How To Celebrate The Memories of Your Loved Ones This Christmas?
How do you celebrate the memories of your loved ones this Christmas? Tough question isn’t it. The Yuletide season is a celebration of love, hope, and the joy of giving. It’s a season of festivities and traditional family reunions. A time for wrapping presents and hiding them under the small Christmas tree.
The first Christmas after the passing of a beloved family member is usually the hardest. So here are a few tips to make the holiday season more bearable for those who still grieve.
Life hacks to help you celebrate the memories of your loved ones this Christmas
- But before you could do that, start with the person in the mirror – you. Give yourself enough time to mourn. That “enough” can only be determined by you. So grieve at your own pace. Grief has no specific time frame. People grieve differently. You may opt for alone time. Or, instead of disconnecting yourself, be with family members who are also in bereavement as you.
- Reach out to them. Open up. Tell one another how you feel, and how you all want to spend Christmas this time. They may even have better ideas about how to celebrate the memories of your loved ones this holiday.
- Discuss whether to continue the family tradition of celebrating the Christmas season like you used to. Or start a new Christmas tradition that commemorates the memories of the dead. Know that it’s ok if ever you decide not to celebrate at all. There’s no right or wrong way in choosing what’s best for you and your family during this time.
- It’s likewise ok not to be too cheerful as you used to. But always strive to be happy and enjoy doing the things you usually do. A smile through it all and an occasional dose of laughter is a good way of coping with grief.
- Online shopping has proven to be easier and more convenient for others these days. So if you and your family finally decide to just “go with the flow”, you may also try that rather than inching your way through crowded malls while shopping for the holidays.
- Buy a gift. While doing the holiday shopping, buy a small gift that your loved one would’ve liked and give it to someone special (to him or her) who’d be happy to have that gift.
- Don’t feel “guilty” about getting a respite from it all and gather at the Christmas dinner table for a family celebration, with your loved one’s favorite dish on Christmas Eve.
It may feel strange and “inappropriate” to celebrate without them, but it shouldn’t be regarded as disrespecting the memory of lost loved ones.
Remember, your loved ones who have already passed away would want you to move on and not wallow in pain this holiday season.
- On Christmas day, sing Christmas carols with the people who matter to you. And make new memories with them. Count your blessings – one of which is the shared memories you all have of your departed loved ones.
- The holiday celebrations need not be extravagant. A simple family dinner will do. Then share a drink or two with your family and friends — not to drown your pain with alcohol, but rather to honor your loved one’s memory.
Creative (and cost-effective) ways to celebrate the memories of your departed loved ones this Christmas.
- Light a special candle every night from the first of December till Christmas Eve. This symbolizes the love and the memory you keep in your heart for your loved one.
- Keeping family traditions or hobbies that were started or were associated with your deceased loved one can be comforting and cathartic not only to you but to other family members as well. Shared activities like baking, playing board games, or tinkering with the car is a wonderful way of fostering better understanding.
- Talk about them. One way of passing your loved ones’ legacy down to the younger generation is by remembering the good times. Share stories with other family members, discover how the deceased was when they were still alive, and learn from them.
- You can do your share of lifting the holiday spirit in the respective homes of your other family members and friends by making Christmas decorations and holiday ornaments and giving them away as gifts in honor of your departed loved one.
- Making a memory wreath, or adding decorations for your front door in memory of the deceased may help bring comfort.
- For those who aren’t afraid of needles, getting yourself a memorial tattoo that will remind you of your departed loved ones is a great idea.
- Get your family members involved in sharing a holiday memory they have of the deceased. Compile each memory in a journal, with accompanying photos to keep the memories alive. You and your family can read that on Christmas day, and reread it every Christmas thereafter as one of your family’s holiday traditions.
- Create a playlist of your loved one’s favorite Christmas music for the holidays and listen to it. Or binge-watch his/her favorite movies with the whole family.
- Send DIY thank-you notes and holiday cards to people who were special to your deceased loved one – tell them that you’re forever grateful for their gift of friendship and love.
Other (outdoor) ways of celebrating the memories of your loved ones this Christmas
- Memorial trees. Planting a tree or two in your garden or backyard, or the churchyard if it’s allowed, is a great way of honoring the memory of your loved one this holiday season.
- Program Sponsorship. Sponsoring a feeding program for the less fortunate children in your loved one’s honour during the holidays is a great way to memorialize the dead and feed hungry children at the same time.
- Pay a visit to those who knew your loved one – an old friend at a nursing home, your pastor, or his/her former caregivers.
- Take that long-overdue trip with friends and family to a place your departed loved ones had always wanted to go to. Or was too special and meaningful to them for you not to miss.
- With other family members, visit your loved ones’ grave at Golden Haven Memorial Park and light candles. Make it a family tradition by having a quiet time together to reflect on the values they’ve left behind.
Celebrating the life of your loved ones during the Christmas Season
Christmas is a festive season. It isn’t a day of obligatory cheek-bumping with distant relatives that you hardly know. It’s not a chore that you need to deep-clean your house or cook something special to impress people if and when they visit. When life doesn’t give you the luxury of time to be with the people you truly love, choose the company you keep, especially during the holidays.
There are no words or phrases that can permanently wash or wish away your and your family’s grief. Not even the festivities of the holidays. It’s your presence that’ll make this holiday season worth remembering. So be there with your family and make it count.
As the holidays draw nearer, the more you feel the absence of your departed loved ones. Christmas for sure, won’t be easy this time.
The grieving process over the loss of a loved one is complicated and the pain never goes away. But remember, even the strongest of storms passes. And when it does, things will get better.
So embrace this season as the right time to reach out. When Christmas is finally over, you’ll be surprised to see how well you’ve made it through. And how you found unforgettable moments of peace and joy amid these difficult times.