I Don’t Want to do Christmas Without Them!

Dec. 21 pic

I Don’t Want to do Christmas Without Them!

Your deceased loved one is not here anymore. There is a huge hole in your heart and your family. Your memories aren’t enough to give you comfort and the holiday music grates on your nerves and makes you want to run away to a faraway place where pain and suffering are no longer your traveling companions. With every breath, you take you just want it to be different.

Avoiding and running away from the holidays, while tempting, won’t get you the relief you are searching for nor will it get you through your holiday grief. You will be going through the holiday one way or another, so why not be intentional about your grief this holiday season. Here are 10 tips to help get you through.

1. Plan Ahead

Give everyone time to come up with their own ideas and ways to honor their lost person on Christmas day and incorporate those as new traditions in your celebrations.

2. Be intentional

Let every one that will be part of your Christmas festivities know how you plan to honor your loved one during the season and make new memories that include your loved one in the events of the day.

3. Invite Others to Participate

Whether you are lighting a candle in their memory or hanging the deceased persons stocking on the mantle, invite others to be a part of these new traditions

4. Buy the Gift

You can donate the gift to someone else in need in honor of your loved one.

5. Fill their Stocking

Write memories. Write a card or a letter to the person. Write what you remember about past Christmas’s with them. Write what you liked about them. Write … and put it in their stocking and be intentional about creating a time in the day to read through the memories by reading them out loud.

6. Accept Your Limitations

It is hard, and that’s ok. It is ok to allow yourself some time to just grieve during the day. You never know who you might be giving permission to cry with you when you do.

7. Set a Place For Them At The Table

They are not physically present with you but their life and their connections to you are. Include them. You just might host an angel at dinner.

8. Eat Their Favorite Foods

It is ok to take joy in celebrating what they enjoyed about Christmas and the holidays. Honor them with the things they loved… Gramma’s stuffing or Dad’s gravy perhaps?

9. Make a Gift Box

People love to share with each other the things that they remember. Create a place for this to happen. Put note pads, cards, etc., and pens and pencils out for people to write private messages and notes, memories, plans, etc. that their family can enjoy together later.

10. Find Time to Rest

Ask for help, delegate chores tasks, meal preparations, gift buying, etc. Accept you will have limitations while you are grieving. Make a list of tasks that you want to have this Christmas and let the rest go… don’t let other people or past traditions dictate to you what you should do this year. Give yourself permission to allow others to do things for you. It is their way of showing you how much they love you and what to honor your grief. It is a gift!

We are in the season of giving and serving others. Let them serve you and allow yourself the pleasure of celebrating different feelings and preferences that others can bring into this season. Let the children heal your grief. Look through their eyes this season and include them in your intentional plans. Simplify and just enjoy where you are at in the moment. You can be sad and find joy at the same time. You can be grieving and still find peaceful moments. You can be angry at the loss and still enjoy Christmas through the eyes and laughter of a child. Remember the reason we celebrate Christmas as joyous moments through suffering! Born in a stable, no room for him anywhere, yet he was surrounded by love and acceptance of his family and friends.

Written by Kimberly Talmey

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