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.