This time of year is one of the happiest for many people. There’s plenty of great food, lots of parties and celebrations, and a lot of time to reconnect with your family and loved ones. But if you’ve recently lost someone, whether that’s a family member or friend, it can be a hard time of year. Even if the loss isn’t recent, Christmas can emphasize the gap at your dinner table, reminding you of the person who’s missing, and of happier times in the past. Here are some tips about how to deal with loss during the Christmas period.

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Make New Traditions

If you and your family usually keep to the same Christmas traditions year after year, it might be time to try some new ones. If you do the same thing as usual, the absence of your loved one will be all the more noticeable. If you usually have Christmas dinner at home, try going out to a nice restaurant instead. If one of your parents has died and they usually hold Christmas day at their house, invite your family to your home instead. Creating something new with its own happy memories to carry into the future is one of the only ways to make dealing with loss a little easier.

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Memorialize Your Loved One

A lot of people appreciate tokens to remember their loved ones who have passed away. If your loved one chose to be cremated, you can choose to have their remains made into a piece of jewelry that you can keep forever. Creating diamonds out of ashes is a good way to keep them close by and to make something beautiful out of something sad that’s happened to you. You could also consider planting trees in their memory or collecting money for a charity that mattered to them in their name. On Christmas Day, make sure you enjoy their favorite food and carry on a tradition that mattered to them.

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Keep Talking To Each Other

Make sure that you keep talking about happy memories with your family. Even though your loved one has passed away, your happy memories will be with you forever – and even if it hurts to talk about the past, the more you do, the easier it will get. It’s important to celebrate the happy times, especially at this time of year. If anyone is holding their grief inside them instead of talking about it, chances are they aren’t dealing with it very healthily, and they might be badly affected in the future by it, so it’s important to keep communicating.

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Do What Feels Right

Don’t force yourself into doing anything that feels strange or wrong over the Christmas period. If having a huge family celebration isn’t right for you, then don’t do it – a quiet Christmas with the people who are closest to you might be best. Remember that no matter how you deal with your grief, you must do what’s right for you. Don’t feel obligated to do what other people want: you should be your own priority as you deal with your grief. If you want to put on a happy face, do so – slick on your favorite festive red lipstick, put on a smile, and face Christmas head on.

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