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Grieving a child this Christmas? Here’s a gentle way to honor your little one


Luke Southern | Unsplash | CC0

Theresa Civantos Barber - published on 12/22/21

The Christmas stocking can become a way to honor a precious child who is deeply loved and missed. 

When life is happy and all is going well, the holidays are often the best time of the year. But when times are hard and you’re hurting, the holidays can be so painful. The agony of a loss — especially the loss of a child — is magnified in a season devoted to spending time with family and making happy memories.

Part of the pain comes from not knowing how to live the holidays without your beloved family member. How can you handle traditions that are so inextricably linked with a child who isn’t here? 

Some answers can come from others who have walked a similar road. Two grieving mothers recently shared some ideas on Instagram to honor a child’s memory using their Christmas stocking.

Catholic mom and writer Stephanie Weinert recently lost her toddler son, Beckett. As she, her husband, and their four other children face their first Christmas without Beckett, she took some time to share on Instagram Stories a strategy that’s bringing her consolation.

This year, she said, her children will write notes to Beckett and place them inside his Christmas stocking. These letters reveal a bond that doesn’t end with death: Their brother is still present with them in spirit, and they will see him again in Heaven one day. She’s found a beautiful way to honor that connection.

Another Catholic mom and writer, Rosie Hill, shared another purposeful way to honor a child’s memory. Hill recently lost her baby, Margaret, the youngest of eight. 

When she purchased a Christmas stocking for Margaret, she had the idea to fill it with donations to help other babies. She wrote on Instagram

Every year we pull a star off our parish giving tree and give a gift to our local pregnancy center, which helps expecting mothers and new mothers, well after the baby is born. They provide free ultrasounds, parenting classes, car seats, baby food, diapers, clothing, and so much more. When we missed our chance to grab a star this year, I told the kids that maybe we could see if other people want to donate to the pregnancy center along with us … If you make a donation of any sort, please send me a quick message and I will write it on a slip of paper to put inside Margaret’s stocking. I think the best gift we could give her right now is to help other babies in her honor.

Hill’s suggestion to fill the stocking with good deeds done in their memory is another deeply meaningful way to honor your little one.

Navigating the holidays while grieving a child may be one of the hardest thing a person has to do. Hopefully these ideas can bring a little comfort, as the Christmas stocking takes on new significance as a way to honor a beloved one who is so very loved and missed. 

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