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Advice for Christmas – Traditions & Remembrance

Following on from our advice for Christmas from last week, this week’s theme is Traditions & Remembrance.
There are many traditions around Christmas, each one unique to the family involved. One of the first traditions you may come across is putting up the Christmas tree. There is no denying, its going to be difficult, but do not deny yourself the opportunity because of this. It can be an important part of working through your grief, allowing yourself the gift of tears. It may be a good idea to not do this alone, so who can help?
The next tradition you are likely to come across that will surely be arriving through your door soon is the Christmas card. Should you send them? Should you forget it for this year? This is a decision that you will have to make but the world certainly will not end if you don’t send any cards this year. While deliberating this decision, you need to prepare yourself for when you start to receive cards. There are going to be cards arriving addressed to you and the loved one who has passed away from someone who hasn’t heard about the death but also cards addressed to you without your loved one’s name on at all. Neither are easy to open, fact.
The last major tradition in most families is Christmas Dinner. Facing the reality that there will be an empty chair at the dining table is a tough cookie to swallow. Instead of trying to forget that there is a special someone missing, why not acknowledge the raw emotions by making them a part of the day. Placing a balloon in the empty chair, everyone sharing their favourite memories or joining up with another family in the same boat where you can help each other through the day.
Realise that is isn’t going to be easy, but try and do things that are important and special to you. If something doesn’t work out this year, you can change it and try again next year.