The holidays are times we look forward to the excitement and activities of the season. It’s a time of keeping traditions and making new memories. Many of us look forward to the holidays and all of the fun that we have planned. Even my five-year-old is obsessed with Christmas and wishes he could have his tree up 365 days of the year. We always plan Christmas movie nights, find all of the fun outings going on in Omaha related to Christmas and bake plenty of holiday sweets and treats. It’s definitely a time of year when my heart and cup are overflowing. But there are those around us that do not look forward to the holidays and spend their time during the season struggling.
They may be depressed, lonely, or isolated. The holidays can be some of the hardest times for those that have lost a child or loved one. Holidays can be a reminder that loved ones are no longer with you to create new memories and continue on with family traditions. Grief can also resurface as it is something that can reemerge without warning at any time of the year.
While you are enjoying the holiday season, remember to check in on those around you that may be struggling. This may be their first, second or even tenth holiday without their loved one. The feelings and emotions that go with this time of year can be the complete opposite of ours and those that are experiencing them just need an extra hug.
When making plans for your holiday season, remember those that are struggling and may need a little company.
Host a Holiday-Themed Event
Surround your struggling loved one with those that love them and are wanting to rally around and support them. Plan a fun holiday event such as a hot chocolate bar and movie night or a cookie exchange. Spend the time telling fun stories, laughing, and enjoying each other’s company.
Invite Your Struggling Loved One to a Holiday Activity
The holidays are about spending time with family – but some of our closest friends are like family. Don’t feel like you are interrupting your family’s annual traditions by inviting some extra guests. It might be the mash-up that everyone has been needing and you might decide you want to make it part of every Christmas get-together.
Send a gift of a meal or coffee
It may be hard for some to venture out during the holidays and be among the hustle and bustle of the crowds out holiday shopping. Instead, send a fruit bouquet or an assortment of cookies. You can also send an e-gift card from just about any coffee shop—this will allow the struggling individual to enjoy your kind gesture, but have the option of enjoying it by themselves if they would rather be alone.
Find a holiday tradition that they love
When someone is experiencing a loss at the holidays, one of the hardest parts is trying to continue on with a holiday tradition or skipping it altogether because it’s too painful to do alone. If they are up for it, plan a day to create that tradition and enjoy it with them–whether it be decorating the Christmas tree, enjoying a tour of lights or simply listening to Christmas music. It will be sure to boost their spirits.