Anticipating Christmas without your husband or wife can be very painful and upsetting.  It can help if instead of just dreading it, you make some plans.  Do not feel obligated to send cards, make the dinner, or other things you’ve done in the past.  Let people know what you can and cannot do. You might find comfort in the usual family rituals or may need to do something completely different this year. Your family and friends want to support you. Let them know your wishes and needs. The first Christmas is particularly difficult, but even if years have passed Christmas can be an opportunity to keep the memory of your husband or wife alive for children and grandchildren.

A few suggestions.

Write a special prayer or blessing that includes the name of your loved one and put it on a card at each place for Christmas dinner. You may read this together as grace.

For those who will be together with family or friends a Christmas stocking can be hung, or a box provided with instructions for loved ones to  write something they remember or appreciate about the missing loved one. These can be read aloud at dinner or later in the day.

If you will be alone on Christmas, put cards or notes you received after his/her passing together and reread them Christmas day as reminders of the peple who love and want to support you.

I will post more suggestions soon.

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