” Justine
So, feel the freedom to do what works for you and your family!
Buy or make a special ornament for your baby every year.
“This is our first Christmas since our miscarriage in January. We bought a snowflake ornament ( since each snowflake is unique and special just like babies). Each year we plan to hang a new snowflake to represent each year of loving and remembering our little one.” kilanpila
“We have a few ornaments for our tree. I love the fact that every year we will have a moment to remember our daughter, and her future siblings will always see those ornaments.” ebenson27
“This will be our first Christmas without our son. We get our kids an ornament every year and he is not excluded.” angelakaye615
“I bought an ornament to wrap and open on Christmas for our sweet Cullen. This would’ve been his first Christmas.” Hannah
“We have ornaments with our babies names on them for our Christmas tree. My in laws also have ornaments for our babies on there tree.” Laura
“Just last week, we purchased a cardinal ornament for each child we have lost to miscarriage.” Sarah
“We have a special angel we put on top of our tree in honor of our son who we lost as an infant.” mcheids
02. Special Tree
Put up a special tree to house your special ornament collection.
“We put up a small Christmas tree that we call our “Everly Tree” and we add an ornament each year in her honor. This year is a beautiful golden angel with white feathered wings.” itsalgoodnow
“We have a “Jack” tree. We bought an artificial tree and asked our friends and family and even our friends on social media to donate an ornament in memory of our son, Jack. Each ornament has brought a little bit of Joy in this horrible season of life. It’s something we plan to put up every year in memory of him.” Diana
“We started a HOPE tree for our daughter, Ella, this year. Asking friends to share ornaments that remind them of the Hope of the season.” Amy
03. Donate Gifts, Toys, Books or Monetary Donation
Find an organization that is meaningful to you and your family to donate gifts to in honor of your baby.
“Each family member chooses an organization to donate to in her name. We print out our donation, place it in an envelope, and then put the envelope into her stocking. On Christmas morning we read the donations and enjoy the impact she still has on this world. It’s simple but I really love continuing to honor her name.” Kelly
“I have a 4 year old and she picked out a couple of gifts for my son and we donated them to the local children’s home.” Lanea
“We are donating books and toys to the hospital in her name.” Caitlin
“We ‘adopted’ a baby who is the age he would have been this Christmas to buy gifts for. We shopped as a family for his gifts and talked about what we think Wes would have liked as we picked things out. You can search specific gender and age on the Salvation Army Angel Tree website!” Shanna
“We also chose three boys at church to donate gifts to. (We chose three boys close in age to our own).” Candice
“This year my husband and I were out Black Friday shopping and we saw a bunch of stuff we thought he would like if he were here, different shirts with cars on them, or cool toys for his age group. My husband grabbed each item he thought our son would like and we’re going to donate them all to the hospital he passed away at in his memory.” Justine
“We connect with a local foster care agency to fulfill the holiday wishlist for a boy who would be the same age as our son. He would be 7 this Christmas.” mcheids
“We have been doing a shoebox for an Operation Christmas Child every year for a little girl around the same age that our Abigail would be.” abigails_family
“In the past we’ve collected supplies for the crisis pregnancy center and donated them in memory.” Cat
Put up a stocking for your baby and fill it with something meaningful to your family that honors your baby.
“We hung a stocking to match the rest of ours, but I put an angel pin on his.” Candice
“We had already monogrammed a stocking for our girl. Each year, we plan on filling it with items for the local crisis pregnancy center.” misswyolene
“We have a small stocking for our daughter and each family member chooses an organization to donate to in her name. We print out our donation, place it in an envelope, and then put the envelope into her stocking. On Christmas morning we read the donations and enjoy the impact she still has on this world. It’s simple but I really love continuing to honor her name.” Kelly
05. Letters & Cards
Write a letter to your baby about the previous year. Or have friends and family members write letters or cards about how your baby’s life has impacted theirs.
“I decided that each year I wanted to write him a letter about what that year looked like…” Justine
“I got a little green stocking with his initial on it that I’m planning on writing a letter to him and placing it in. I hope my entire family will take place in that tradition as well.” angelakaye615
“The first Christmas without our son, we had a stocking that we filled with letters and Christmas card from family and friends. I told people I was going to do this and they wrote cards or notes, etc. We read them as a family on Christmas. It was a nice way to keep his memory alive. And it also brought me a lot of comfort.” Nicole
Ideas for Siblings
These great ideas were contributed by Jessica in The Joyful Mourning Community.
You could get a stocking and let your daughter draw pictures and write notes to your son that she can put in his stocking throughout the season.
You could go with your daughter and let her pick out a special ornament, or she could make one, for your son. Within a few years you could even set up a special tree just for your son’s ornaments.
You could find a Giving Tree and find one for a boy who would be close to your son’s age and your daughter could help you buy the gifts for him.
You could get your daughter a special necklace, maybe something Christmas related, like a snowflake or angel, and tell her it is a gift from your son and anytime she misses him to just wear her special necklace.
You could go out and do random acts of kindness in honor of your son, and make a little card that shares his story.
A Beautiful Idea
“We have a “joy jar” (a friend brought it over shortly after we lost Amelia … super simple – just a mason jar decorated nicely … but the purpose is to write on little pieces of paper the things that bring joy on any given day and put them in the jar). We collect them throughout the year and on Christmas eve, we move them into Amelia’s stocking. On Christmas morning, we read them and praise God for all the ways He has brought joy to us – even in our darkest days. It helps me to have her stocking full and and to have the reminder that the root of our joy and our hope is not here on earth or in our circumstances but in the Giver of all good gifts.” Melinda