#AdventForOnyx Day 5 | Creating New Traditions After Baby Loss

This is our first Christmas season since losing Onyx and it's already overwhelming me. Onyx's due date was January 13, 2019 which means he could have arrived as early as Christmas. I had no idea he'd be born four months early and all the holiday stuff has sometimes been serving as a really negative reminder.

But a big part of this "new normal" is creating new traditions and unless you decide to live off the grid for the month, you're likely going to be surrounded by cheerful holiday music and bright Christmas decorations. It's all very exhausting but we can still add in a teeny bit of joy for our babies.

Here are 8 ideas for new traditions you can create to honor your baby:

1. Make your baby a custom ornament

If you decorate a tree, consider buying or making a custom ornament for your baby. I associate Onyx with rainbows so I made a little rainbow ornament for him and my mom bought him his own little mini tree!

2. Get your baby a stocking

If you hang up stockings, get one for your baby! There are lots of adorable mini stockings at places like Target and Michael's. One idea for the stocking is to ask your family to send your baby Christmas cards. Put all of the unopened cards in your baby's stocking and open them on Christmas day!

3. Holiday Cards

If you send out holiday cards, sign your baby's name! Whenever I send out cards (for whatever reason really) I always write Onyx's name as the sender.

4. Family Photos 

If you have a photo of your baby, have one handy to include in family photos. You can also find other ways to include your baby in photos, such as a piece of jewelry that represents them or holding a piece of paper with their name on it.

5. Gifts From Your Baby

If you're giving gifts, consider having them be from your baby! Writing Onyx's name on tags and stickers always makes me smile.

6. #AdventToRemember

Jess from The Legacy of Leo started an amazing project called Advent to Remember. You can check out the hashtag on social media but basically, families do a bunch of things in honor of their baby for the 24 days leading up to Christmas. Some examples are acts of kindness and donating to an organization that supports families after loss. Onyx has his own Advent happening this month!

7. Santa Pictures

I was so excited to celebrate Christmas with Onyx but since he's not here, we've had to find other ways to include him. Still, Santa photos are a great way to still follow "regular" traditions! We brought Onyx's bear and photo to "meet" Santa. I documented my experience in a blog post and on Youtube.

8. Collective Gift for Living Children

Something that I'm planning to do when we have more children, is to buy them a collective gift from Onyx. It could be a movie night kit, tickets to a fun place or a game to play as a family. If you have living kids, a collective gift could be a great way to honor their sibling. You could also give a collective gift to extended family as well.

And breatheeeee. I know the holidays can get overwhelming, but I hope these tips got your brain thinking of some joyful activities you can do in honor of your baby. If you have any other ideas, let me know!

Be gentle with yourself,