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3 Easy Ways to Remember Your Deceased Loved Ones This Holiday

By Dotchi Latham @DotchiLatham
If you lost a loved one, the holidays can be a pretty difficult time to go through. There are ways to incorporate them into your holidays and keep their memory alive.

When my first son died, the first Christmas just wasn't as cheerful and nothing really seemed festive. I wanted to celebrate with my son but he wasn't there. Instead, I created traditions for him on the holidays, and Christmas, that make me feel like he isn't forgotten.

Here are some of the things I do to help celebrating without him become more bearable. 

Letters in a Stocking

3 Easy Ways to Remember Your Deceased Loved Ones this Holiday

photo by Jim, the Photographer on Flickr

Hang their stocking anyway! Only this stocking will have a different stuffer. Write a letter to them. It doesn't matter what you write. 

You can spend the entire letter sobbing and telling them how much you miss them. You can tell them about your holiday, the Christmas tree, what you got for presents, what you ate. Write to them like you are going to mail the letter to them. Write a poem to them. Anyone who wants to write to them can join in.

Leave it in there. When the holiday is over and you pack away the stockings, pack their stocking too, letter and all. The next year, do the same thing. You will soon have a stocking diary you can read each year to see the progress you have made in the grieving process. 

Or you can do as my friend did. Each year when she unpacks the decorations. Once she is done decking the halls, she reads the letter from last year and then burns it. She says it is quite cleansing to her soul.

Special Yearly Ornaments

3 Easy Ways to Remember Your Deceased Loved Ones this Holiday

photo by Ben McLeod on Flickr

Buy a special ornament to commemorate each year or just one very special one for them. You can hand-make their ornaments if you like. I usually make a butterfly or a bow to add to our tree since they are symbols of my son, to me. 

Play Santa to Someone in their Honor

3 Easy Ways to Remember Your Deceased Loved Ones this Holiday

From Two Chums website

I never had the chance to buy my son a present for Christmas while he was alive. One year, as I stood staring at an Angel Tree, I noticed a tag for a five year old little boy. He wanted trucks and action figures. My heart melted. 

That year Brandon would have been five and suddenly, I had a great idea! I bought a 5 year old little boy a box of hot wheel cars and an action figure.Now, whenever I have extra money around the holidays, I either go to the Angel Tree, donate to the nursing home in the area, or find a family who needs a real life Santa (although those years are rare. But SO much fun!) I never told the family it was me which makes it more fun. Each family member received a gift (kids get TWO!), then there was a family gift (a movie or a game), and finally, a box of food. Usually enough for a nice breakfast, lunch, and dinner. 

I have only had the chance to play real life Santa for a family a couple of times but, if that doesn't put you in a good mood, nothing will! It is the best feeling EVER! But buying a present for a needy child is still wonderful if you can't afford to play Santa to a whole family. Pick one of the Angels on the tree that just calls to you. Or you can look for one that is the same age as your loved one, or gender, or maybe someone who wants something that reminds you of your loved one.And it wouldn't hurt to buy two presents for the Angel Tree either. That would be a wonderful stocking letter to read the next year!Here's hoping everyone has a Happy Holidays this year.
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