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The holidays are a time for love, laughter and family. But this time of year can be much less joyful for those who have suffered a loss, specifically those who have lost their mother. Take hope: There is still joy to be found in the holiday season while honoring those who are no longer with us.

1. Continue Family Traditions

Don’t quit your favorite family traditions in an effort to avoid pain. One reader on the blog Nancy’s Point shared that her mother loved Chinese food. So, to honor her during the holidays, her family continued getting together to eat at her favorite Chinese restaurant.

It’s also important to create new traditions to honor your reshaped family. But only you can find the perfect mix of new and old holiday traditions.

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2. Find Ways To Include Your Loved One

If your mom loved baking a certain type of cookie during the holidays, consider baking that cookie and giving it a special name in her honor. This blogger still bakes her mother’s “Bobbie’s Pecan Bars.” Serving these special cookies will inspire stories and conversations about that family member, which will in turn bring smiles and laughter. It may seem difficult to speak of this person, but it’s even more difficult to pretend they never existed.

christmas cookies photo
Getty Images | Sean Gallup

3. Be Gentle With Yourself

Whether it’s your first or 10th holiday without your loved one, this season is still going to be difficult. Kate Spencer, author of “The Dead Moms Club: A Memoir about Death, Grief, and Surviving the Mother of All Losses,” suggests giving yourself a holiday escape plan. This could come in the form of a trip, a spa day or just a good old-fashioned Netflix Christmas movie binge. In a season during which there are a million things to get done and so many people to please, give yourself the space to take care of you. If you need to take 10 minutes and go sit by yourself in the midst of a holiday party, do it.

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This story originally appeared on Simplemost. Checkout Simplemost for other great tips and ideas to make the most out of life.


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