This year is going to be a hard Christmas for many of us who will be spending it in a different way. Many of us lost someone we love in 2020, it’s been a hard year and some are facing Christmas with a heavy heart. While the first Christmas without that person might be hard, I thought I’d share a few things we are thinking of doing ourselves, so that person still feels with us.
A bauble tribute
We will be making a special bauble that reminds us of our loved ones who are no longer with us, and be thinking of them as we put them on the tree. Baubles are easy these days to make. If you are lucky and don’t have cats who will smash your tree up (we do!) then you can buy a bauble making kit from anywhere (and certain online photo upload card sites will send you one ready made!). The bauble is usually glass, so be careful if it is likely to get smashed! But you can put into it a photo of your loved one, perhaps something that reminds you of them, some dried petals of their favourite flower or go festive and pop in some evergreens or herbs – rosemary is for remembrance.
Those more crafty among us could craft a looky-likey bauble out of felt, or you can go really simple and just buy or decorate a bauble in a colour that you think represents them.
When putting it on to the tree, have a special moment where you think of them. Perhaps this could be done when the tree has already been decorated, and if you have other family members there too, you could gather to have a moment to remember.
Lighting a candle
A really simple idea and one that is timeless. Simply lighting a candle for your loved one will help you feel the warmth of their love and presence. You could have a moment to think about them as you light the candle, and send them a message of love from the heart.
Setting an extra place
Personally, this is not for me, as it’s a reminder that there is an empty seat that used to be occupied, but I do know a few people who set that extra place at the dinner table and get a great deal of comfort from that. But acknowledging your loved one is a nice thing to do, as you are not trying to ‘carry on as normal’. We usually have a little toast to those who are no longer with us, and may have a smile that my mother in law would be saying the meat is “tough” or “dry”! And this year, we will be keeping up the tradition of playing a really bad game after – it’s usually Trivial Pursuit, and [husband] Stu’s dad always took ages to answer, so we will be thinking of him as we play it!
If you have a special place where you go to remember your loved one, you may want to lay a tribute. It doesn’t just have to be flowers; you can be imaginative in your tribute (as long as it is biodegradable!), a seasonal wreath with some symbolic plants in is a lovely touch – perhaps there was a certain flower they liked? Or maybe you might plant a tree or plant?
A remembrance toast
My father in law used to make us snowballs every Christmas eve until he got unwell with dementia – and then we made them for him! but this year we will be upholding the snowball tradition and making them in his honour, and having a special ‘cheers’ to him. IS there a special cocktail or drink that reminds you of your loved one? Perhaps you could toast in their honour.
Making a remembrance collection
Finally, you could make a collection of things that remind you of them, for example, a bottle of their favourite Christmas tipple, a photo of them, and some personal items, such as a brooch or watch.
If you have any special things that you will be doing to remember your loved ones this Christmas that aren’t above, then do let me know!