Temperatures are dropping, leaves are falling, and hot cocoa is the new evening cap. What does that mean? The holidays are just around the corner! The most wonderful time of the year filled with family, twinkling lights, yearly traditions, and for many, a host of grief and loneliness. Birthparents with the most open of relationships with their child’s family can still feel bereft and forgotten this time of year. Those without much contact can struggle even more.
How can we honor the birth moms (parents) in our life during the holidays?
The level of openness in each adoption story will lend some variations of course, but there are plenty of opportunities to create and foster a happy holiday season for all in the adoption triad.
First and foremost, show some empathy towards your birth mom. Think of all the fun holiday activities you personally look forward to and realize that, for her, these are potentially points of sadness and loss. Extending some form of contact, whether it’s a letter, greeting card, call, text, etc., goes a long way in making her feel included.
Honor The Birth Moms By Creating Inclusive Traditions
What are some other tangible steps we can take to honor the birth moms in our life during the holidays? This isn’t the most traditional of relationships, true. But who says you can’t create new traditions? So, your family reads Christmas stories before bed on Christmas Eve? Awesome! Check with your Birth Mom to see if she would like to FaceTime during the stories or maybe have her record herself reading a story and share that. If those options are a little past your comfort level, maybe video record the time and mail it to her so she can see some of the magic in her baby’s new traditions. As the baby grows, more possibilities arise.
For my family, baking cookies has been a big part of our holiday traditions. Suggest doing a family cookie recipe exchange or even FaceTime while baking the same cookies and see who’s turned out best. The main theme here is to include her in some new traditions. Build these activities into your holiday schedule every year and make it a priority so she feels included rather than forgotten.
Inviting her to participate is a huge game changer in every season, but particularly during the holidays where so much of the celebration is done with family. Not ready to share in home visits? Not on Christmas morning? Totally fine! Meet up for some ice skating, or a city tree lighting ceremony. Pictures with Santa at a mall nearby? Sure thing! Sign up to volunteer at a local soup kitchen together. Set aside an activity that can be done just with her to be your special thing. Can’t physically get together? Have her select an ornament that can represent her or your adoption story and have your little one get the privilege of placing it on just the right branch of the tree each year. Take it one step further and snap a picture of it to document how they’ve grown year over year and mail it to her. Even if you don’t do in person visits, inviting her into your life during the holidays is a notable way to shower her with love during a potentially difficult time of year. We can honor the birth moms during the holidays even if they are not near by.
Any Gift Is Appreciated And Treasured By Birth Moms
It wouldn’t be Christmas without gifts. We’ve mentioned a few already, but here’s the key: Who doesn’t love personalized gifts? Especially when it comes to babies and kids, right? I think we all “oooh and aaaah” over the cute little footprint/handprint ornaments or hand towels or decorations or….or…or…. there are so many options! A quick internet search can give even the least creative of us some super simple options that will pack a big punch in the feels department. Even if you’re not up for the handmade category, personalization is a wonderful way to make sure she doesn’t feel like an afterthought. We all love the practicality and simplicity of gift cards, but I wouldn’t necessarily go that route here. If all else fails, pictures, pictures, pictures. Another cool gift would be to find something she is passionate about and make a donation to that cause in her name. All good ways to make the holidays more inclusive and filled with love.
Hopefully this has inspired an influx of ideas on ways to honor the birth moms during the holidays. The possibilities are completely tailorable to each family and your imagination is your only limitation. Remember to start with empathy and try to be as inclusive and personalized as you can. Now go do some brainstorming of your own and find out the best ways to touch her heart in a meaningful way. Feel free to send ideas to share or subscribe to our newsletter for more insights to healthy adoption triad content.