Christmas Conundrum

The conundrum being this: how do I include my absent (dead) baby in my holiday traditions? One of the nagging topics in my head has been honoring Corva at Christmas. Obviously, I do not have a living 7 ½ month old baby in my home to open gifts (or have her older sister open gifts for her). Initially I thought I would purchase gifts for Corva from Santa. Then I vetoed that idea–what would we do with the gifts? Somehow, I needed to be able to give gifts to someone in honor of Corva.

My parents never honored St. Nicholas DayThat is, Santa came to our house only on Christmas Eve, December 24th. However, I did have a childhood friend who had a St. Nick visit on December 5th, and it was a tradition during my husband’s childhood, so hey, why not? (Coincidentally? Both my childhood friend and my husband were raised in Catholic homes. Is this a Catholic tradition?)

This year St. Nick came to our house on December 5th (in actuality, a hungover mommy awoke sometime around 1 am on December 6th and pulled the gift bag from the spare room closet). There were small gifts in the bag: chapstick, fruit snacks, Christmas socks. And a card:


Several days later, I sought out the Salvation Army table at my local mall and found this tag, for a baby girl, 8 months old. Just about the same age Corva would be, had she lived.


This evening, my living daughter and I went to TJ Maxx and acquired our loot:

I hope that I am instilling something good in my living daughter, not something desperate and depressing, though I often wonder. I will add to this gift, but I am satisfied that Astoria was able to come with me to choose some toys and books for this baby–toys and books that she would have chosen for her baby sister.

How do you honor your deceased loved one during the winter holiday season? If you are newly bereaved, has it been a struggle to identify new traditions for your family?

9 thoughts on “Christmas Conundrum”

  1. This post brought me to tears. I know how difficult a question this is to answer for yourself. How do you include them? For me- we have a stocking for Kenley. We have ornaments on the tree etc….and I donate to the hospital in her memory. Her birthday is 4 days after Christmas so I feel like it all blurs together for us anyway? I think what you did was/is amazing. Sending huge hugs and love.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for reading and responding. It’s so strange, isn’t it? I desperately want my baby here. And it’s so frustrating that I can’t change the fact that she is dead. So I must do something. Parenting a child who isn’t physically here is exhausting. Thank you for sharing your traditions for Kenley. 💕

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Exactly what you said- it’s so frustrating that you can’t change it. You can’t do ANYTHING to bring her back. That’s what is hardest for me every day. No matter what, I can’t have her. No amount of love or money or whatever will bring her back. It’s heartbreaking.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I think what you’re doing is wonderful. We do a hand made ornament of an angel. Have her name this year put on there, we have her stocking that we hang and we a decoration with an empty chair.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I think what you did to honor Corva is wonderful. I’d like to do something similar but I’ve yet to figure out what exactly to do… The first Christmas after he died, we served food to the poor, many with no family. Not sure what our continued traditions will be… that or something else? We always have his stocking and ornaments to honor him though. I love your girls’ names too. Beautiful. Sending you hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

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