Free shipping on all orders over $75🎄

Dear Santa,

I’m writing to you this year on behalf of my sweet 4-year-old daughter, Zoe. She wants you to know that she would like a doctor’s kit, a stuffed giraffe, and a princess dress for Christmas. Zoe has been very good this year. She wanted me to make sure you knew that, and that she has been especially nice to her little brother who would like a play tool set. But Zoe REALLY wanted me to make sure that you remember to fill all the stockings this year because last year you missed one.

Last Christmas, you left Daddy coffee beans, Mommy fancy lotion, her little brother stickers and you even left her puppy, Georgie, a bone. But Santa, you forgot to fill her big sister Nora’s stocking and this made Zoe terribly sad. This year Zoe is writing this letter to politely remind you to remember something for Nora’s stocking too.

You see, Santa, Zoe is a special child—all children are.

But Zoe is extra special to me, and not just because she is kind, caring and obviously sensitive to others’ feelings, like those of her big sister. Zoe is a rainbow baby. A rainbow baby, if you don’t know, Santa, is a baby born after the loss of a previous pregnancy, baby, or child. That child born after the storm clouds of grief is a rainbow of hope.

I’m sorry to say, Santa, Zoe never met her sister Nora, who was born still. But that doesn’t stop Zoe from thinking about her sister she never knew throughout the year. In the summer, Zoe will pick a white dandelion, close her eyes, and blow away its skeleton seeds while making a wish, in her words, “For Nora.” This past fall, during one of her first days of school, Zoe drew a family picture and include a stick figure in a dress of her sister. And while decorating for the holidays, Zoe makes sure that Nora’s stocking is hung with the rest of the family’s.

So last year when Zoe and her little brother came down the steps on Christmas morning and saw her big sister’s stocking was empty while the others were full she turned to me tearfully and asked, “Why doesn’t Santa put something in Nora’s stocking too?”

I didn’t know what to tell her Santa. Do I tell her that mommy had a huge parenting fail and forgot to include Nora in her wish list to you? So this year, on behalf of my special rainbow baby girl, we are asking if you could please consider leaving a gift for Nora in her stocking too. It doesn’t have to be much. I know what I would give a 6-year-old Nora this year if she were here: her first bike with training wheels. But just something small will do. An ornament for the tree or a bag of bird seed, as birds remind us of her.

Just please bring something! Because to see one empty stocking hung next to our full ones breaks my heart twice, once for knowing Nora’s will never be full and once when seeing her sister Zoe cry because Santa forgot about her big sister.

Thank you for taking the time to read our letter, Santa. We know you are very busy this time of year.

Oh, one more thing—I know it might make your sleigh a little lighter and your heart heavier to know there are some children who will never get a gift this Christmas or any because they never made it earthside. Could you please remember to bring a little something extra to fill all the other empty stocking hung for these babies this year, too?

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year,

Nora & Zoe’s Mom
(and their little bro’s, too)

Originally published on the author’s blog

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our new book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Lindsey Henke

Lindsey Henke is the founder and Executive Director of Pregnancy After Loss Support, writer, clinical social worker, wife, and most importantly a mother to two beautiful daughters (one too beautiful for earth) and one sweet-cheeked baby boy. 

Sharing Our Grief Frees Our Hearts

In: Grief, Loss, Motherhood
Two women holding hands over a hospital bed, color photo

Almost 18 years ago, we lost our first child. It was unexpected. It was public. It was traumatic. It was a moment in time that even to this day, burns with a scorching flame, running like a reel in my memory and igniting a pain deeper than anything I’ve ever known into the empty corners of my heart. And while time has marched on in beautiful ways—healthy children who I get to watch grow up, an incredible marriage with the love of my life, a gratitude for all the milestones each year brings—I still can’t help but hold space for the...

Keep Reading

As Long as It Beats, a Grieving Heart Lives with the Pain of Loss

In: Grief, Loss
Woman walking through brown field with hand outstreatched

Life churns forward in a somewhat continued and steady momentum that I find I must consistently adjust my pace to keep up with. There isn’t tolerance in life for the way grief seems to ache for pause. In the silence of this space, my body feels crushed under the weight. I sit alone with my thoughts often. I’ve made peace with the solitude that surges in the aftermath of death. Maybe not peace. Perhaps it’s surrender. After all, which one of us doesn’t fall prey to the helplessness of mortality? I can no longer count on one hand those I’ve...

Keep Reading

6 Things You Can Do Now to Help Kids Remember Their Grandparents

In: Grief, Living, Loss, Motherhood
Grandfather dances with granddaughter in kitchen

A month ago, my mom unexpectedly passed away. She was a vibrant 62-year-old grandma to my 4-year-old son who regularly exercised and ate healthy. Sure, she had some health scares—breast cancer and two previous brain aneurysms that had been operated on successfully—but we never expected her to never come home after her second surgery on a brain aneurysm. It has been devastating, to say the least, and as I comb through pictures and videos, I have gathered some tips for other parents of young kids to do right now in case the unexpected happens, and you’re left scrambling to never...

Keep Reading

I’m Not Ready for Life Without My Mom

In: Grief, Loss
Woman sad sitting by a window looking out

I’m not ready. Not ready for time to just keep trudging forward without her. Four years have gone by, and I still think about her every day. When that awful third day of October rules around every year it’s like a tidal wave comes and sweeps me up tossing me this way and that. The rest of the year I can bob up and down with the occasional waves of grief. But the week before October 3rd the waves pick up, and I can’t see over the crest of one before the next is already upon me. I find myself...

Keep Reading

Since She Left

In: Grief, Loss
Older, color photo of mother and young daughter blowing out birthday candles

It’s been 14 years since she left. It’s like a lifetime ago and yesterday at the same time. The loss of my mother was indescribable. We never had a traditional relationship. As I grew older, our roles were very much reversed, but even still, missing one’s mother (for lack of a better word) is hard . . . plain and simple. Sometimes I wonder, what is it exactly that I miss? Of course, I miss talking to her. I miss how she drove me crazy. I miss her baking. I miss hearing about her newest needlepoint. I miss when she...

Keep Reading

I Carried You for Just 17 Weeks but I’ll Hold You in My Heart Forever

In: Grief, Loss, Motherhood
Ultrasound image of baby in second trimester

September 11 will be a date that is forever etched in my heart, not only because of its historical significance but because it’s the day I saw your lifeless little body on the ultrasound screen. I couldn’t hold back the sobs. My chest suddenly felt heavier than a ton of bricks. I’ve been here before. I’ve had losses, but none this late. I didn’t feel their movements or hear so many strong heartbeats at my checkups. Your siblings felt you move and squealed with utter excitement. I want to wake from this nightmare, but it seems it’s my new reality....

Keep Reading

To the Woman Longing to Become a Mother

In: Faith, Grief, Motherhood
Woman looking at pregnancy test with hand on her head and sad expression

To the woman who is struggling with infertility. To the woman who is staring at another pregnancy test with your flashlight or holding it up in the light, praying so hard that there will be even the faintest line. To the woman whose period showed up right on time. To the woman who is just ready to quit. I don’t know the details of your story. I don’t know what doctors have told you. I don’t know how long you have been trying. I don’t know how many tears you have shed. I don’t know if you have lost a...

Keep Reading

I Was There to Walk My Mother to Heaven

In: Faith, Grief, Loss
Hand holding older woman's hand

I prayed to see my momma die. Please don’t click away yet or judge me harshly after five seconds. I prayed to see, to experience, to be in the room, to be a part of every last millisecond of my momma’s final days, final hours, and final moments here on Earth. You see, as a wife of a military man, I have always lived away from my family. I have missed many birthdays, celebrations, dinners, and important things. But my heart couldn’t miss this important moment. I live 12 hours away from the room in the house where my momma...

Keep Reading

To the Loss Mom Whose Tears Keep Her Company Tonight

In: Grief, Loss, Motherhood
Sad woman sitting up in bed with head in hands

Three pregnancies in one year. Three first trimesters. Three moments of celebration . . . until they turned to moments of sorrow. I’m sure every woman who experiences pregnancy loss has the thought, “I never thought this would happen to me.” I truly never thought this would happen to me. I have two healthy boys—conceived easily, uncomplicated pregnancies, by-the-book deliveries. We even thought we were done having kids . . . until the pregnancy test was positive. That’s when my heart opened up to more children, and I realized I ached to carry more life. Raise more littles. Nurse more babies....

Keep Reading

Cowgirls Don’t Cry Unless the Horse They Loved Is Gone

In: Grief, Kids, Loss
Little girls Toy Story Jessie costume, color photo

The knee of my pants is wet and dirty. My yellow ring lays by the sink—it’s been my favorite ring for months. I bought it to match Bigfoot’s halter and the sunflowers by his pasture. Bigfoot is my daughter’s pony, and I loved him the most. The afternoon is so sunny. His hooves make the same calming rhythm I’ve come to love as I walk him out back. A strong wind blows through the barn. A stall labeled “Bigfoot,” adorned with a sunflower, hangs open and I feel sick. I kneel down by his side as he munches the grass....

Keep Reading