When you’re grieving, the season from Thanksgiving to Valentine’s Day can feel like running through a minefield. Each holiday brings new challenges to your inner fortitude. Each special day involves dodging awkward comments, leaning in to sorrow, pulling back to search for perspective.
With Christmas just a few days away, I hope you’ve made plans to honor your loss in ways that feel meaningful. I hope you’ve released expectations and embraced new traditions. I hope you’re finding ways to let joy slip down the chimney too and land beneath your Christmas tree.
As you prepare to celebrate (or not), take a look at these helpful resources on finding joy in a difficult holiday season. Your grief deserves attention, even as the rest of the world celebrates Christmas.
25 Ways to Manage Grief During the Holidays
My friend, Lisa Appelo, knows a thing or two about managing grief at Christmas. This articulate Bible teacher and widow mom to seven shares practical tips that have helped her family navigate this season with tenderness and new joy.
How the Church Can Help Grieving and Broken Families During the Holidays
Our awesome pastor of youth ministries at church connected me with fellow widow and author Anna Meade Harris. Since her husband’s death, she’s served the church by opening our eyes to the hurting people who share our sanctuary each week. Here Anna shares from that well of wisdom to help you help those around you this season.
A Hope-Filled Christmas Gift Guide
It’s hard to know what to buy for a grieving person at the holidays. We know the presents we buy can’t replace their loss, and sometimes we wonder if it’s appropriate to give a gift at all. Sarah Hauser walked through grief as she watched her mom die of cancer, and I love her gentle Christmas gift guide this year. If you need a gift this week, these are great last minute options. But they’re also appropriate all year long to help your loved one know they are remembered in their sorrow.
Navigating Grief During the Holidays (podcast)
Dave and Nancy Guthrie have known their share of suffering. After the death of their daughter, they have served grieving families together, offering support and practical guidance on how to navigate the grief journey. Listen in here as Nancy shares her own story and offers help for those walking with a grieving person at Christmas.
Holiday Toolkit from The National Alliance for Grieving Children
If your holidays will be spent with grieving children, there are few resources as comprehensive and, frankly, awesome as the NAGC Holiday Toolkit. This downloadable PDF offers wisdom for families walking through grief as well as activities to do with kids who are processing loss. Adults, always be sure to ask a child first if she or he would like to participate in a grief-related activity with you. All kids have different needs, and your sensitivity in advance will show them you care!
2 thoughts on “Celebrating the Holidays with Grief”
Clarissa, I have so missed you daily showing up in my email. That too is a grieving. I believe there is a book coming but the sound of your voice coming through your written word has been such a gift to help me process and also to enter into your family’s loss of Rob giving me real people to pray for.
I can’t thank you enough for being real, authentic and vulnerable with your journey. I read all the novels about grieving kids. Good stuff. Have you read Donna VanLiere? I devour her Christmas novels every December. Much grieving along with the new thing God creates in the aftershock.
Thanks for introducing us to all these women walking our path and the tools God has given them. I love you, Sweet One!
Great read !