Creating New Traditions During the Holidays

New Holiday Traditions

When someone close to you with whom you’ve spent many holidays or special occasions dies, you may be unsure how to now celebrate those special times. Many people attach a great deal of meaning and happiness during the holiday to one person who cooks the meals or handles important holiday details. Here are some tips for creating new traditions for Easter, Christmas, Thanksgiving, Fourth of July—or any holiday that you spend with family and friends.

New Celebrations

Something Old, Something New

  • Food. You may want to serve the same meals that your family has enjoyed, but if someone in your family who died used to do the majority of the cooking or who made a special dish, then you may consider changing some of the food. Introduce a new dish that you think the family will enjoy. If your guests include a lot of kids, set up a sundae or hot chocolate bar that they can look forward to. Perhaps ask guests to bring an appetizer or dessert the first year, and then everyone can talk about what they loved and what they’d like to see next year. Or, hire a caterer to cook for your family.
  • Location. Holidays are usually held in someone’s home. However, if a loved one’s home was used for holidays, and they have died, you may want to have the next holiday somewhere else. Hosting a holiday event can be difficult, depending on the space that you have for dining and entertaining. Discuss the possibility of having holidays at different family homes, or switching every other year. You may also want to try going to a restaurant or banquet hall if no one wants to cook. Remember that planning and making reservations earlier will make things easier, especially since restaurants tend to book up early on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter.
  • Entertainment. Some families honor their loved one’s memories by playing games that the deceased loved, such as card games, Trivial Pursuit, or bingo. You can go Christmas caroling door-to-door, have a family talent show, or introduce a family grab bag that takes the place of traditional gifts.
  • Get away. It’s not unusual for families to enjoy a holiday at a nearby resort, where there are plenty for kids and adults to do. Some even make it their yearly family vacation. Ask your family and friends what they’d like to do.

Embrace new traditions while enjoying established traditions. Don’t be afraid to change what and where you eat, meet, or what you do. A deceased family member can leave a large, empty space in the hearts of everyone who is celebrating. Plan for a little of the old and a little of the new. They’ll come to together to create a holiday both familiar and loving. Call Beinhauer Funeral Homes today for help finding grief support services following the death of a loved one.