Creating New Traditions For Those You Are Missing

Man and woman sitting at a candlelit table with their heads in their hands

As discussed in our last blog, one of the best keys to finding joy during the holiday season is to find a special way to honor the loved one you are grieving. Holiday traditions are wonderful, but there is nothing to say that traditions can’t begin now and be held dear for years to come. Here are some suggestions that might bring more joy to your holiday celebrations.

  1. Helping Others: What a better way to send out some love than to find someone who needs it. This can fashion itself in so many ways:
    1. Create a memorial fund to support an organization that was important to your loved one. You can name the fund in his or her honor and make it a holiday tradition.
    2. Set aside a time when family and friends can come together to donate time to a specific cause or charity. Make t-shirts, hats or wristbands in remembrance. Join in a holiday walk-a-thon in their honor.
    3. Spend a few hours with others that may be alone during the holidays. Time is after all, one of life’s greatest gifts we can give.
    4. Adopt a family who is in need. Make a dinner that was one of your loved one’s favorites and purchase gifts that they may have given. Make sure the family knows you are doing this in honor of your loved one and the importance of sharing that love with others.
  2. Bring Something New To The Party: Adding a new dimension to a tradition you already celebrate can be very special and enduring.
    1. Add a place setting at your table for your loved one and all those who have gone before. Have a toast in their honor before dinner begins.
    2. Read a poem or have a short story telling session that would be meaningful to your loved one. Maybe they had a favorite holiday book, if so, this might be a good time to read to the children, helping to keep your loved one in their minds and hearts.
    3. Make a playlist of your loved one’s favorite music. This is a great way to get people talking and remembering about someone they love.
  3. Set Aside A Special Moment: Your loved one brought you joy throughout their life so take a moment to focus on good memories.
    1. Family members can write notes highlighting special memories of family members who have passed away in recent years and share their thoughts by reading them or having others read the collection.
    2. Arrange to have all those who are missing a loved one at the holiday celebration, bring a photo of their loved one. Place photos at a special place of honor and gather there to reflect on memories of them.
    3. Hold a candle ceremony, gathering everyone to join in. Each person can have their own candle, which they light from a central candle while they recall a special memory. The ceremony can end with a song, a prayer or moment of silence.

Traditions can end, change or be created at any time. It is up to those who share in those traditions to hold them dear and ensure they endure for years to come. If you want to introduce something new to your family’s holiday celebrations, go ahead and talk about your ideas. You may find others will find the same peace of mind that you seek by adopting this new family tradition.