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Christmas without a loved one

Our Christmas tree is up and I intend having the Ella and Louis Christmas album on repeat for the next few weeks. (It is one of the parenting successes I’m most proud of that my kids now associate Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong with Christmas – what an album!)

But as anyone who is approaching Christmas without a loved one knows, there’s a tension to the festive season and grief… An uneasy pull between being jolly and feeling sad. If you’re in this strange festive country, I see you. I know what it’s like. I have two suggestions that have helped me – try them out if you like?

The first is visual reminders of your loved one, so they feel part of the process. Last year the wonderful @mooiessouthafrica sold these exquisite hand painted decorations (👉🏻 to see) and one was a red-headed angel, aka my mom. I bought four, one for each sibling, and I love that she’s sitting on my tree, part of the festivities.

The other is a little shrine in the corner of the room, with candles lit and a photo, for people to take themselves off to if they need a moment amongst the cheer. We actually have my mom’s photo and candles and plants up all year round, but my daughter just added a new candle holder she made a few days ago (“can I give this to Nanny?” ❤️ 💔)

It helps, in my opinion, to have a physical space to retreat to if you need to catch your breath… and include the person you wish was there in the day’s events.

I love this time of year… The holiday spirit, the relaxed days without structure, the magic, the presents. But they are all tinged with a little sadness, and that’s okay. It’s just life.

Sending you love if you need it (don’t we all?)

Published inInspiring

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