Holiday traditions amongst families are a big deal. As birthmoms, knowing your child isn’t a part of these traditions can be hard. But you can create your own holiday traditions with your child. They may not be the same traditions your family has, but they can be special traditions between you and your child.
Personally, my holiday tradition for my son revolves around ornaments. I recall browsing through the mall just before his first Christmas when he was just a couple of months old. I spotted a beautiful Precious Moments baby’s first Christmas ornament in the Hallmark store. It had a spot to write his full name, birthdate, birth weight, and height. I decided to buy it and thought it would make a neat tradition to buy or make him an ornament each Christmas. Every year after that, I’ve hand made his ornament. Sometimes they feature a photo of us from a visit that year; other times it’s just a cute handmade ornament I think he will like. Fifteen years later, he’s learned to expect that a special ornament will be amongst his Christmas presents.
I asked some of my birthmom friends what their holiday traditions with their (placed) children are. If you are searching for a tradition to start with your child, perhaps one of these ideas will interest you.
• Amy, who has an open adoption with her daughter K, also does an ornament tradition, but with a twist. She purchases two ornaments each year and sends one to her daughter and keeps one for her own tree. This way they both have a piece of each other on their tree at Christmas.
• Betty, who is in reunion with her son L, has started a tradition of celebrating Christmas with him and the rest of her family at her parents’ house the day after Christmas. “We celebrate the day after Christmas so that my son can join us and still have Christmas with his adoptive family. I would never put him in the position of having to choose between them or us. It doesn’t matter to me when we do it, just that we celebrate. The last couple of years he has stayed with us because it was too late for him to drive back home. I have to say waking up after celebrating Christmas with all three of my children under one roof is an extra special gift”.
• Alicia, who had a closed adoption, always purchased a Christmas card for her daughter each year, wrote something special inside of it, sealed it, and then put it in a box with other mementos in the hopes that they would be reunited one day.
• Angela, who has an open adoption with her son, celebrates St. Nicholas day with her son on December 6th. She always gives him a Snoopy themed ornament, a tradition that her own Mother did with her and her siblings.
I encourage you to give one of these traditions a try or to come up with something on your own. It will become something special you and your child will look forward to each year.