Here are some suggestions to help you this Christmas.

Do

  • Think about having a simpler meal if you can’t face cooking.
  • Find a special way of remembering your son or daughter.
  • If you have surviving children, ask them what they would like to do.
  • Light a candle in memory of your child.
  • Make your own Christmas cards instead of buying them. Underneath your names add kisses representing all your family members, including your son or daughter.
  • Think about hanging a new decoration somewhere special each year.
  • Buy presents early, possibly throughout the year, if you can’t face the shops.
  • Buy presents online to avoid the shops, or give money or vouchers instead.
  • Accept any offers of help – and don’t feel like a failure for doing so.
  • Try to find very good friends to spend time with, where you feel safe to cry, laugh and share memories together.
  • Try to spend at least a short time, just as a family, to allow each person to remember or share something about how they feel.
  • Feel free to change your family traditions, even years on – it’s never too late to do something different.
  • Spend some time writing down or typing how you feel and what you would like to say to your son or daughter – expressing yourself can be very cathartic.

Don’t

  • Feel you have to carry on with the same routines.
  • Be afraid of crying as you get out the decorations. Set aside a time to do this, as a family or on your own.
  • Cook a traditional dinner if you don’t want to.
  • Feel you have to stay at home – why not go somewhere different?
  • Be afraid to tell your friends what support you need.
  • Send any Christmas cards at all if you don’t want to.
  • Feel you have to be on your own.
  • Be pressurised into feeling you have to do anything – remember you only have to do as much as you want to do Next year you may well be stronger and able to think about other people.
  • Overdo it!
  • Worry if you feel it is all a total disaster. It is twelve months before it all happens again. There is time to think, talk to others and learn some new strategies to try and make next year a little easier.
  • Feel you have to be with other people!

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