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

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.