On Christmas Day Honor Your Loved Ones with Rituals

If you celebrate Christmas and have recently experienced the loss of a loved one, as Christmas Day approaches, you may feel especially sensitive. What makes it even harder is that we are supposed to celebrate and feel happy. What if we don’t feel particularly happy? Should we recognize the loss or pretend nothing has happened?

As I stated in my other blog “Coping with Loss During the Holidays” it is very important to acknowledge our emotions and find ways to stay connected with our loved ones.

With the intention of keeping that loving connection very present during these days, this past Dec. 15th, we had a special guided meditation at The Center for Transforming Lives. I called it Love is Eternal as the intention was to connect with our deceased loved ones. As a grief specialist and having experienced the great loss of my father, I know this time of the year can be specially challenging. During the Holidays, which is a time to share with others and be happy, not having our loved ones next to us, is very painful; it brings memories, we get nostalgic, and we long for that person in our lives.

That was the intention in doing this meditation; to create a space for this beautiful group of people who wanted to share a special time and embrace inner peace. After the guided meditation, we had an opportunity to share pictures of our loved ones and we also got to finish the evening with a ritual. This was inspired by the ritual we do in our bereavement training with Congregational Health.

We wrote the name of our loved one on a ribbon and then we pinned it on the candle. As we did this, we said something honoring our loved one. It was a loving and peaceful ritual. You can do this with your family anytime you want to create a special moment. This moment brought us all together and at the end we finished the ritual holding hands and knowing that our loved one lives in our hearts.

If you celebrate Christmas, these are two rituals you can do on Christmas Day:

  1. Get a crystal angel and hang it on the Christmas Tree. When you do this, play a Christmas song you know your loved one enjoyed. This angel symbolizes your loved one. I have done this ritual even in a funeral home with families who have lost a loved one, and it is very special. You can do it by yourself or as a family ritual.


  1. I recently learnt about another meaningful ritual you can do on Christmas Day. Find a matte ball and write the name of your loved one with a marker. Then, hang it on the Christmas Tree. If you do it with your family, you can also share a loving memory of your loved one on Christmas I know in my heart it is difficult to be without our loved one during Christmas time or any other day of the year…However….always know they live in our hearts forever.


From my heart to yours,

Ligia M. Houben

Speaker, Author, Certified Grief, Loss and Life Coach


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