Losing someone you love is always hard, and it’s always hard to celebrate a holiday without them. This isn’t a very “Christmassy” topic but I feel like it’s an important one. Celebrating Christmas when you have lost a loved one can be difficult so I wanted to make today’s Blogmas post all about that. Today is the anniversary of my grandfather, who passed away rather suddenly last year. I wanted to take a moment to write a blog post in memory of him and incorporate him in my Christmas. I also wanted to share some of the ideas that I found whilst I was searching for something to have or create in his memory, in case any are of use to you.
Finding a way to honour the memory of a loved one is a process that takes time. I personally found it to be a way to help me come to terms with the suddenness of everything. However, it might not be for everyone. Everyone mourns the death of a loved one very differently and that’s allowed.
Creating a Scrapbook Layout & Writing a Letter
I opted to do something that I have always wanted to do but never braved myself till this happened. I created a scrapbook layout. Scrapbooking memories or moments was always something that I wanted to accomplish. However, I often felt it was not ‘perfect’. When this happened, I realised that life is not always perfect. If it was, we would not lose our loved ones. I also did not get the chance to say anything to him, as it happened so suddenly. So I decided to write a letter. A letter of everything that I wanted to say to my grandpa but did not get the chance to say in person. It was the place where I could pour everything in my heart out onto paper. And it helped me.
Making the scrapbook layout was a little harder. I intentionally kept it simple to avoid messing it up. This layout features an envelope that flips up to reveal another photo and some words underneath. In the envelope, I can tuck the letter away, keeping it hidden behind the photo. You can’t really see the letter when it is tucked away but I know it is there. And that is enough for me. If you look very carefully on the blurred out photo to the right, you should see faint marks above his photo. That’s the ink of my letter showing through the paper. I pulled it out of the envelope so around two inches of the letters is actually ‘out’ in that photo but it is still hard to see unless you know it’s there.
You can definitely frame a scrapbook layout you make if you wish to. This is not an ornament but I just wanted to put this out there as it really helped me. It might be nice to do a festive layout with pictures from Christmases past, if your loved one was a big fan of the holiday, for example.
Wooden ornaments are really beautiful in my eyes, they have a natural feel to them. A heart is the obvious sign to symbolise a loved one. You can use these wooden heart ornaments for any occasion. I thought adding a photo to one side and their name, perhaps some dates, on the other side would be a lovely way to honour their memory. When I saw this one, I knew I had what I wanted. I’ll either add a photo to the other side or his name and the dates. Quite a few shops offer these, if you search.
I wanted to showcase Olly and Me Designs. They have a beautiful range of wooden hearts, for many occasions. They do have some happier times too. Their bereavement range is simply beautiful. They use a variety of words and quotes, so I am sure you will find something that works for you.
These three are really lovely ones that could work for any loved one that you have lost. Olly and Me Designs do also stock ones aimed specifically for someone, such as a father or for miscarriages. You can find the full collection here.
The pictured ones say:
These memorial hearts can go anywhere. You can easily add it onto your Christmas tree or hang them somewhere all year around. If it’s single sided, you can stick it down to something – like a cupboard or a photo frame. It’s completely up to you.
I did find some memorial items for Christmas trees specifically too, if you wanted to go down that route.
Memorial Christmas Baubles
These Christmas baubles are a beautiful way of adding their memory to the tree. It can be particularly hard to celebrate the holidays without them, especially when you are used to them being there. Adding a photo or something that reminds you of them to the occasion can sometimes be a good way to feel like they are still with you and they are there on the day to celebrate with you. If you believe in spirits or souls then it is like a visual way of that being there on the day.
I wanted to take a moment and share a few of the ones that I found. Etsy, however, is a really good place to find a lot of personalised or handmade items. For a memorial item, I think Etsy is a great place to go in general.
1 – A simple heart bauble with a feather can symbolise everything you need it to. You do not have to include a photo of the person or their name. If you prefer, you could add a bauble like this, with a singular heart. This feather can be personalised, however, to allow you to write their name or initials, as well as a date if you would like to.
2 – I really like this simple bauble that says a lot in a few words. You can also personalise it and add something to the back, if you would like to. There is also a Spanish version available, if you would like that.
3 – A star is a beautiful symbol to add to your tree. They really do have that ‘they are watching over you’ feel to them, This simple star hanging ornament includes a photo of the loved one with a beautiful quote. It is a really special way to bring a little element of the person to the tree.
4 – This handmade paper bauble is similar to number two but from a different seller, in a very different style. The back of this bauble can be personalised as you would like. I wanted to offer you an alternative.
5 – This wooden ornament brings in the natural feel that I mentioned wood gives earlier. You can keep it with a simple quote on it like this one or personalise it as you wish.
What do you do?
This decision is definitely a personal one. At the end of the day, you need to do what you think is right for you. I chose to write my grandpa a letter and create a scrapbook layout shortly after his passing to help me cope. I would like to get a heart to add somewhere in my house, something I can hang all year around rather than just for Christmas. However, I fully understand that you may want something specifically for the Christmas tree. Whatever you want to do is completely fine and allowed. Everyone copes with the loss of a loved one very differently, after all.
If you have any in memory of items or find anything else that has worked well for you, please feel free to drop a comment below with more information. I would love to hear what you did.
Photos for all of the products shown came directly from the shops themselves. None of them belong to me. I simply liked their products whilst I was on Etsy and wanted to share them with you. Please read the full description of the products at their respective stores for more information about the product. I have not personally tried any of them yet but will likely purchase something from Olly and Me Designs, in particular, as that one stood out to me the most.