Our beautiful baby daughter Anabelle was born sleeping June 2010.
Blessed with the screaming arrivals of our gorgeous rainbow sons,
Alexander October 2011, Zachary November 2013 and Lucas July 2016.

After Anabelle - Raising Rainbows
Heartbreak. Joy. Death. Life. But most of all Love.

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Christmas Traditions

We are quickly approaching the midnight hour and the beginning of Christmas Day. This year the build up to Christmas has been so bittersweet. We are of course very excited about Alexander's first Christmas; there is a new joy this year. But it doesn't stop the hurt that Anabelle is not here for this Christmas, last Christmas or any Christmas. The familiar bewilderment and pain is ever present. 

Last year we created traditions for Anabelle, the rituals of remembrance and inclusion for her that saw us through. Made her first Christmas bearable. I believe I described last Christmas as painful but perfect; after the horrendous build up to Christmas day, for the most part it was quiet and peaceful. We got through it because we had a plan. 

The plan for Anabelle stands this year, as it will every year. 

For Anabelle we will always put up a little pink tree in her garden and her special pink tree in our home. Each year we will buy a new angel decoration to add to our tree. Each year we will have a 'Anabelle' personalised cracker and namecard to be part of our Christmas table, a candle will be lit for her throughout dinner; a symbol that she is always included in our family.

Tomorrow morning before we join my family for dinner we will visit our beautiful girl. Last year was particularly beautiful with the snow on the ground. Magical somehow. Last year we took bubbles, this year we have two little presents to open while we are there with her; a 'That's Not My Angel' book and her new angel tree decoration. Presents that she can then share with her brother. A present that will hopefully help him to feel some connection some day. 

But this year, alongside Anabelle's Christmas, we also have to create new traditions. Traditions for Alexander too. Traditions for our whole family. 

For Alexander we started tradition making last weekend when we took him to see Father Christmas the weekend before Christmas. Every year I want to take him somewhere different to see him, somewhere magical and exciting.

Today he dressed up as Father Christmas, I think I want Christmas Eve to be fancy dress day, at least until he feels he is too old to dress up. Tonight Alexander went to bed in new Christmas pyjamas and he listened to me read him 'The Night Before Christmas'. That will be our Christmas Eve tradition.

Tomorrow he will start his first Christmas Day in bed with us opening his stocking presents and cards before going downstairs to see the magic of the presents under the tree. And finally each and every year he will have a special new outfit to wear for Christmas Day. Tomorrow he has a little top to wear that says "My First Christmas" 

These are going to be our family traditions. This is what Alexander will learn to expect from Christmas; both his traditions and Anabelle's. I hope when he is grown he will look back on our family Christmas's with fondness. I know I have many happy memories of my childhood Christmas. 

We used to climb in Mum and Dads bed and open our stocking presents. Then we would wash, brush teeth and sit on the stairs waiting for everyone to be ready before going into the living room altogether. I'll never forget the magic that was created walking into a living room awash with gifts. We were 'spoilt' - I want to create that same magic for Alexander.  I wish I could create it for Anabelle. 

This year I feel like I'm living two Christmas's, at two very different ends of the spectrum. 

Anabelle's Christmas. Alexander's Christmas. Tomorrow they will have to meet somewhere in the middle, but after last year I kind of expect the build up to be worse than the actual day. 

I kind of expect it to be perfect in the only way it can be, just as it was last year. 

And so, as I approach Christmas Day in a very different place to where I was last year, but in so many ways exactly the same, I want to wish all my readers a happy and peaceful day. 


Anonymous said...

You honour both of your children so beautifully, they are so lucky to have such thoughtful patents. Wishing you a peaceful and joyous Christmas with all your family. God bless x

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After Anabelle - Raising Rainbows. I'm Caz, Mummy to beautiful angel Belle and my wonderful rainbow boys, Xander, Zachy and Luc. Wife to Jon. Twitter @cazem Instagram @cazzyem
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