Holidays and Meaningful Ways to Remember Loved Ones

Published: December 10, 2020

How to Remember a Loved One during the Holidays

Anderson Social Media Solutions

Wesley Anderson

The holiday season is usually a joyous and festive occasion, but it can be a difficult time for families grieving the loss of a loved one. Finding meaningful ways to remember someone who has passed can make it easier to get through the holidays. Here are a few ideas for memorializing loved ones during Christmas.

Create a New Family Tradition

Celebrating the holidays after someone dies can seem like a forced occasion for a bereaved family. To avoid going through the emotions, it helps to create a new family tradition for the holidays to memorialize a loved one. For example, go to a sporting event if the person was a sports buff, or volunteer at a nonprofit in memory of a loved one. A scavenger hunt is another good way to involve several family members and friends in a creative and enjoyable memorial event during Christmas. 

Decorate the Cemetery 

Invite your family to help decorate your loved one’s final resting place at the cemetery. Many cemeteries decorate for Christmas with lights and floral wreaths, and you can add your own decorative elements to the gravesite to celebrate the holidays. Make sure your ornaments meet cemetery regulations to avoid removal - the guidelines for allowable decorations are usually posted on the cemetery’s website. 

Attend a Memorial Service

Many funeral homes and cemeteries host memorial programs to remember loved ones during Christmas and the New Year. These holiday services often include music, inspirational readings, and memorial offerings, and are a great way to commune with others who are also coping with loss. 

A memorial service gives the community a chance to grieve during what most people consider to be a festive period, and provides a safe space where families can share special memories about a loved one or exchange ideas about how to honor and remember those who have passed.

Sign up for an Ash Scattering Event

As more families choose cremation over traditional burial, ash scattering events are becoming a popular event during the holiday season. Local funeral directors and cemetery providers plan an ash scattering ceremony for the community, and invite family and friends to scatter a loved one’s ashes in a cemetery scatter garden or place a cremation urn in a columbarium niche free of charge. 

This event is often very meaningful for families who aren’t sure what to do with cremated ashes other than keeping them in the home. A scattering ceremony gives them an opportunity to lay their loved one to rest in a dignified and memorable way.

Complete a Bucket List 

Perhaps your loved one had a bucket list that they didn’t have time to complete, e.g., learning a new language, climbing a mountain, or traveling to a different continent. Ask family members and close friends to help you mark some of the items off the bucket list - this is a creative way to bring people together and memorialize your loved one at the same time. 

Design a Memory Capsule

Create a memory capsule to remember a loved one during the Christmas season. Find a sturdy container and collect items that hold special meaning, e.g., family photos, personal letters, a favorite recipe, funeral/memorial service program, etc. You can then open the memory capsule on a special anniversary date in remembrance of your loved one.

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