Losing someone you love during the holidays can be difficult that first year, but over time it gets easier if you take some of these steps in keeping their memory alive during the holidays. You, however, never forget and every time the holidays roll around you still get that feeling of missing them. For me, it was especially hard when I started having kids and that feeling that my grandmother was not around to see them or have a Christmas with them as she did with me. I know it would bring her so much joy to see them and be with them.
Since we could not directly create those memories, we decided to keep the memories of our grandparents alive through family holiday traditions. We even recruited our parents to help, and they really get into it as well. Here are some of the ways we keep their memories alive through holiday traditions
Every year we send my daughter to my parent’s house to help decorate their Christmas tree. It is something we have done since she was about 2. When she is there my dad talks about all the old ornaments he has from my grandparents, that he has from his childhood. He talks to her about the Christmases he had with them as a kid and even about the ones we had when I was born. It is good for him to remember, and she likes hearing the stories!
Watch Old Home Videos
Every Christmas Day, wherever we are, we watch old home videos of Christmas from my childhood as well as my dad’s childhood. He had all the old VHS tapes and even videos older than that turned into DVD’s and each year he breaks them out and we watch them with the kids. My daughter thinks it is hilarious to watch her mom as a kid opening presents. We all enjoy remembering and I love that my daughter gets to see her grandmother and hear her laugh.
Put up Photos
We have photos around the house of our loved ones all year round, but at Christmas time, we break out certain ones and put them up. My husband’s cousin had photo collages made of their Christmases and gave them out to all the grandchildren one year for Christmas. Every year, we put it out for our kids to see. We are also lucky enough to have some Christmas prints that my husband’s grandmother painted. It was coveted for many years until one year we had copies of it made for everyone. Now we all have it and we hang it proudly during Christmas. My son, who just turned one loves the horse-drawn carriage and stares at it when we eat dinner as it is hanging in our dining room.
Incorporate Old Items in Decorating
Nowadays, we are so into what is new and what is in style, and I will admit I am the same way too! We do go to TJMAXX after Christmas and stock up on clearance Christmas items for the following year! But we also incorporate items from our families that have been handed down from our grandparents or even great-grandparents.
This is a great way to keep the memories alive! We have a nativity scene statue that was my grandmother’s, and my daughter absolutely loves it. They sit under our tree, and she loves to hold them and play with them. If my grandmother was here, she would get such a kick out of it! I talk to her about where they came from and how her great-grandmother would put them out every year! They will one day be hers!
My husband also has a music box that was passed down from his grandmother. My daughter did not like it and it broke his heart. For some reason, it scared her and for years he would put it out only for her to want nothing to do with it. But this year my son is so taken with it. He points to it and wants to hear the music. My husband’s face lights up every time! One day when he is old enough to comprehend, I know he will tell Simon about how he played with it as a child!
Keeping their memory alive during the Holidays – Make your own Tradition
Everyone has their own traditions and there are so many ways to remember at the holidays, these are just some of the ones that my family celebrates every year and I wanted to share them with you all in case there was someone out there who needed a place to start.
We only get 18 Christmases with our kids before they start doing their own things and they go by so fast we want to make memories and traditions that will stay with them when they are grown! I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas filled with love and laughter!
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