Holidays are often difficult when families have experienced a loss in the family over the past year, and Christmas can be especially hard. The memories flood and the emptiness seems to swell. You might miss your loved one's laughter, or the way he or she always brightened the festivities with the stories they used to tell. You might wonder if the young children in the family even remember your loved one. Including loved ones who have passed away in Christmas festivities can bring much comfort and joy to the entire family.
Things You'll Need
- Family members
Brainstorm a few ideas and make a list. Some simple ideas might be honoring the loved one with a special ornament on the Christmas tree, hanging a stocking emblazoned with your loved one's name or setting him or her a place at the table.
Pick some active tributes like doing random acts of kindness in the deceased's name, making a collage or memory book or setting aside special time for shared stories. Projects are a great way to include the whole family and introduce young children to a loved one they may not otherwise remember.
Invite family members over for a pre-Christmas planning meeting and explain your desire to remember your deceased loved ones at your Christmas celebration. Ask for their understanding and participation.
Share the ideas you've collected with the family; allow all an opportunity to comment and throw out their own thoughts. Write these down and select the few you'd like to carry out. When you have a list of projects, divide up the projects. For example, Grandma might collect the pictures, awards and other memorabilia and your sibling's family may create the actual collage. Make sure everyone has something to do.
Set aside a special time during your Christmas festivities for the family to share their creations and memories. Don't be surprised if the laughter and tears flow. It's the moment to allow everyone to experience every emotion while remembering loved ones no longer with you.
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