The following are a few suggestions for the holidays and may be adapted and modified for a variety of occasions.
During the holidays many civic and religious groups collect food for the less fortunate. Donations may be in the form of food stuffs, paper goods, or monetary. Give a donation in the name of your loved one.
As the temperature falls there are those in need of warm clothing. Consider buying an article of clothing and donate it in your loved one’s name. (Children are often in special need. Contact your local school to see if they have a scarf and mittens program. If they do not, talk to them about starting one.)
Churches and synagogues often have memorial gardens during the holidays. Consider placing a flower in the garden in remembrance of your loved one. Often these are then taken to shut-ins, nursing homes, or hospitals.
Create a special toast for your loved one, using your loved one’s favorite beverage. This can then be offered at a family gathering or when you are alone.
With the trend toward renewable resources, many people are planting a tree as a living memorial for their loved one. These trees may also be decorated for the season.
- Making Special Gifts
Gift giving holds a special place in many traditions. Gifts are given for special holidays and birthdays. Consider making a special gift (cookies, candy, or lap robes) and take them to a nursing home, domestic violence shelter, or other charitable institution.
Candle light has often served as a symbol of hope and security. Consider placing (or making) a special candle and place it on a table. You can chose to light it each morning or evening and extinguish only before going to bed. Its light can serve as a reminder of the presence of your loved one in your heart.
Consider placing a special ornament on your tree in memory of your loved one. Often times at craft shows, vendors will personalize ornaments they have made for you.
Observe a Moment of Silence
Take a moment before the meal or at another time you deem appropriate and pause. This may be a moment of silence or a time for sharing memories.
Consider sharing a special memory of your loved one with another family member or friend. This may be as a line in a card or even wrapped up as a gift.
Set aside time to look through the family album or watch family movies. Make it a special celebration when the past is reviewed and re-lived.
Help decorate your place of worship for the holidays.
Talk About Your Loved One
Set aside time to talk about your loved one with family and friends.
Set a place for your loved one at the table. A picture may be placed at their place.
Talk to Your Loved One
Holidays are often a time to catch up with family and friends on what has been happening in our lives. Talk with your loved one as if they are there. Let them know what has been happening in your life. This could be done by placing a picture of them in a chair or on the table across from you.
Make a donation to a charity in the name of your loved one. This could be a charity that reminds you of them or supports an interest that was important to your loved one.
Take time while opening gifts to share how your love one contributed to the quality of your life. Remember the gifts they had given you.
Special Dishes, either prepared by or liked by our loved ones, are filled with memories. Continue the preparation (you might even teach it to another) or include the dish with your holiday meal.
Participate in or establish a luminary service to honor and celebrate the memory of your loved one. This may be a community event or done at your place of worship.
For people alone, the holidays often increase the feeling of isolation and loneliness. Consider contacting a charity group that sponsors a holiday meal and offer to volunteer.