setting the table

 

Written by Jenny Goldade

 

Those who are grieving the loss of a loved one may be dreading the oncoming holiday season. Annual traditions and celebrations may serve as painful reminders of your loss.

 

Understandably, you may not be feeling the holiday spirit, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t celebrate the holidays. Being with your family and friends can bring you some comfort and allow you to grieve and memorialize your loved one together. You can share memories and create new traditions to honor your loved one in your holiday celebration.

 

Below are some holiday-inspired ideas to honor your loved one.

 

Honor Your Loved One’s Memory Together

Gathering around the dinner table provides many opportunities to commemorate a loved one. Although the holiday meal isn’t the same without that loved one’s physical presence, there are meaningful ways to honor them:

  • Leave an empty chair at the table in honor of that loved one. You can label it with their name and decorate it with holiday garlands.
  • Bring a memento that reminds you of your loved one. Then everyone can go around and talk about their memento and why it’s special. It may not be easy to talk about your loved one, so having the memento to talk about may help make it a little easier.
  • Share memories of your loved one from past holidays or just special moments that will make everyone smile or laugh.
  • Make your loved one’s signature dish if they had a specialty they always brought to the holiday dinner. Or make their favorite holiday dish that they never passed up.
  • Look through photo albums from past holidays, family vacations, and other events that include photos of your loved one. It can spark memories and funny stories to share with everyone.
  • Watch their favorite holiday movie after dinner and sharing memories.

Don’t Forget to Include the Children

These are some meaningful and fun ways you can include children in holiday memorialization:

  • Make snow angels to honor your loved one’s memory. You can take photos or videos of them making the angels and write your loved one’s name in the snow.
  • Create an angel craft for children to make in honor of their loved one and proudly display in their house.
  • Make scrapbooks to honor your loved one. They can be holiday-themed or just feature photos of them with their loved one.
  • Decorate and bake your loved one’s favorite holiday treat. Children can help with stirring the batter or frosting and decorating the treats.
  • Read them your loved one’s favorite holiday book or a book that they always read to them during the holiday season.

How You Can Honor Your Loved One This Holiday Season

Bringing family and friends together during the holidays is a great way to honor a loved one’s memory, but you also can create your own special ways to honor a loved one during the holidays:

  • Keep a journal during the holiday season and write in it every day. It can be about a memory with your loved one, something you want to share with them, or whatever you wish. Check out these tips on how to start your own grief journal.
  • Donate to a charity or toy drive in your loved one’s honor.
  • Light a candle or turn on holiday lights in memory of your loved one.
  • Listen to your loved one’s favorite holiday songs or holiday-themed memorial songs.
  • Hang a memorial ornament on the tree to keep your loved one close during the holidays.

What other ideas do you have for honoring a loved one during the holiday season? Share them with us in the comments!