The holidays are here and every glittering, golden sign tells us exactly how we should feel: PEACE! JOY! JOLLY!
We even include a call for gladness in our greetings:
- Merry Christmas
- Happy Holidays
- Feliz Navidad 😉
Now hear me on this, friend. My heart’s deepest wish is that this season does indeed find you filled with comfort and joy. But what about those who don’t feel all that holly-jolly?
- Perhaps it’s your first holiday without your spouse and your heart is breaking.
- Maybe your Mom loved Christmas and, even after all these years, your eyes mist up as you make her famous cookie recipe.
- Or perhaps there’s an empty pet bed that feels especially cold next to your bright, beautiful tree.
The holidays are beautiful because of the love and connectedness they center. But they can be heart-wrenching for that same reason for those who’ve weathered a loss. The absence just seems amplified by all the memories in the room.
If that’s you today, dear one, I’m sending you a mountain of love. And to help soothe your holiday blues, I’d like to share a remembrance ritual that we’ve used in my family to honor my Dad since his passing. (Shoutout to my sweet friend, Janette, who joined me on this live session and held up the card that inspired me to share this ritual with all of you.)
Take a look at the video and, below it, I’ll share a few more memorial ideas you can use to keep your loved ones near, too.
My Remembrance Ritual
7 Remembrance Rituals to Honor Your Loved Ones During the Holidays
1. Make a card deck.
As I mentioned in the video, you can make a little card deck with photos of them or their favorite sayings. Draw from it daily (or whenever you want to connect).
2. Set a place for them at the table.
So many special moments happen around the table. It can be a beautiful place to remember those you love all year. We set a specific place for my Dad with his picture at all of our celebratory meals. We even pour him a glass of wine. When we first did this, it would make me cry. (And that’s okay. All of our emotions are welcome, angel.) But now, I can’t think of a better way to celebrate than welcoming him to the table with us.
3. Watch their favorite movie.
Cozy up on the couch with that film you’d watch together every year—or even take some time to watch your old videos of them. If words or music were more your thing, you could also write them a letter or listen to their favorite song.
4. Cook their favorite recipe.
(Or the one they were famous for making!) Let the smells and flavors bring back memories of the good times you spent together.
5. Wear something that belonged to them.
A piece of jewelry. A favorite shirt. Or that one apron they loved. Quite literally wrap yourself up in a piece of your person.
6. Release a lantern or light a candle.
One of my friends even keeps a remembrance corner in her house. It’s a sacred space with pictures of all the people and pets they’ve loved. She keeps a candle burning in their memory, especially during the holidays.
7. Add a memorial ornament to your tree.
You can order a custom ornament or opt for an easy DIY version by tucking their photo into a clear glass ball. You could even write their name and birthday onto the wood cutting from the bottom of your tree and hang it with a simple ribbon. Another friend adds a decorative angel to her mantle to remember loved ones who’ve gone before her.
Whatever ritual you choose, give yourself permission to make remembrance a part of your holiday routine. Those simple rituals can give you an outlet for your grief and help you remember that you don’t have to resist those big feelings. They’re just proof of the big love in your heart—and what could be more sacred than that?
Now it’s your turn. What’s one way you remember your loved ones? Share it with us in the comments.
All my love,