Christmas and the festive period can be difficult for many families, especially those who are grieving. The big build up in the shops and in the media, can be a painful reminder of your loss. If you are missing your special person during this festive period and struggle with the anticipation and excitement in the lead up to Christmas, then you are not alone.
Here is some guidance that may help during the festive season:
Speak to your child’s school and find out in advance if they will be taking part in any activities. Ask your child’s teacher to speak to your child in advance about any activities planned and give your child the choice to take part or opt out.
Keep things simple. The endless ‘to-do’ list can wait, try to take the pressure off yourself and ask for help. Sometimes there are so many demands on our time it can feel too much.
Talk to your family or friends about how you’re feeling about Christmas and how they can support you. You might say: “I am going to find the day hard, and it would help me if you could…”
Doing something special to remember those who have died can be an important part of Christmas day and a great comfort for some families. You may wish to continue a tradition or start a new one. What matters most is that, as far as possible, you are able to do whatever feels right for you and your family, and, if you decide on Christmas day that you don’t want to do the thing you have planned, then that’s ok too.
Spend Christmas day in a new environment maybe with extended family, friends or go out for Christmas dinner.
Don’t feel bad about saying ‘no’, We’re all pressured by advertisers into buying lots of things for our children at Christmas and there is a temptation to want to buy lots of presents for your child to ‘make them happy’ and to take the pain of their bereavement away. Try to stay within your financial limits. Your children just want to spend time with you, cook, read or draw together, go for a family walk, ride bikes or watch a film together.
Be kind to yourself. Do what feels right for you. The build-up to Christmas can often feel worse than the day itself. It may feel important to ‘be there’ for other family members but make time for yourself too if you need it. This may mean a quiet duvet day or a day with friends and family. You will know what feel right for you and your child.
There’s no wrong or right way to mark a special occasion like Christmas. Don’t feel you need to stick to a plan or conform to what other people expect of you or what they are doing.
Go for a walk when things feel overwhelming, fresh air and nature can be incredibly calming. We’ve created a walk checklist to keep little one’s occupied which is free to download.
For further support, please contact our helpline Monday-Friday, 9.30-12.30pm: 01342 313895.
Our office and helpline are closed from Friday 23rd December 2022 – Tuesday 3rd January 2023. If you or someone you know needs support during this time please see the In Emergency section of our website.