The holidays can be an especially difficult time for people who are grieving the loss of a loved one. The hallmarks of the season that bring joy and excitement, such as family gatherings and celebrations for the new year, don’t feel the same when you are mourning a special person in your life. However, there are still various ways to honor and remember those who have passed on. Here are our top ideas for ways to celebrate a loved one with a memorial during the holidays.
Create a New Tradition
If you are grieving a loss and don’t feel ready to carry out your usual family customs, try something different instead. Create a new holiday tradition that memorializes your loved one and brings personal joy to the occasion. Try scheduling a candlelight memorial and invite family and friends to light candles at a designated time in memory of the person who died. Afterward, encourage them to share pictures or tributes online on a memorial website.
Assemble a Memory Capsule
Memory capsules are a creative way to remember a loved one during the holiday season. Assemble the capsule yourself, or bring people together and invite others to participate. Start with a solid, durable container and fill it with items that reflect the personality of the deceased and the life they lived. Ideas can include candid photos, favorite recipes, music playlists, or even Christmas ornaments. Then bury the memory capsule, making sure to keep track of where it is, and make plans to open it on a special anniversary date in the future.
Attend a Memorial Event
You have probably noticed that memorial service events are relatively common during the holidays. Many funeral homes and cemeteries host remembrance programs for the community to support people coping with grief and to honor the lives of those who have died during the year. Holiday memorial events are usually free and open to the public, and they can make it a little easier for bereaved families to get through the season.
Schedule a Memorial Walk or Run
If your loved one was particularly athletic, scheduling a holiday memorial walk or run in their honor is a unique way to celebrate their life. Ask family members and friends for input on planning the activity, who to invite, and how to generate interest in the event. If making these arrangements seems like too much to handle, consider participating in a pre-planned event instead.
Volunteer for Their Favorite Cause
Volunteering for a meaningful cause is always appreciated during the holidays. You can volunteer for a particular interest that held significant meaning to your loved one or send a donation in the deceased’s name to a favorite charity or nonprofit organization.
Take a Memorial Road Trip
Sometimes it helps just to get away from it all. If your loved one had a travel bucket list that they didn’t get to complete, plan a holiday road trip to one of those locations. A trip will give you some time away from all of the usual activities and allow you to commemorate your special person by doing something they enjoyed.
Plan an Ash Scattering Ceremony
As more people choose cremation over a traditional burial, ash scattering events are becoming more popular when families come together during the holidays. You can arrange a private ceremony to scatter a loved one’s ashes in a memorable place or attend a community scattering event. Local cemeteries often host these events free of charge, although registration may be required.
No matter what time of year it is, planning a memorial can be challenging, but Funeralocity can help you make informed choices. As a funeral comparison site, we have an online directory of funeral homes and their services. Visit our FAQ page to learn more about celebrating the life of a loved one.Back to Knowledge Center