Preparing for holiday emotions and changing names on keepsakes

A lot of families start decorating for the holidays between Thanksgiving and the beginning of December, so it’s a good time to take stock of what those decorations are now before any kids are involved…especially if this is your first year since your child has come out.
 
Think about any personalized decorations you have that might be very gendered or have the birth name on it…stockings, handmade ornaments from preschool with the name painted on the back, an ornament-of-the-year of a football player before you knew Steven as Stephanie or of a girl in pigtails holding a teddybear before you new Stephanie as Stephen…
 
Ask your child in a separate conversation before getting boxes out of the attic how they are feeling and if they would like any of those “memento ornaments” displayed or if they would like you to spend a day finding or crafting some news ones with them. That exercise alone can be a very bonding experience and even if they don’t mind the old items, it could be nice to reimagine their childhood together.
 
If they would rather not see the old items, find a special place that you can save them or look at them if you are processing any feelings of loss.
 
The holidays are an emotional time filled with memories. It’s very easy to rush into decorating in that first year to keep things “normal” for the family but that can lead to some awkward or painful moments if a gendered ornament or something with an old name is suddenly put in front of them.
 
A few minutes of pre-planning can save a few weeks of angst. It can be a lovely and thoughtful gift to your child to order a replacement ornament or stocking with their new name. 
 
You’ve got this! And our support groups are here for you if it’s hard, and you need an outlet to get through the season. And if you are just finding us through the blog, click here to start the membership process.

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  1. I had so many ornaments and Christmas decorations with my son’s old name on them. I was able to change most of them by different methods. He had some “E” decorations that I turned on to there sides to make “M”s. I also recross-stitched his stocking to have his new name. Some ornaments I kept in the box because they had my son’s old name but weren’t easily changed. I used to look at them nostalgically every year but now, five years later, that old name seems so out of place. I still love his old name but it really seems almost incongruous now.