Christmas is typically a joyful time of year but the holidays can be a difficult time for anyone that has lost a loved one or someone they cared about. Whether they passed recently or many years ago, it might help you to remember and honour them on Christmas day.
Although they are not here anymore, they live on in our memories and you can still include them in your celebrations. Here are some of the many ways to remember a loved one at Christmas.
Visit Their Resting Place
Visiting their resting place, whether that is their grave or where their ashes were scattered, can help you to feel closer to them.
You could take some flowers or lay a festive wreath there, and talk to them, either out loud or in your mind if you prefer.
Attend A Remembrance Service
Remembrance services are often held at churches, cemeteries and hospices during the holidays. You could attend one, either alone or with family and friends.
Get A Personalised Ornament
You could either make or buy a personalised ornament to hang on your tree in memory of your loved one. This could include a photo of them, their name, or a design that you know they would have chosen themselves.
Create A Memory Garland
It is easy to make a paper garland and is something everyone can get involved in. Write a memory or a message to your loved one on the paper strips before sticking them together to make a chain.
It will get everyone talking about their favourite memories which can be cathartic. You can then hang the garland from the ceiling or put it on the Christmas tree.
Send Up A Lantern
Go outside and light a sky lantern and release it on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. You could attach a letter to your loved one to it, and watch as it is carried up into the sky.
If you shared traditions with the special person who passed, you may want to continue to honour those traditions in their memory.
Alternatively, if you think that might be too difficult, you may want to introduce some new traditions.
Make A Patchwork Quilt
Keep warm over the cold holiday season with a patchwork quilt made from patches of your loved one’s clothes. This is a special way to keep them close to you over the Christmas period.
Create A Scrapbook
Gather some photos and other keepsakes such as tickets or flyers with sentimental value, and spend some time putting together a scrapbook.
You could do this alone or with others to collate your memories into a scrapbook you can treasure and flick through when you want to look back on the good times you shared.
Do Their Favourite Things
Feel close to your loved ones and honour their memory by doing some of their favourite things.
Listen to their favourite music, read their favourite book or poem, watch their favourite film, eat their favourite food, drink their favourite drink, or visit their favourite spot.
Light A Candle
A particularly favourite and traditional way of remembering a loved one is to light a candle for them. You could light it every day of advent and into the new year and pause to think about them whilst it burns.
There are so many special ways to remember a loved one at Christmas. To reflect on your memories together and honour them.
Whatever you decide to do, remember you are not alone and it is normal to be sad, but you should not feel guilty for enjoying yourself. Your loved one would want you to be happy.
Do not be afraid to reach out to someone for a chat, or to ask for support if you need it. If you are struggling and feel you do not have anyone to talk to, you should seek professional bereavement support.