How to Honor Ancestors at Christmas Time

Is it your first Christmas without a loved one? Are you feeling empty without them and looking for a way to celebrate the holidays "with" them? Please read on!


  1. Image titled Honor Ancestors at Christmas Time Step 1
    Think of your holiday memories with this person. You can do this either with your other loved ones or by yourself. Although it might seem painful and will probably evoke a few tears depending on how recent the death has been, it can also be a time of bittersweet joy.
  2. Image titled Honor Ancestors at Christmas Time Step 2
    Discuss comfort levels. Talk about what you are comfortable with doing and not comfortable with due to your point in the grieving process. For example, while some people may want to make a big deal of this person during the holidays, this may only bring more distress to another family member. Discuss your ideas carefully and come to a point of compensation.
  3. Image titled Honor Ancestors at Christmas Time Step 3
    Put photos out. Depending on the comfort levels in section 2, try putting pictures up around the house of this person and various family members, especially ones from holidays past. This will make it seem a little bit like your loved one is there with you, celebrating too.
  4. Image titled Honor Ancestors at Christmas Time Step 4
    Make a Christmas tree decoration in honor of them. You could put their picture inside of a wreath or simply make a Christmas motif that reminds you of them or has their name on it.
  5. Image titled Honor Ancestors at Christmas Time Step 5
    Leave an empty chair at the table. This can be a touchy one and not everyone likes to do this but for some people it really helps. Make sure that you are especially careful with this and only put an extra chair out if everyone is in agreement.
  6. Image titled Honor Ancestors at Christmas Time Step 6
    Carry on with their traditions. Were they the best gingerbread house makers? Then have a gingerbread house making night with the family! Did they always ask for a specific dish at the Christmas table? Then serve that!


  • Forget about any painful or bad holiday memories with the person and only focus on the good ones.
  • Make sure that all of the loved ones are in agreement over the holiday plans.
  • Don't center your whole holiday over their death or you will be too sad.
  • Try to create new traditions, in addition to the old ones that remind you of them. That way, you will have something that won't evoke tears for the person.
  • Remember that your loved one would not want you to cry over them but would wish your happiness, especially during the holidays.


  • Grief is a long process and is especially difficult over the holidays. Remember that these are not the magic steps to getting over your loved one and you will still be sad over the holidays.
  • Everyone is different and your ways of getting over grief and remembering your loved one over the holidays will likely be different than your other family members.
  • Don't try to rush things or be in a hurry to make traditions, it will come in time.

Things You'll Need

  • Your friends and family.
  • Pictures of good times with loved ones.
  • Craft supplies.
  • Cooking materials.
  • Things that remind you of your loved one.
  • A willing attitude.

Article Info

Categories: Christmas