Looking for unique and inspiring ideas for remembering loved ones at Christmas?
Whether you have recently suffered the loss of a loved one or you are simply missing his or her presence, there are special ways to include him or with with special ‘in memory’ at Christmas decorations and gifts.
We have compiled 45 of the best ideas for honouring your loved one’s life, love and legacy this holiday season. (We are quietly confident that you will find an idea that you and your family will love.)
You can also check out Love Lives On’s in memory at Christmas Pinterest Board for more inspiring ideas.
Remembering Loved Ones at Christmas With Special Decorations
- 1. Purchase or make your own personalized ‘in memory’ at Christmas ornament with your loved one’s name or photo on it to commemorate your loved one. Gather the family together and share memories of your loved one while you hang the ornament on the Christmas tree.
- 2. Tie a beautiful ribbon around the trunk of your Christmas tree in your loved one’s favourite colour. This is an activity that the youngest members of the family can participate in.
- 3. Remembering loved ones at Christmas is simple to do by hanging stockings with their names embroidered on them. On Christmas Eve, have your family members fill the stockings with cards and letters to or about your loved ones. You can all take turns reading the memories out loud on Christmas Day. This is sure to become a beautiful and meaningful family tradition.
- 4. Make an angel tree topper in memory of your loved one to top your Christmas tree. You could make the angel’s clothes or wings out of your loved one’s clothing.
- 5. Dedicate a small Christmas tree to your loved one and decorate it with photos, notes, and special ‘in memory’ at Christmas ornaments.
- 6. Make a memory wreath dedicated to your loved one and hang it on your front door. Decorate the memory wreath with ribbons in your loved one’s favourite colours, sentimental objects and photographs.
- 7. Buy a special candle and dedicate it to your loved one’s memory. Keep it lit throughout the Christmas season (but do not leave it unattended).
- 8. If you enjoy doing crafts, try making a memory candle with a treasured photograph of your loved one. Again, keep it lit throughout the holiday season.
- 9. At your place of worship, light candles in your loved one’s name or remember him or her in prayer.
- 10. Set up a memorial table in your home for remembering loved ones. When friends and family come over for Christmas dinner, ask them to bring a small memento to place on the memory table that reminds them of someone special that has passed away.
- 11. Buy your loved one’s favourite holiday flowers or plants (as examples, poinsettias or amaryllis) to display in your home over Christmas. For an extra special touch, make a homemade plant marker with your loved one’s name on it.
- 12. If your loved one loved the ocean, carve his or her name onto a smooth rock and throw it into the ocean, or use the rock to create an inukshuk on the shore. (An inukshuk is a human-made stone landmark that was traditionally built by Inuits to say: “Someone Was Here”.)
- 13. Find a poem that reminds you of your loved one, or compose an original poem. Use your best penmanship to write the poem, frame the poem and displayed it in your home over the holiday season.
Remembering Loved Ones at Christmas at the Dinner Table
- 14. Set a place for your loved one at the Christmas dinner table. This will be an especially poignant ‘in memory’ at Christmas tradition if your loved one usually sat at a particular place.
- 15. Prepare your loved one’s favourite dish to add to the Christmas feast.
- 16. If your loved one was a baker, or enjoyed cookies, bake his or her favourite holiday treat with your family. These can be the cookies that are left out for Santa…
- 17. Dedicate some time before you and your family start eating Christmas dinner for remembering loved ones. You and your guests can take turns toasting them and sharing special memories.
- 18. Purchase or make your loved one’s favourite holiday treats, whether it be a certain kind of chocolate, candy canes, or their favourite Christmas cookies and cakes. On Christmas Eve, set a beautiful table filled with sentimental holiday treats to enjoy with your family and friends.
‘In Memory’ at Christmas With Special Cards & Gifts
- 19. If your family takes a photo every year for your Christmas card, start a tradition of including an angel, dove, butterfly, or some other symbol to represent your loved one.
- 20. Send a holiday card to someone that was special to your loved one, for example, an old friend that too is missing him or her during the holidays.
- 21. Parting with your loved one’s belongings can be an emotional experience. Wrap a keepsake that belonged to your loved one and give is as a gift to another grieving family member. (This is one of our favourite ‘in memory’ at Christmas traditions.)
- 22. Make a scrapbook celebrating your loved one’s life and give it as a gift to someone who also loved him or her.
- 23. Frame your favourite photos of your loved one and give them as Christmas gifts.
- 24. Remembering loved ones at Christmas is easily accomplished by hanging a ribbon with charms containing their photos from the mistletoe.
- 25. Make a commemorative bracelet that you can give to family and friends. Make the bracelet extra special by creating your own beads using petals or leaves from your loved one’s favourite flower, plant, or tree.
‘In Memory’ at Christmas With Charitable Giving & Acts of Kindness
- 26. Donate your loved one’s personal belonging to a charity or make a cash donation in his or her honour.
- 27. Create a scholarship at a local school, technical college, or university in your loved one’s memory.
- 28. Remember loved ones at Christmas by asking your family members to purchase gifts in your loved one’s honour and place them under the Christmas tree. After Christmas, donate the gifts to a charity that was important to your loved one or to neighbours in need.
- 29. Decorate a wreath and donate it to a local hospital, nursing home, or homeless shelter in your loved one’s name.
- 30. Purchase your loved one’s favourite holiday story book and donate it to your local library or school. You can place a label in the front cover indicating that the book was donated in your loved one’s name.
- 31. Volunteer your time to help those in need during the Christmas holidays is a great way for remembering loved ones at Christmas. If your loved one was passionate about a particular cause, choose a related charity to volunteer for. As an example, if he or she was an animal lover, volunteer at a local animal shelter.
- 32. Invite someone who is is lonely to spend Christmas with you and your family. He or she will appreciate having people to spend the holidays with. This is beautiful ‘in memory’ at Christmas tradition.
- 33. Instead of the “Twelve Days of Christmas,” do “Twelve Days of Random Acts of Kindness” instead. Each day, do one random act of kindness in your loved one’s name, such as paying for the coffee of the person standing behind you in line, or sponsoring a child from another country in need of basic necessities. Kindness is a wonderful way to celebrate the positive impact your loved one had on the world.
- 34. Knit a scarf or pair of gloves in your loved one’s favourite colour and donate it to a local charity or homeless shelter. You can even create a tag that indicates that you made the gift in his or her memory.
More Great Ideas for Remembering Loved Ones at Christmas
- 35. During the holiday season, surround yourself with people that you love and who also loved the person you lost.
- 36. Sing your loved one’s favourite Christmas carol with your family on Christmas Eve or while carolling. If you play a musical instrument, learn to play the song and have your family sing along.
- 37. Create a Christmas music playlist full of your loved one’s favourite holiday songs. Have the music playing in the background during your family dinner.
- 38. Host a movie night with family and friends where you watch your loved one’s favourite holiday movie.
- 39. Watch old family home movies, especially of past Christmas holidays. It can be comforting to see your loved one, hear his or her voice, and relive wonderful memories.
- 40. Gather around the fireplace with a cup of steaming hot chocolate. Have everyone in the family write down a special memory of your loved one, or special messages to him or her. Then take turns letting the messages burn in the fire as a symbol of sending the messages onto your loved one.
- 41. Remember a loved one by taking a trip to a place that he or she always wanted to visit, or that was special to him or her.
- 42. Start a new tradition during the holidays where you and your family take part in your loved one’s favourite hobby. For example, if he or she loved board games, have a games night with family and friends in his or her memory.
- 43. Build a snowman in your yard and dress it in your loved one’s old scarf, hat and mittens. This is a great activity to get the kids involved in honouring your loved one’s memory.
- 44. Visit your loved one’s resting place and leave a Christmas wreath that incorporates family photographs and mementos.
- 45. Plant a memorial tree and dedicate it to your loved one. You can then decorate the outdoor tree each Christmas in memory of your loved one. (We have dedicated posts on planting memorial trees in Canada and Australia.)
Additional Resources for Remembering Loved Ones at Christmas
Did you know that Love Lives On has a comprehensive library of articles on grieving, as well as celebrating your loved one’s life in unique ways?
Here are some other popular posts on our website:
- Browse our collection of popular Christian Christmas poetry.
- Learn tips for managing grief during the holiday season.
- 100+ more celebration of life ideas.
- Browse our list of the best Christmas poems for kids.
Share Your ‘In Memory’ at Christmas Traditions With Us
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Do you and your family have special ‘in memory’ at Christmas traditions? If you do, please share them with us in the comments section below.
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You can also follow our Pinterest board for more inspiring ways to remember your loved one during the holiday season.