Wishing everyone a joyous festive season

18 December 2020
Christmas tree display at remembrance event

"Christmas is not a date. It is a state of mind."

– Mary Ellen Chase

The festive season is almost upon us and as with everything in 2020, it’s looking a little different this year. But there are still plenty of ways to bring the cheer and feel those familiar connections of the holiday season, even if we are all a little spread out and closer to home this season.

This is a time to reflect upon the moments of light, joy and achievement from the year. The times when we stood together as a community and lifted one another up. The times when we made meaningful connections, even if it was over a computer screen or via a phone call. How we persevered through some of the biggest challenges this world has seen in recent years, and yet we stay connected and we keep moving forward.

We may be far apart, we may not be able to see all of our loved ones as we would usually plan, but we can still create special moments.

For some of you, it may be the first festive season after the loss of a loved one. This can be a challenging time and when we think of them more than ever. It can also be a time to remember and cherish the moments that you did have and use this time to honour their memory.

Whether your loved ones are near or far, here are some ways to celebrate and connect with the loved ones in your life this festive season.

Have a virtual gathering

We may all be a bit video conferenced out by the end of the year, but for this special season, it could be a lovely way to celebrate with those loved ones who are far away.

Whether it’s a family trivia game, a virtual dance party, or you even decide to all sit down to eat at the same time with your screen in the background, a virtual gathering allows you to be together even when you’re apart.

Get creative and have fun with it! It is the festive season after all.

Share a special hour

Although there are set special days in the festive season, when we’re away from our loved ones, our celebrations may take place at different times. Why not choose one hour where you all take some time to think of friends, family and those in your life who you love. You could arrange at 10 am on a certain day, that no matter where you are and how you’re celebrating, you spend that time reflecting upon your relationships with those people.

You could take a walk, you could sit together with those who you live with, you could have a moment on your own to journal. There’s something pretty magical about knowing that even though you can’t see or hear someone, that you are connected by this special moment in time.

This can also be a lovely way to honour and remember those loved ones who are no longer with us, and include them in this moment of connection and shared celebration.

Sing a song

Singing always brings us together. Is there a favourite festive song that your family and friends would always sing? This year, you can play that song in your home – loud and proud – and sing along with it to feel more connected to those who are not with you for the regular celebrations.

Music is such a great connector. You could even have a shared playlist with other loved ones that you all choose to play on a certain day of celebration to feel as though you’re together even if you are apart.

Songs we love have a great healing power and a way to help us live in the moment and go with the flow. So plan a few special songs this festive season to put you in the mood.

Send a letter or gift

Of course, this is something we generally do every festive season, but this year the giving and receiving of gifts has been made even more important. Heading to the letterbox to find a package from a friend or family member can be such a joy. Making an effort this festive season to send something and let someone know you’re thinking of them could be a magical way to bring us all closer.

Especially for a grieving loved one who may not be sharing the festive season with their special someone. Sending a shower of love through cards and gifts that say “we are thinking of you” can help them to feel less alone at this particularly festive time of year.

Light a candle

For those we are honouring and celebrating this year, a candle can be the perfect way to include them in the festive season. Candles have a beautiful way of helping us to reflect and remember our loved ones. There’s a warmth and an energy that they give off, helping us to feel as though the person is really there with us.

Perhaps you can have photos of your loved ones around and photos to feel their presence during the festive season. You may even have a particular scent that reminds you of this time with your loved ones and that can help to feel even more connected to them.

However you choose to celebrate, honour and remember this festive season, know that you can find ways to feel connected to your loved ones.

We wish you all a safe, healthy and happy holidays.

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