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6 Ways to Bring the Departed Back Into Your Holidays

Updated: Dec 15, 2023

It’s that time of year again—time to spend quality moments with our beloved friends and family. For many, this season is one of joy, yet for those who have experienced the loss of a loved one, the holidays can be a difficult time. But it doesn’t have to be. There are ways you can include your deceased loved ones in your celebration and create meaningful memories amidst all the holiday cheer.

Whether you’re carrying on traditions or creating entirely new rituals, including those we've loved and lost in our celebrations allows us to keep their memory alive through shared connection as well as bring comfort during times when grief may try to pervade these special occasions.

1. Create a Memorial Ornament

Creating a memorial ornament is one of the best ways to honor your deceased loved one during the holiday season. You can purchase an ornament with their name or picture on it, or you can create your own personalized ornament. This is a great way to keep their memory alive and to make them part of your holiday celebrations.

2. Display Photos

Displaying photos of your deceased loved one around the house is another great way to include them in your holiday celebrations. Hang framed photos in prominent places or create a collage with multiple pictures that capture different moments in time. Seeing their face will help keep their memory alive and bring comfort to all who see it.

3. Share Memories and Stories

Another great way to include your deceased loved one in your holiday celebrations is by sharing memories and stories about them. Whether it’s around the dinner table, during gift exchanges, or while decorating the tree, sharing these stories will help keep their memory alive and will bring everyone together in celebration of them.

4. Light a Candle

Lighting a candle for your loved one is another meaningful way to include them in your holiday celebrations. You can light the candle at any point during the day – whether it’s while opening presents or during dinner – and take a moment to remember them and reflect on all that they meant to you and those around you.

5. Participate in Acts of Kindness

Participating in acts of kindness in honor of your loved one is another great way to include them in your holiday celebrations. This could be something as simple as donating food or clothing to those less fortunate, volunteering at a local soup kitchen, or helping at an animal shelter. Doing something kind in their memory will not only make you feel better but also help spread some holiday cheer.

6. Plant Something Special

Planting something special in honor of your deceased loved one is another meaningful way to include them in your holiday celebrations. Whether it’s planting flowers, trees, shrubs, or even vegetables, this act of kindness will not only help beautify the area but also serve as a reminder of how much they were loved and cherished by those who knew them best.

Mostly, keep them alive in your heart and don’t be afraid to mention them often. When a wave of sadness hits, counter it with deep gratitude instead. Holidays are meant to celebrate joy and togetherness – so it’s okay to be happy during all your festivities, even though you miss this person terribly. Let both feelings peacefully co-exist.

Rev. Katina Z. Jones, Ph.D. is an ordained metaphysical minister and earned her doctorate in metaphysical counseling from The University of Metaphysics. She is a certified Doulagivers™ Doula and End-of-Life Care Specialist. Visit

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