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Wednesday, July 17, 2024


Clara, the Christmas Nurse Baby


By Eric Conklin

My younger cousin, Clara Noelle, a soon-to-be 4-year-old, is the only member of my family with bragging rights on Christmas since she gets double the presents.
I know Clara for being the ‘Christmas Nurse Baby,’ perhaps the only one in the world. Thanks to Christmas and a former nurse, her name packs a punch of beauty when you say it aloud.
Clara got her name from Clara Barton, who is known for creating the American Red Cross in 1881, leading the organization for 23 years. I believe the inspiration came from her father, who serves citizens of Virginia honorably, as a nurse himself.
Being born Dec. 27, 2015, a middle name to knit Clara into the holidays felt suit.
Clara is as sociable as the adults in the family, and isn’t afraid to say “hello” or “goodnight.” Like her mother, Sharon, an art teacher, Clara loves arts and crafts. I recall asking her what she wanted for Christmas back in October. She replied with a less than expected answer for a child of her age – not a toy or doll, but scissors to make stuff with.
I’m sure that her younger brother, Landon, will agree that Clara has spunk for a kid her age, and I’m sure she’s thankful she’s a big sister.
The cliché, that I’ve heard most during the holidays, is something like, “I’m going to visit family this Christmas. I’m making a ham.” Not everyone gets to say that they, thankfully, are spending their Christmas with a ‘Christmas Nurse Baby,’ one of its kind.
Clara’s name is stitched to her, so she gets to take Christmas time with her 24/7, 365. I believe that this is a way that she can spread a message this holiday season.
With Christmas and the holiday season in her name, Clara has a way to celebrate the season and its meaning throughout the year, something that most people seem to lack. What if we were as equipped as Clara with a way to remember that there’s a holiday season at the end of the year that calls families together?
Separated families may be reunited, brothers and sisters may reconnect after spending years apart, and fathers and mothers may reconnect with a child they fought with, and can’t seem to rekindle a relationship with.
I find that if people were to have a way to recall the holidays throughout the year, society wouldn’t know the holidays specifically as a way to spend time with family. This year, challenge yourself to take the holidays outside the season.
I hope that you may find it pleasing and ultimately rewarding.
Furthermore, I hope inspiration from the ‘Christmas Nurse Baby’ can lead you there.
ED. NOTE: The author is the editorial assistant at the Cape May County Herald. To contact Conklin, email

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