Christmas can be a time of heightened emotion, where the absence of your beloved baby from family gatherings and traditions can seem more painful to endure. Here are 5 simple ways you can include your baby in new traditions to honour their place in your family celebrations.

1. Create a charitable tradition in their name

Donating to Sands in your baby's name at this time of year honours their life as well helps others who will sadly follow you down the lonely journey of bereavement. 

2. Participate in a Christmas gift or ornament exchange with another bereaved family

Become a member of our state Facebook groups and join in our 2020 Christmas gift exchange with another bereaved family in your state.

3. Buy or make a special memorial ornament

Fill a clear bauble with your baby's hospital bracelet or a lock of hair if you have those. Some families have also cut swatches of fabric from baby outfits to make ribbons they display inside. An ultrasound photo or a heartfelt letter rolled up to pop inside works beautifully too. You could also purchase a bauble featuring your baby's name, and encourage loved ones to do the same when they come across one.

4. Stir in the love

Sands CEO Jackie Mead is a big fan of a family bake-off to remember lost loved ones in the lead up to Christmas. "Each Christmas we choose a recipe to bake festive treats to give as gifts in honour of those we are missing. Each family member takes a turn of 'stirring in the love' during the preparation, taking the spoon and saying the name of the person we are remembering. It's a simple but meaningful ritual that gives us an opportunity to pause and remember amongst the chaos that December can bring.

5. Hang a stocking filled with precious words

Hang a stocking with your baby's name on it each Christmas Eve and invite all those who visit throughout the holidays to write a message of remembrance, love or hope in honour of your baby to put inside. You can then choose a quiet moment of reflection to read them and perhaps collect them in your memory box each year.

What special Christmas traditions have you started to honour your baby? We'd love to share your ideas with other bereaved parents. Email your suggestions to [email protected]