Celebrating Christmas without a loved one can be extremely difficult, especially when that friend or family member has passed away. Unfortunately, some people who are grieving decide to forego the holidays altogether. If you don’t fall into that category, here are a few ways to remember someone you love at Christmas.

Light a Candle

One of the most common ways of remembering someone during the holidays, is the act of lighting a candle on Christmas Eve. You don’t have to be overly religious to do this. In fact, you don’t even have to go to church. Lighting a small candle and saying a simple prayer, at home, has the same meaning.

Plant a Tree

Due to winter weather conditions, this won’t work for everyone. But, if you live in a warm climate, why not plant a tree in memory of the person you’ve lost? A pine tree is the most obvious choice, because of the season, but any other type of tree is suitable as well. This is an excellent way to remember someone, while helping Mother Nature to boot. By turning it into a yearly tradition, more trees will grow and more people will enjoy them.

Donate Something

Did your loved one have a favorite charity or interest? If so, consider making a donation in his or her name. It doesn’t necessarily have to be monetary in nature. Since it’s Christmas, think about purchasing several small gifts. Wrap them and donate them to a charity such as Toys for Tots or your local women’s shelter.

If the idea of donating to charity really appeals to you, think about doing it all through the year. It’s a fantastic way to help others and keep the spirit of your loved one alive indefinitely. These don’t need to be large donations, by any means. When you give to charity, even the smallest gift is appreciated.

Go Out to Dinner

If your family usually eats Christmas dinner at home, maybe it’s time for a change of scenery. Make it special by making reservations at your loved one’s favorite restaurant. Go one step further and ask everyone to order one of that person’s favorite foods. Chances are the dinnertime conversation will revolve around fond memories of your loved one, in no time at all.

These are just a few ways to remember a loved one at Christmas. Of course, you don’t have to partake in all of them. However, getting involved in one or two of them will help to bring back memories of those you love and miss the most.

One of the most crucial things to remember, any time of the year, is that everyone mourns differently. The process typically depends on things like religious beliefs, relationship to the person who died, age and overall family bonds.

If this is the first Christmas without your love one, expect things to be difficult at times. The only thing you can do is take it one day at a time and to try not to be hard on yourself or others. Concentrate on the wonderful memories of the person or people you’ve lost. Things generally have a way of getting better, over time.