Have you had a loved one pass away recently? I’m sure many of you have, myself included. First and foremost, this Christmas will be the first holiday, for me, to remember loved ones in Heaven who are no longer here. I’m sure you’re wondering the same thing as I am…How am I gonna get through this?

a family decorating a Christmas tree featured image for Remembering Loved Ones At Christmas
Creative Ways for Remembering Loved Ones At Christmas

Those left behind after losing a loved one, will be experiencing grief at Christmas, right? This also leaves us questioning how can I honor my loved one’s memory while dealing with grief during the holidays at the same time.


Remembering Loved Ones at Christmas

Creative Ways of Remembering Loved Ones at Christmas

The holidays can be a difficult time for many in general. Are you aware that remembering loved ones at Christmas (honoring their memory) can help ease your pain, instead of wallowing in grief?

How is this possible?

Create new traditions

If your dealing with grief during the holidays remembering loved ones at Christmas in a special way is priceless. There are lots of creative ways to make our loved ones a part of our Christmas season.

make a Garland of Memories for the Christmas tree

I don’t necessarily have a creative gene but making a paper garland should be an easy project to do. You can write special memories for remembering your loved ones on small strips of paper and turn them into loops (making garland) and hang them on your Christmas tree.

Release a Lantern in their Honor

If you watched Jeremy Camp’s movie, “I Still Believe,” at the end, it shows His entire family holding and releasing a lit lantern in remembrance of His first wife He lost to cancer. If you haven’t seen the movie, I highly suggest that you add it to your to-do list.

make their Favorite Recipes

Making your loved one’s favorite dish for the holidays may help you remember their presence (special memories) so that you have familiar tastes and smells of the holiday season. 

Consider Volunteering in Their Memory

When you’re serving others, (such as sacrificially volunteering at your loved ones’ favorite charity) it takes the focus off of your loss and helps you focus on serving others while honoring their memory too.

Make a Special Ornament

If you have a tangible item or a significant special picture of you and your loved one many places can turn those into anything you can dream of, such as…

  • Cups
  • Blanket
  • iPhone Case
  • Necklace,
  • Mouse Pad
  • and many more…

How do you help a grieving friend during the holidays?

Show them love

Be available and present to speak words of encouragement about the special life that is gone. Ask if there is a holiday-related task you can help your friend with. Will they be alone for the holidays? If so, invite them to your holiday gathering.

Invite them over or take a meal to their home if they are not ready to get out and be around others. You can also offer to help with Christmas shopping and/or wrapping.

Light a candle for remembering loved ones at Christmas Dinner

Find a way to include your loved one in the holidays. A great way to do this is to light a candle as a symbol of their continued presence, or make an ornament with her name, and place it on the tree.

Make a plan to be intentional about who will resume special tasks that your loved one did so it’s not awkward when you sit down at the dinner table to eat.

Share a special memory

Tell stories and share special memories. Look through old photos. However, that said, do not pressure or push them to do so. At times, it can be too painful to talk about. Don’t pressure others to do it because they will put up a wall.

Ask what you can do to “help them”

If you’re willing to share your own experience with loss it can help your grieving friend to talk about their loss too.

Avoid hurtful Actions or words

Don’t avoid contacting a friend or family member due to death. When do you stay away or pretend it didn’t happen so you don’t have to say anything at all? Sweet friend, those things are extremely hurtful. Show compassion.

Don’t tell them to just move on

Understand that there’s no set time frame for someone who suffers a loss. You should not tell them to get “over it” or “move on.” 

Adjusting to loss is a process and at times it tends to get worse before it gets better. Keep in mind if you haven’t suffered a loss recently you move on with daily life.

Sadly, someone who has suffered a loss will experience fresh loss over and over again, especially in the first year.

Such as first…

  • Christmas
  • Birthday
  • Anniversary
  • Vacation
  • Date of Birth
  • Date of Death

Grief Recovery Assessment Sheets

What can you say to someone who’s dealing with grief at Christmas?

You can say something such as, “I want to wish you a Merry Christmas, but can I offer you a hug instead?”

Now obviously, if you’re not close to the individual who has had a loss recently this may not be a wise choice…use your judgment.

What you should not say to someone who’s dealing with grief at Christmas?

Everyone processes the stages of grief differently and the grief journey is not a one size fits all type of grief.

Show compassion and understanding and above all else…be considerate to those who are remembering loved ones and dealing with grief during the holidays.

As tempting as it may be, do not say “I know what you’re going through”, or “I know it’s hard,” you don’t know what frame of mind they are in.

Listen more, talk less

It is OK to say, I don’t know what to say. I am here for you when you’re ready to talk. Just offering a friendly ear will go a long way.

Quotes on Remembering a Loved One Dealing with Grief during the Holidays

I still miss those I loved who are no longer with me but I find I am grateful for having loved them. The gratitude has finally conquered the loss.

Rita Mae Brown

Say not in grief that she is no more, but say in thankfulness that she was.

Hebrew proverb

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.

A Vietnamese saying

Say not in grief: “He is no more”, but live in thankfulness that he was.

Hebrew proverb

There are no good-byes, where ever you’ll be, you’ll be in my heart.


What we have once enjoyed and deeply loved we can never lose, for all that we love deeply becomes a part of us.

Helen Keller

They that love beyond the world cannot be separated by it.

William Penn

Seeing death as the end of life is like seeing the horizon as the end of the ocean.

David Searls

It’s always hard to lose somebody. It leaves a hole in your heart that never grows back.

Kevin Brooks

You don’t know who is important to you until you actually lose them.

Mahatma Gandhi

For death is no more than a turning of us over from time to eternity.

William Penn

In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.

Abraham Lincoln

It is the capacity to feel consuming grief and pain and despair that also allows me to embrace love and joy and beauty with my whole heart. I must let it all in.

Anna White

While we are mourning the loss of our friend, others are rejoicing to meet him behind the veil.

John Taylor

Here is the test to find whether your mission on earth is finished: If you’re alive, it isn’t.

Richard Bach

Grief and love are conjoined, you don’t get one without the other

Jandy Nelson

Never. We never lose our loved ones. They accompany us; they don’t disappear from our lives. We are merely in different rooms

Paulo Coelho

When we lose someone we love we must learn not to live without them, but to live with the love they left behind


Those we love don’t go away, they walk beside us every day. Unseen, unheard, but always near; still loved, still missed and very dear”


The only way to get over a death is by seeing it as a life completed, instead of a life interrupted”


The sorrow we feel when we lose a loved one is the price we pay to have had them in our lives”

Rob Liano

Everyone copes differently, some cry for the loss of a loved one others smile because they know they’ll see them again”


Tears shed for another person are not a sign of weakness. They are a sign of a pure heart”

José N. Harris

As long as there is love and memory, there is no true loss

Cassandra Clare

I should know enough about the loss to realize that you never really stop missing someone – you just learn to live around the huge gaping hole of their absence”

Alyson Noel

You may be gone from my sight, but you are never gone from my heart”


Depression Thought Tracker Sheets

Bible Verses about Remembering Loved Ones when Dealing with Grief during the Holidays

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. John 14:27

Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted. Matthew 5:4

Therefore you too have grief now, but I will see you again, and your heart will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you. John 16:22

If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. Romans 14:8

For they cannot die anymore, because they are equal to angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection.Luke 20:36

So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy. John 16:22

He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds. Psalm 147:3

He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever. Revelation 21:4

Be sure to check out our help guide on experiencing loss that’s full of helpful resources that can help you this holiday season. Just remember the reason for the season and keep it a simple Christmas.

Your Turn

Death and loss are never easy but it’s something we all face one day. If this Christmas season is the first holiday remembering loved ones who are no longer here on earth with you I sincerely pray I’ve not only answered “how” you can get through this but have also given you plenty of ideas on how” to make it less painful.

About Angela and Resounding His Love.

Angela Cleary | Christian Influencer and Inspirational Writer of Resounding His Love

Hey there, I’m Angela. My passion is sharing the gospel, and how Jesus has transformed my life and he can do the same for you. When trials and tribulations arise it’s crucial to walk by faith not by sight, no matter how things appear. In my posts, I’m 100% honest and vulnerable, and I share some hard things, even when it isn’t easy…But if “My Story” helps “You” overcome your struggles in life and learn to lean on Jesus…Our #1 problem solver in all circumstances…it’s worth it!

Note: All information on this site is for educational purposes only. Resounding His Love does not provide medical advice. Please consult a physician if you suspect medical problems or need professional advice.

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