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Honoring Your Loved Ones During The Holidays

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¡Feliz Navidad! Christmas is a beautiful time to celebrate faith, family, and to give thanks for another year spent together.

However, if you’ve recently lost someone you love, the holidays can be difficult. Because the holidays are traditionally a time of peace and celebration, this time of year can make loss feel especially hard. Family traditions are interrupted, and there is now an empty seat at the table. It can feel like the holidays will never be the same.

However, there are many ways to honor and remember your loved one during the holidays. Old traditions can still be honored, and new traditions can begin. Below are some ideas for honoring your loved ones during this beautiful time of year.

Holiday Funerals Can Be Joyous

Losing a loved one right before the holiday season can be very difficult. Their loss can cast a long shadow over what is traditionally a joyous season, and their absence at the dinner table will be a profound reminder of their loss.

However, their funeral services can still be a time of joyful remembrance. Holiday traditions can be incorporated into the services so that your loved one can be part of your family’s celebrations one final time. For example, in addition to traditional hymns, your loved one’s favorite holiday hymns can be part of the services. Your family can also exchange small gifts that honor your loved one, such as their favorite books, movies, and other small keepsakes.

Honoring Old Traditions While Creating New Ones

One of the most poignant ways to honor your loved one can be to continue holiday traditions that they started. For example, if there is a special dish that your loved one always made during the holidays, you or another member of your family can make that dish and serve it in honor of them.

You can also leave your loved one’s chair at the dinner table empty, or symbolically reserve the seat at the head of the table for them. In this way, their memory can be present, and your family can dedicate a prayer or moment of silence to them before your holiday dinner.

Moving forward from loss is an important part of the grieving process. Creating new traditions that honor your loved one can be a meaningful way to look forward while still honoring your family’s past. During family gatherings you can play their favorite song, read their favorite scriptures, or simply share stories about them. These new traditions can be passed down to the younger generations so that they will always know and honor their ancestors.

Christmas Decorations As Memorials

As you decorate your home for Christmas, consider how you can incorporate your loved one’s personality and passions. For example, you can make a wreath or ornaments out of small things that were important to them, like jewelry, photographs, or even a wallet.

You can also consider setting up an altar for your loved one. Even though Día de los Muertos has passed, you can keep your ofrenda up through the holidays, or even year round, so that your loved one is always visible and remembered.

Go en paz.

As members of Denver’s Hispanic communities, we feel a deep responsibility to help its families through some of their most difficult days. We are here for you and your loved ones, and our staff is available to answer any questions you may have. Llámanos al (303) 996-0701.

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