If you have recently lost a loved one or even if it has been years since you lost a friend or family member, Christmas time can be difficult. The holidays are definitely one of the biggest triggers when it comes to grief after a person you love passes away.
But there are ways that you can happily remember and honor your deceased loved ones to make the holidays joyful again instead of sad and gloomy.
Just by doing some few simple activities you’ll find that you can cherish the memories you had with your loved one rather than just feeling sad about them not being here this year.
How To Keep Your Lost Loved One’s Memory Alive At Christmas
Make A Financial Contribution To A Charity In Your Loved One’s Name
Choose a charity or foundation that was near and dear to your loved one. You don’t have to make a huge contribution but you could use the money you may have spent on their Christmas gift this year and instead donate it to something you know they would have supported.
Hang A Memorial Ornament For Your Loved One On Your Christmas Tree
You can either make a special ornament for your loved one or you can choose from some very beautiful memorial Christmas ornaments. This can be a great way to include him or her in the tradition of decorating your tree and just have a little memorial to remember them each holiday season.
These types of ornaments even make nice Christmas gifts for your other family members or friends who may be missing someone as well.
Write A Letter To Your Loved One
If you have anything left unsaid or you simply just want to let your loved one know what may be going on in your life right now, write them a letter. This is actually a really good way to deal with your grief and sort of let go of any unresolved feelings or just let your emotions out.
You can write the letter and then burn it or rip it up afterwards. You can keep it in a safe spot to look back on next year or you can even attach it to a balloon and send it up to Heaven.
Visit Their Grave With A Christmas Wreath or Flowers
Although your loved one may not be here on Earth anymore you can still honor them by keeping their grave site nice and even decorating it for Christmas with a small wreath or little decoration.
It can just be a small way you can help “brighten” up the grave site and let your loved one know you will never ever forget them.
Watch Their Favorite Christmas Movie or Listen To Their Favorite Christmas Songs
Get together with friends or family and celebrate your loved one by watching their favorite Christmas movie.
Or turn on some holiday tunes and reminisce about listening to their favorite Christmas songs together in the past years. You may just feel your loved one surrounding you as you get to relive those wonderful holiday memories.
Reach Out To Other Family Members To Share Memories With
Honor your loved one this holiday and share your memories with other people who loved him or her. You can even get together for a holiday dinner or lunch and cook your loved one’s favorite foods and just celebrate their life.
It can be cathartic to talk about different memories and you may even learn some new things about them from other people.
Consider Donating Some Of Your Loved One’s Items To Less Fortunate For The Holidays
After someone you love has passed away it can be hard to part with any of their belongings, but Christmas times is the perfect time to consider donating some of their items to people who are less fortunate. This way you can feel good that their belongings are helping other people instead of just being tossed away.
Of course you don’t have to get rid of everything as you I would recommend you definitely keep the “special” items but the other belongings can definitively be a help to others during the holidays.
You can even choose to give away some special belongings that they had to other family members or friends who would love to receive the keepsakes as a gift this Christmas.
Volunteer Your Time To Help You Stay Busy This Holiday
Most people find that holidays hit them the hardest when they are at home with not much to do. Instead of having that idle time this holiday season, volunteer to help an organization in your area.
It could be serving meals at a soup kitchen, stocking shelves at a food pantry, helping out at your church, or even volunteering your time at a local animal shelter. You may even find yourself enjoying it so much you choose to volunteer all year long and may even meet some new friends.
Continue On Your Christmas Traditions
Your loved one wouldn’t want you to stop all your Christmas traditions just because they aren’t here on Earth to celebrate with you. Instead, honor his or her memory by continuing on these traditions and even adding new ones that incorporate remembering your loved one into the holiday celebrations.
It can easy to want to stay home and not deal with parties and get-togethers or even decorate for the holiday, but being alone by yourself and not celebrating won’t bring your loved one back. But on the other hand, being with people you love during this time of grief you may just be able to smile and laugh again this holiday.
Embrace the family traditions and you may just feel your loved one’s presence as you go pick out that Christmas tree at your favorite tree farm or as you sit and pray at midnight Mass.
Keep A Gratitude Journal
When you are feeling lost and alone it can be hard to see the positive aspects of your life. But, by keeping a gratitude journal you can really remember how blessed you are in your life.
Each day you should write down at least 2 things that you are really thankful for in your life. It can be anything from a person or place to something small that happened to you that day. This helps you to focus on the positive and allows you to start training your brain to focus less on the negative.
Plus, you can come back and re-read your entries in your jounral for those days that are super hard and tough and you think you don’t have anything to be thankful for.
Frame Pictures Of Your Loved One and Give To Other Family and Friends Who May Be Grieving Along With You
Don’t only surround yourself with pictures of your departed loved one but share photos of him or her with other people who may be grieving over them this holiday as well.
You can even dig up some older pictures to frame and give out as Christmas presents and put a smile on other people’s faces.
Do Something Special For Yourself This Holiday
When you are grieving the loss of a loved one, especially if it was a spouse or close family member it can be hard to want to do anything special for yourself. But, be sure that you take some time out this holiday season and do something for yourself whether something small like getting a manicure or something a bit bigger like spending a weekend away at a bed and breakfast.
You can even do something for yourself that you know your loved one would have liked for you to do whether it is taking that trip to a place you both loved or buying yourself that gift that they have always wanted to buy for you.
Although the holiday season can be tough for anyone who has lost a loved one whether it was their spouse of 30 years or their parent or best friend, there are special ways that you can remember and honor your loved one and bring forth some comfort this Christmas.