When you and your family are grieving a loss, the holiday season can be especially challenging. But, the holidays can also mark a wonderful opportunity to remember those who have passed. In this guide, we go through 5 ways to honor a loved one during the holidays. These new traditions serve as a way to cherish those memories of the past, while sharing those moments with future generations.
1. Light a Candle
Many cultures around the world use the lighting of candles to pay respects to the departed. The shining light can represent the spirit of those you love, so you can include them in your celebrations long after they are gone. Consider picking up a special candle in a favorite color or scent, or pick up an LED candle as a flameless alternative.
2. Prepare a Special Meal
Many holidays, like Hanukkah and Christmas, involve a festive feast that’s full of recipes handed down for generations. This is a great chance to dig out those old family recipe cards. Gather the family to make grandma’s prize-winning pie, or take turns preparing your father’s beloved roast recipe. While gathered, encourage your family to reflect on their own lives and the impact of loved ones. We call this “The Talk of a Lifetime.” Learn more about having this conversation here.
3. Volunteer for a Cause
The holidays are a wonderful time to spread good cheer to all, so think about volunteering for a cause that was important to your loved one. You can help out a community food bank or create holiday cards for a local hospital. The goodwill that you receive from volunteering with your family can make any holiday brighter and more meaningful.
4. Create a Display
If you and your family are creative, you can create a holiday display about favorite memories of your loved one. Dedicate a small space of a room to photographs, letters, artwork, and other mementos that remind you of our favorite times with family. Tech-savvy thinkers can also make memorial videos or multimedia projects to share during the holidays.
5. Decorate the Gravestone
Many families gather at the gravestones of their loved ones over the holidays to pay respects as a group. While you can gather in silence or rehash your favorite stories, some people enjoy the process of decorating the gravesite. Flowers, paper cutouts, painted stones, or even small ornaments can bring festivity to the final resting place.
Have the Talk of a Lifetime Today
How will you want to be honored? Have the Talk of a Lifetime today and let your family know how you want to be remembered. Visit the resources page and download free materials such as the Activity Guide and Workbook which will help you begin your conversations!