Bringing Back Christmas Traditions
I was chatting with a neighbor last week and asked why I didn’t see her at our annual neighborhood ornament exchange. She told me that she was trying to “push through Christmas” after the passing of her father. My heart went out to her as I am familiar with the thoughts and emotions that she is experiencing.
My mother valued Christmas traditions—the old Christmas carols, foods and decorations inside and around the home. I on the other hand, love to bring in a more contemporary flare to my holidays with new music, simpler decorations and, since I have willing subjects to try new recipes on, new dishes. So now I have a mix of old and new to share with my children and grandchild.
After my first “numbing” Christmas without my mother, I decided that her wish for me was probably to do what I do best–be creative during a time of year when giving and decorating was at its peak. I brought my mother into our home in a variety of ways during her favorite time of year.
Here are a few ways you might also do the same for the loved you wish was still with you during a wonderful time of year.
Seven Tips to Share the Loss of Loved Ones at Christmas
- If your loved one had a favorite recipe they loved, why not make it and share the recipe with your guests. Perhaps they will incorporate it into their future holiday meals.
- Did your loved one wear certain colors or favor a cozy shirt during the holiday? Around the holidays, my mother sometimes wore a bright red fleece shirt with a reindeer on it. So I cut it up and made a small pillow that I put out every year. [photo right]
- What were some songs that were favored during the holidays? Now that we have YouTube, you can create a playlist on your phone, hook it up to some speakers and play their favorite music along with yours.
- Place some of their favorite ornaments on the tree or incorporate them into your mantelpiece decorating. Perhaps you have some small trees that you design as a sort of memorial tree. There are many ways you can add small photos of your loved ones as ornaments on it. I made an ornament for my step daughter of her grandmother holding her as a baby. [top of page]
- Play some games you used to play with your parents or siblings. Bring laughter back into the home by dusting off the board games and tossing some dice!
- Read some favorite holiday books and watch some classic holiday movies that you may have watched as a family while growing up. Laugh together, sing together and share emotions together.
- Create new traditions to pass down to your children. Get them involved with knowing what’s most important to you and allow them to be part of the creation.
We can get so wrapped up each year with the commercialism of the holidays if you allow it to happen—so don’t. This year, disconnect from electronic devices and forget you have a TV for awhile. Remember that Christmas is about bringing families closer together. It’s a time when you put aside distance, differences and devices (hey, I’ll have to coin that one) and focus on the true meaning of the day. Don’t allow all the frills to sidetrack you.
Get back into the kitchen. Teach your children to make new and traditional dishes. Help them learn to create or modify recipes that are “clean” and not full of trans fats and sugar. Take time to get outside as a family—bike, walk, go on a nature hike or play at the park. Make gifts instead of buying them. Help a neighbor decorate the inside or outside of their home. In other words, remember to give more than receive and enjoy it as a family. You never know how long they will be with you.
I hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas holiday. I’d love to hear how you bring your loved one back into your holiday festivities. I don’t want you to “push through” and survive the holiday season. I want you to create and thrive!
Clean Eats Mindset Challenge is starting in January!
In a few weeks I’ll be offering a FREE 2-Week Clean Eats Mindset Challenge designed to help you learn how to change your mindset about the foods you eat. This challenge isn’t about trying new recipes, omitting foods or following a set menu plan. It provides you with simple tips to accomplish daily, right from your email inbox. One day you will be asked to drink more water and see how you feel. On another day you’ll try a new vegetable. Each day you’ll have an opportunity to test your willingness to stretch beyond your usual routine. Some people notice small positive changes, and some notice a lot in just those two weeks.
The Clean Eats 2-Week Mindset Challenge is for people who want to have more energy, eat healthier, look better, or lose weight. You can sign up below!
Certified Holistic Wellness Educator & Coach
Cathy lives in Roanoke, Virginia and specializes in supporting families who want to improve the way they eat, feel and live. Her clients want to feel stronger, healthier and have more energy and vitality instead of feeling tired, stressed and exhausted at the end of each day. She is the creator of the Holistic Wellness Academy, an online training platform where anyone can learn how to incorporate healthy habits into their lives very affordably.