Tag Archive | Christmas

70 Fun & Memorable Christmas Traditions

I absolutely love Christmas.

Growing up, my parents, especially my mom, made the holidays an extra special and magical time for my siblings and me. After I became a mom, I carried on some of the traditions that were passed down to me, and I also created some new ones for my own family.

Hope you enjoy doing some of these – my absolute favorite Christmas traditions – with your loved ones!

~Kim

1. Decorating the tree & home~
Whether you put up one tree or many, or whether your tree is themed, simple, or filled with homemade ornaments, a tree should be a unique display of a family’s personal tastes, Christmas fun, and warm memories. Put on some Christmas tunes and decorate to your hearts content!

2. Christmas baking party~
Invite family and/or close friends over and make some yummy treats.
The best part is sharing them with loved ones. If you know of someone who needs encouragement, why not surprise them with some cookies too!

3. Looking at lights in your pajamas~
This is one of my most treasured traditions. I fondly remember, as a child, my dad’s last Christmas and how I looked at Christmas lights in my pj’s sitting right next to him. I’ve done this tradition for a few decades ever since!

Put on some super comfy PJ’s, bring along or buy some hot chocolate, listen to Christmas music, and drive around looking at lights. This can include just your immediate family or you can invite many family members and friends. Afterwards, watch a Christmas movie complete with holiday snacks.

4. Play Christmas song charades~
Get some people together and give everybody three little pieces of paper and have them write down three of their favorite Christmas songs… Then put the pieces of paper in a big bowl and have each person take turns drawing one of the pieces of paper out of the bowl and act out – without any words – the Christmas song they drew out of the bowl. Be prepared to laugh…hard.

5. Christmas home video night~
Every year, record home videos of every Christmas and then watch those special videos on the nights leading up to Christmas. Our family now has 30 videos, so we start 30 nights before Christmas Day, watching one each evening. It’s fun to warmly remember Christmases past, watch the kiddos when they were little, see precious loved ones who now are in Heaven, and see how much everyone has changed.

6. Game night~
Invite family and friends over to play games, drink hot chocolate or eggnog, and eat Christmas snacks. Have each person bring their favorite holiday snack or dessert to share.

7. Snow ice cream~
If it snows during December, make snow ice cream and watch Frosty the Snowman. If it doesn’t snow, have an ice cream sundae bar. Maybe make some snowball cookies, too.

8. Surprise your grandparents & parents~
Visit grandparents and/or parents and surprise them with a Christmas poinsettia, a fruit basket, freshly baked cookies, a gift, or a holiday treat such as Starbucks or a holiday flavored milkshake. It’s a great way to thank them for all they have done (and still do) for you and the investment they made/make in your life!

9. Contribute to charity~
Teach your children the joy of giving (and model compassion) by providing gifts to those in need. Consider writing those in the military and teaching your children about the sacrifices our military makes. Buy some cookies and then stop by the police department or fire stations and bless them with cookies as you tell them thanks. If you know of a widow or widower, do something special for them. Consider doing Angel Tree and choose an angel who shares a family member’s birthday. Give to a favorite organization.

10. Scrapbook Night~
Take lots of holiday photos, get the photos developed, and make a scrapbook. If you have kids, have them create one too. You’ll love seeing their creativity.
Also, get out all of your old Christmas photos and reminisce about Christmases past.

11. Indoor picnic~
Make some traditional holiday food, picnic foods, or snack foods and have an indoor picnic while watching holiday movies or listening to Christmas music.

12. Tea party~
Make some fun holiday scones, tea sandwiches, and petite desserts and invite loved ones over for afternoon tea. You can also decorate Christmas sugar cookies at this event, too.

13. Tepee/Fort Day~
Make a teepee or fort in the middle of your living room with your kiddos, complete with decorations and lights, and then watch a Christmas movie.

14. Finger paint with pudding~
Make some vanilla pudding and color it with red food coloring and another batch with green food coloring and then “paint” on wax paper. Be sure to protect your table, floor, chairs, and clothing. It can be messy but a lot of fun! You can also just do vanilla pudding to avoid potential stains.

15. Make ornaments~
Google “make homemade Christmas ornaments” and get creative!

16. Make homemade Christmas play dough~
Make green, yellow, blue, brown, white, and red play dough and have fun with your kiddos creating Christmas themed creations.

17. Christmas Eve gift~
Start a tradition of opening up one present on Christmas Eve: a great book to read or warm pajamas!

18. Homemade hot chocolate & story~
Make hot chocolate together to drink while reading The Night Before Christmas or the Christmas story in the Bible on Christmas Eve.

19. Treats for Santa~
Leave out cookies and milk for Santa Claus…and don’t forget carrot sticks for Rudolph!

20. Attend Christmas church services~
Spend time praising God for His amazing gift and miracle of Christmas!

21. Caroling~
Go caroling in your neighborhood (or to a family member’s home) and pass out treats or a fruit basket to your neighbors or family.

22. Live theater/ballet night~
Get dressed up and go see the Nutcracker ballet, a Broadway musical, or a live performance of A Christmas Carol.

23. Peace by the tree~
Turn out the lights, except for your tree’s Christmas lights, and sit by your tree every night leading up to the New Year and spend time with God while listening to soft Christmas music.

24. Advent~
Do Advent with your kiddos. My favorite book to follow is, “Christ in Christmas: a family advent celebration”…very good book!

25. Christmas Date~
Make plans for a special Christmas date with your spouse and/or children (or nieces/nephews/siblings)….go buy a Christmas CD together and play it in the car, go out to lunch (let them choose the place), and then go to every store that interests your spouse and/or child and make a Christmas “wish list”. If you make this an annual tradition, your child/niece/nephew will have a great Christmas CD music collection when they’re an adult.

26. Have a family Christmas card party~
Buy or make Christmas cards, have the whole family sign each card, and send them to family and friends. When addressing the cards, pray for God’s blessings, provision, and favor on each family.

27. The Reason for the season~
Read all about the birth of Christ in the Bible to your children on Christmas Day and sing Happy Birthday to Jesus before opening presents. Tell your kiddos that everything they receive for Christmas is all because God has blessed them with His goodness.

28. Happy Birthday, Jesus~
Have a birthday party for Jesus, complete with a birthday cake.

29. Gifts for Jesus~
Give Jesus a birthday gift of your choice: do something special for another person, set aside time to read your Bible everyday, develop the fruits of the Spirit all year long, etc…think of something truly special and then do it in honor of Jesus as a special birthday gift to Him.

30. Thankful for family and friends~
Treat a family member or friend to a place that has holiday themed treats: lots of restaurants, bakeries, and coffee shops have special treats in December. Tell your loved one all of the ways you are thankful for them.

31. Time for a holiday getaway~
Take a trip to another destination and enjoy all the cool holiday fun. Disney World, Disneyland, Universal Studios, go ice skating at Hotel del Coronado (California), ICE at Gaylord hotels, Great Wolf Lodge, Silver Dollar City, the Biltmore Estate, New Orleans, New York City (best city ever😊), Chicago…the list of great places to go and enjoy holiday fun is endless! Of course, a staycation in your own hometown works, too!

32. Host an impromptu Christmas or New Year’s Eve party~ Have guests bring their favorite holiday snack, dessert, or beverage to share with everybody.

33. Movie night~ Host a Christmas movie night and provide popcorn and drinks.

34. Frozen fun~ Go ice skating, snow tubing, or sledding…or build a snowman or have a snowball fight!

35. Ornaments and memories~ Buy an ornament every week in December, as well as anytime you go on a trip or a vacation. As the years go on, you’ll end up with a great tree of memories.

36. Cookie exchange~ Host a cookie exchange where everyone who attends pre-makes their favorite Christmas cookie or treat, and brings copies of the recipe, and everyone exchanges treats.

37. Christmas karaoke~ Because singing around family and friends is a blasty blast!

38. Sing around the piano~ Find a piano, someone who can play it, and gather ’round for some wonderful Christmas fun!

39. Have a gingerbread house decorating contest with family and friends~ Lookup recipes online and don’t forget the toppings and decorations.

40. Check out local Christmas festivities, parades, events, etc~ There’s so much to do throughout the entire month of December. Lookup fun activities and enjoy them.

41. Photos with Santa~ Visit Santa Claus and get your pic taken with him. Be sure to write a letter to him, too, just for fun! For those who choose to not do the Santa thing, have a great discussion with your kiddos about the historical events of Christmas and the many traditions people enjoy.

42. Fresh tree~ Go to a tree farm and cut down your own Christmas tree. Be sure to know how to properly and safely care for it to extend it’s life.

43. Craft day~ Make a paper Christmas chain and count down the days until Christmas. Look online for craft ideas and have a relaxing, creative, fun night.

44. Family camp out~ Have a family “camp out” or sleepover in the living room. Watch a Christmas movie, enjoy Christmas treats, get a flashlight and make reindeer/animal shadows on the ceiling, do Christmas crafts, and make cookies at midnight.

45. Volunteer and give back~ Look for ways to be a blessing at your church or local charity, ring a bell for Salvation Army, or do another service project with your family. Consider making a donation or doing something special for a foster home or orphanage. Also, go through your closets and donate unused clothing.

46. Kindness to the elderly~ Visit a local nursing home and sing Christmas carols and hand out Christmas cards. They love visitors!

47. Play “Dirty Santa”~ Have family and friends buy a gift for $10 or less, get together and take turns having one person open a present…they can choose to open a gift from under the tree or if they like a gift someone else has already opened, they can “steal” it from them (this can happen up to 3 times).

48. Host a White Elephant gift exchange~ Everybody brings a gag gift and exchanges gifts.

49. Christmas Eve Watch Party~ Watch the news on Christmas Eve to “track” Santa Claus.

50. Make Christmas dough ornaments~ If you have children, make handprint ornaments. Be sure to make some for the grandparents, too 🙂

51. Tree Decorations~ Make popcorn garland and hang it on the tree. Candy canes are fun to hang on the tree, too!

52. Music nights~ Attend local Christmas concerts at churches, schools, and in the community.

53. Relax~ Take the time you need to rejuvenate and relax this holiday season. Some seasons, relaxing is better than all of the fun stuff.

54. Watch It’s a Wonderful Life~ Thank God for all the family and friends you have in your life…and also for loved ones who are now living with Him.

55. Thankfulness~ Every day in December, think of a person you are thankful for and something you are grateful for. Each day, call, write, or text the person you are thankful for to tell them why you are grateful for them.

56. Prayer cards~ Every Christmas card you receive, place it in a special basket and pray for the family who sent it. Keep the basket out all year and pray for each family throughout the new year, too!

57. Be a “Secret Santa”~ Secretly leave a gift at a loved one’s house.

58. Flower power~ Send flowers or a Christmas floral arrangement to your parents, grandparents, or someone who has invested in your life.

59. Childcare~ Offer to watch family member’s children so mom and dad can go on a Christmas date and get some holiday shopping done. If you happen to have extra money, pay for their date.

60. Host a special Christmas brunch or holiday dessert party~ Invite family and friends over for a yummy good time!

61. Make paper snowflakes~ Use your creativity to create beautiful snowflakes and hang them in your house.

62. Go out to a Mexican restaurant~ While waiting for dinner, order some tortillas. Fold the tortillas in half 2-3 times then bite them in various places. When you unfold it, you’ll have made a tortilla snowflake.

63. Play “I Spy” with Christmas decorations in your home~ This is fun for everyone – especially little people!

64. Make homemade marshmallows~ Give them out to family and friends along with a box of hot chocolate or a jar of homemade hot chocolate mix.

65. Remember family and friends who have lost a loved one or those who are going through a tough time in life~ Take the time to encourage them, call them, check on them, care about them, and include them. Christmas is especially difficult for new grievers, those who are experiencing loss, illness, or relationship conflict, and those who feel alone.

66. Don’t sweat the small stuff~ Christmas should be a FUN and MEMORABLE time of year – just say no to drama and avoid conflict. As a gift to God, yourself, and others, drop any resentments you have towards family and friends so you can start the New Year fresh with a renewed, healthy, light heart. Give grace where and when you can, but don’t foolishly open you or your family – especially children – up to damaging hurt or harm. Forgiveness doesn’t always require reconciliation in toxic situations…it just requires taking the offender off your hook and placing them in God’s hands.

67. Making memories is much more important than material things~ Do NOT go into debt. Keep things balanced. AVOID conflict over finances as much as possible! Be good to loved ones to the best of your ability, for sure, but stay within wise parameters of your budget. December is – and should be – a ton of fun, but January’s bills show up quickly! My absolute favorite gift to receive from anyone in my family is a heartfelt, handwritten letter. If you are financially challenged this year, consider writing a letter to your loved ones telling them how much they mean to you.

68. Find 3 families to host a Progressive Dinner night~ One house does appetizers, the next does the main course, and the third house does desserts. Ask holiday themed questions as a friendly game or ask people to share their favorite Christmas memory.

69. Take time out to nurture your relationships with God, your spouse & children, your parents, siblings, and the rest of your family~ In years to come, you will either say, “I’m so glad I took the time to do that” or “If only I had ____!” If you already have regrets, be kind to your heart and forgive yourself, realizing had you known better, you would’ve chosen or done better. Today is always a brand new opportunity to draw close to God, choose wisely, love others, and learn all you can to live the best life possible.

70. Cherish & treasure TRUE Gifts~ This Christmas is an absolute GIFT!!! Not only is it the celebration and birthday of Jesus, it is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to extravagantly love all of your family and friends.

Enjoy this holiday season to the FULLEST with God and loved ones! Make time for relaxation. Create the best memories possible. And always treasure the true Reason for the season!

Gratitude & Christmas blessings to you,

Kim🎄❤️

©2015 by Kim Niles. All rights reserved.

❤️If you were encouraged by this post, please feel free to share it to encourage others!

⭐️For more encouragement:

🎄Making peace with God: http://peacewithgod.net

❤️Getting Your Breath Back After Life Knocks It Out of You (Kim’s book): Click here for book

⭐️Connect on Facebook by “liking” page: http://www.facebook.com/GettingYourBreathBackAfterGrief

🎄Kim’s blog: http://www.griefbites.com

❤️FREE YouVersion reading plans:

1. Grief Bites: Finding Treasure In Hardships: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/912-grief-bites-finding-treasure-in-hardships

2. Grief Bites: Doubt Revealed: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/954-grief-bites-doubt-revealed

3. Grief Bites: A New Approach To Growing Through Grief https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/862-grief-bites

4. Grief Bites: Hope For The Holidays: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/1964-grief-bites-hope-for-the-holidays

5. Experiencing Holidays With Jesus: Christmas: http://bible.com/r/3V5

6. Experiencing Holidays With Jesus: Happy New Year!: http://bible.com/r/3Zv

7. Valentine’s Day: Experiencing Holidays With Jesus: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/14059-valentines-day-experiencing-holidays-with-jesus

⭐️All content on the Grief Bites blog and website is copyright protected material. Please ask for permission to copy, use, or print.

⭐️⭐️All content on the Grief Bites blog and website is for encouragement purposes only and is not in any way to be construed as medical, emotional, mental, relational, or psychological advice. We hope to serve as a bridge to encourage others by sharing our personal grief and life experiences. Please contact a qualified healthcare professional, mental health professional, or qualified pastor for guidance and advice.

🎄❤️🎄

Grief & Holidays—helpful tip #8

Today’s post is a tough one…a topic few grievers think about until much later when great damage has been done.

I hope this post will be read with an open heart, with the hope of preventing additional grief, guilt, and regrets.

With the grief experience of losing a treasured loved one, each and every griever has fully earned the right to “check out” of living life fully. And depending on how great the loss was, it is very, very easy to isolate yourself and avoid truly living life—and avoid enjoying remaining loved ones.

Grief is excruciatingly painful, can knock your breath out of you, leave you feeling as though you are “dead yet can’t die”, and can seriously crush your entire life. I truly have a huge heart of compassion for anyone who has to walk the confusing, debilitating, lonely and incredibly painful road of grief…especially around the holidays!

Today, as I was talking to my sister and mom, though, we got on the topic of how grief can impact and wreck not just holidays, but also relationships.

I wanted both of their perspectives on some grief topics since both have experienced extensive grief: my mom has experienced the deaths of her husband, daughter, sibling, parents, and others; my sister has experienced the deaths of two fiancés, our dad, sister, aunt, uncles, and all grandparents. As I’m writing a new book, I cherish and respect their input.

I’ve had two major mother influences in my life…my mom and my grandmother. Both experienced the death of a child – a loss I wish nobody would ever have to experience.

Holidays at my mom’s house and holidays at my grandmother’s home were polar opposite experiences.

Growing up, my grandmother was rarely fully present. Don’t get me wrong, she was a genuinely beautiful and kind soul, was always around us, and we saw her and my grandad every holiday…but she wasn’t “present.” She never made memories with us such as attending our school functions, sporting events, or life events, or doing usual activities such as baking cookies with us, or doing typical traditions such as decorating a Christmas tree, watching movies, or other holiday events. My sweet grandmother just didn’t have it in her to share in holiday joy with us or fully celebrate holidays. She stayed debilitatingly stagnant in her grief to where she was never able to create a “new normal” to enjoy the remaining good memories, remaining loved ones, and all that God, family, and life could have offered her.

By the way, I totally do not blame her. Grief is the worst! The death of a child is tremendously excruciating and tough to navigate through.

…And I don’t feel bad for myself or my siblings that our grandmother wasn’t “present”…I feel badly for all she missed out on and wish I would’ve had the opportunity to know her much better and to have had the opportunity to fully enjoy life and holidays with her. She missed out on a lot, and so did our family since she (understandably) “checked out” of living life. She sadly realized this the year before she died and told me she wished she had known how to “break through her grief” and wished she had “had more faith.”

Right before she passed away, my grandmother eventually became an incredible advocate for the elderly and helped many families. She was finally able to become active in her church and in many nursing homes in the area to use her gift of mercy toward others.

It’s a tough situation to finally choose to use your gifts after the death of a loved one.

My mom made the decision after my sister died, to be “all in” for her grandkids while growing up.

I’ll never know how she had the strength to do so, but she’s given her family the gift of great memories throughout the years. I greatly appreciate and admire my mom for working through her grief. I know it was not easy for her.

Because of my personal experiences, I always try to encourage grievers to fully grieve…absolutely fully grieve…and to be very mindful not to unknowingly create additional or worse grief, guilt, or regrets further down the road.

And doesn’t it suck that a griever even has to think about or deal with these issues whenever they’re already going through so much and are already in excruciating pain?

It unfortunately happens all the time. Very sad, very tough, but very true.

And it isn’t just in one or two families…many are going through the heartache of grief throughout this holiday season.

I received a phone call a few months ago that genuinely broke my heart. The caller had five children and she had lost her second oldest child several years ago. She was so heartbroken over her child’s death that she retreated strongly into her grief (what mother wouldn’t?), and although she truly did not mean to hurt her husband or other children…truly, she didn’t…she explained how her husband and remaining four children had very little to do with her since they felt she basically stopped being a wife and mother to them for about seven years. They all lived in the same house at the time of the death, then each child either moved away or got married, but the remaining kids described not only losing their brother but losing their mom as well. And it was very painful for them.

The husband was at the point of filing for divorce.

As I tried my best to bring hope, reconciliation, and relief to this sweet lady and her family (at the request of this poor mom), it was very, very difficult to get everybody to understand with empathy each other’s point of view.

The mom’s intention was never to not love and celebrate her husband and kids or miss so many life events, but nonetheless, the mom missed out on so much of their lives due to her anguish and grief.

And the kids, they didn’t have the capacity to fully feel empathy towards their mother because none were parents themselves. They didn’t understand the depths of her love and heartache.

The husband and kids needed much more empathy for their hurting wife/mom – and to realize you can’t just “snap out of it” while grieving someone you love and adore…and the wife/mom needed to find a way to show her family they are important to her.

I spent a lot of time helping this precious family who had been shattered by grief.

As my mom, sister, and I were talking about the topic of how to enjoy holidays once again, another situation came to mind.

My sister’s boyfriend had been in the hospital for 11 months after a tragic car accident, but our family had scheduled a family trip. She didn’t know what to choose…staying bedside of her boyfriend or go enjoy her family. It was a very tough choice for her, but she ultimately chose to go on our family vacation. It’s a very good thing she did because our oldest sister died right after we all got back from that trip.

Had my sister not found a balance in her harsh circumstances and grief…AND figured out a way to simultaneously grieve and still live, she would’ve been left with compounded and severe grief, guilt, and regrets from missing out on our very last vacation with our sister.

Today’s tip is: Please be careful not to miss out on making memories with loved ones who are still here, so you do not add further heartache, guilt or regrets to your life later on.

I personally think people should go out of their way to show extravagant grace to those who grieve, especially the first few years. Grievers NEED time to heal and absolutely NEED time and grace to figure out a new normal. It’s very challenging and tough! And if someone hasn’t been through deep grief, they just don’t fully understand.

The greater the love, the greater the grief…and the greater amount of time it takes to heal.

At the same time, I genuinely hate to see grievers go through additional grief due to regrets of not taking the time to love and enjoy their remaining loved ones who are still present.

I’ve seen marriages fall apart, adultery take place, children distancing themselves from their parents, families becoming greatly bitter, and a myriad of other painful scenarios transpire, all due to families not upholding empathy for each other..and not balancing grief.

Each person (and family) has to find their own unique balance. And it usually is a lot of trial and error as they figure it all out together.

It is so important to communicate, love each other, develop and show empathy for each other, and work as a team to figure it all out.

The lady who called me? I was able to help her, her husband, and her children find middle ground, empathy for each other, and some much needed restoration. (I’m thankful they gave me permission to use their story for this post to help others).

But there are many families who aren’t so lucky or blessed. Many marriages (up to 70-90%) and families fall apart and disintegrate due to grief. That’s why it is so incredibly vital to work together as a family to honor a deceased loved one’s life and to find how to still enjoy each other, celebrate with each other, and be genuinely present…in spite of grief attempting to rip families apart.

It’s a very unfair situation all the way around, but it is very important to cherish our remaining loved ones—and eventually celebrate holidays and life with them—as we walk through the storms of life together with our families.

Something my sister said shortly after our sister and her fiancé died made an impact on how I view this topic. Allow these words to powerfully speak to your heart:

Even though I am deeply grieving, the clock is still ticking, and that is why I choose to keep living…purposefully.”

Just to be clear, I am NOT undermining anybody’s pain. I am totally not suggesting that anyone should suck it up or get over their grief…because nobody, in any circumstance, should EVER feel pressure to suck it up or get over a loved one’s death.

You can never “get over” a loved one because love lives on post-death. Grief is debilitating and horrible…and very real. It has no easy fix, it is extremely personal to each one who grieves, and depending on how great the loss was, it can be difficult to find or experience genuine joy again. Very difficult.

The remainder of this week, and especially Christmas Day, please take the time to extravagantly love and enjoy your remaining loved ones. It may be challenging due to excruciating grief and a broken, shattered heart, but I think you’ll be grateful down the road that you did.

Your grief may be very fresh and you may not have it in you to fully do that this year…that is totally okay…just take baby steps. Eventually, the baby steps will add up and significantly prevent future heartache, guilt, or regrets.

I hope every person who is going through grief finds strength, compassion, empathy and understanding from others, and great comfort this holiday season.

May you all honor your grief and deceased treasured loved ones – and also find delight and joy in your remaining loved ones as you make special memories this Christmas season.

If you are frustrated by a loved one who is deeply grieving, please please please give them the gifts of mercy, compassion, love, understanding, and empathy. They’re not only doing the best they can at the moment, but they truly may be just trying to make it not only day by day…but literally minute to minute.

If you are the one who is going through deep grief, please be kind to your heart. I believe if someone has experienced a life-altering grief event, they should receive much empathy to figure out how to personally handle holidays in a way they comfortably can and a “lifetime pass” to honor their loved one throughout holidays. It takes time to truly be able to enjoy holidays and not just go through the motions. I pray you – and your loved ones – give you the gifts of love and patience as you figure it out.

Love each other, pray for each other, help each other, and encourage one another.

Life, remaining loved ones, and holidays are worth celebrating and enjoying in every way we can!

Gratitude, love, and many blessings,
🎄Kim

©2015 by Kim Niles. All rights reserved.

❤️If you were encouraged by this post, please feel free to share it to encourage others!

⭐️For more encouragement:

🎄Making peace with God: http://peacewithgod.net

❤️Getting Your Breath Back After Life Knocks It Out of You (Kim’s book): Click here for book

⭐️Connect on Facebook by “liking” page: http://www.facebook.com/GettingYourBreathBackAfterGrief

🎄Kim’s blog: http://www.griefbites.com

❤️FREE YouVersion reading plans:

1. Grief Bites: Finding Treasure In Hardships: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/912-grief-bites-finding-treasure-in-hardships

2. Grief Bites: Doubt Revealed: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/954-grief-bites-doubt-revealed

3. Grief Bites: A New Approach To Growing Through Grief https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/862-grief-bites

4. Grief Bites: Hope For The Holidays: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/1964-grief-bites-hope-for-the-holidays

5. Experiencing Holidays With Jesus: Christmas: http://bible.com/r/3V5

6. Experiencing Holidays With Jesus: Happy New Year!: http://bible.com/r/3Zv

7. Valentine’s Day: Experiencing Holidays With Jesus: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/14059-valentines-day-experiencing-holidays-with-jesus

⭐️All content on the Grief Bites blog and website is copyright protected material. Please ask for permission to copy, use, or print.

⭐️⭐️All content on the Grief Bites blog and website is for encouragement purposes only and is not in any way to be construed as medical, emotional, mental, relational, or psychological advice. We hope to serve as a bridge to encourage others by sharing our personal grief and life experiences. Please contact a qualified healthcare professional, mental health professional, or qualified pastor for guidance and advice.

🎄❤️🎄

Grief & Holidays—helpful tip #6

This week, one of my dearest friends inspired me. Last year, her mom passed away and this week held the one year anniversary date of her mother’s Homegoing.

Every griever knows how incredibly painful the “firsts” of grief are. Especially the anniversary of the death date, as well as the holidays.

I hosted a special holiday coffee at my house for my friend and it happened to fall on her sweet mom’s one year anniversary death date.

After offering to reschedule our coffee date, my sweet friend said she still wanted to have coffee at my house.

As we enjoyed having coffee together and catching up, something my friend said deeply inspired me…she said, “Today is a painful day, but I’m going to spend the day doing things in my mom’s honor”—then she said, “I’m actually looking forward to it!”

The first thing she did was pay the bill for the car behind her at a drive thru. She told the cashier to share with the person how today was the first anniversary of her mom’s death and she was paying the tab in her mother’s honor. It genuinely brought my friend’s heart so much unexpected joy.

My helpful holiday tip for today is: Look for ways you can honor, celebrate, and remember your loved one by being a blessing to others.

The Christmas season is now in full swing! With few days left until Christmas, we all have these few precious days to remember and honor a loved one in a meaningful, special way. We also have these few days until Christmas to be an extra blessing to our family, friends, and even anonymously to strangers.

During this week, consider doing something special in memory of your loved one or for others:

1. Plant a tree in your loved one’s memory to honor them. You can also choose to decorate the tree with lights and Christmas decorations in the years to come. If buying and planting a tree isn’t feasible, how about decorating your loved one’s grave? Or purchase a small tabletop artificial Christmas tree to decorate in your loved one’s honor and then bless someone with it? (You can also purchase an identical 2nd tree for your own home to decorate in your loved one’s honor, too!)

2. Anonymously pay for the person’s order behind you if you’re in a drive thru or at a restaurant. You can also tell the cashier/waitress to tell the person you’re doing this in honor of your loved one.

3. Make a donation to a local or national charity in their name. Maybe your loved one had a favorite charity you can donate to.

4. Bake your loved one’s favorite treats or make up a fruit basket and give it to someone you know who is discouraged or going through grief. The baked treats can be store bought, too!

5. Buy a gift you would’ve bought your loved one and then bless one of their favorite family members or friends with the gift.

6. Think of an activity your loved one enjoyed doing while they were alive, and then give that experience as a gift to someone else (or invite them to do the experience with you). You can also give away an experience they wanted to do but never were able to. Was there something they wanted to do for Christmas or somewhere they wanted to go but never had the chance?

I know a lady who gave a brand new skateboard to her nephew in honor of her son who loved extreme sports.

I have a very dear friend in my grief group who had planned to take his wife to a new movie theater. He gave my husband and me a gift certificate to the movie theater and shared how he and his wife planned to go there and told us to enjoy our gift in their honor. His gift meant so very much to me!

7. Continue to shop for your loved one and donate the gifts to whoever God places on your heart. For example: If you had a precious child who died, consider buying your child the toys/gifts you normally would have given them, then give those gifts to a child who is in need through the Salvation Army or Angel Tree. You can also give them to a family member or friend, too. I still buy a gift for my sister and give it anonymously to someone every year.

8. Anonymously pre-pay for someone’s gas at the gas station. Go to the attendant and buy a gift card with cash, explain what you’re doing, and tell them to give the gas gift card to the next person who looks like they could use it or to someone who may need cheering up.

9. If you know of someone who is going through grief, consider being their “Secret Santa.” Send them a gift card to your loved one’s favorite restaurant, buy and send them your loved one’s favorite book or CD (or other small gift) with a note telling them they’re cared about.

10. If your loved one left behind children, consider doing something special for them. You could write them a nice card or verbally share wonderful or funny stories about their parent, you could buy them a gift you think their parent might’ve bought for them, or take them out for dinner.

Just because our loved one(s) died, doesn’t mean we can no longer remember, celebrate, and honor them, and actively love them.

If you don’t feel up to doing any of these ideas, consider doing something more peaceful such as inviting a family member or friend to attend a quiet Christmas service at church

Think of something you can do today to include your loved one’s precious memory into your holiday traditions!

Some will very much enjoy doing these things while others may not. If you don’t feel up to doing any of these ideas, then do not force yourself to do them. Grief takes time and everybody grieves differently. Always be kind to yourself!❤️

Praying for all who are struggling and hurting today! I’m truly sorry for your heartache. May these tips bring your heart comfort, joy, peace, and HOPE!

Gratitude & many blessings,
Kim

©2015 by Kim Niles. All rights reserved.

❤️If you were encouraged by this post, please feel free to share it to encourage others!

⭐️For more encouragement:

🎄Making peace with God: http://peacewithgod.net

❤️Getting Your Breath Back After Life Knocks It Out of You (Kim’s book): Click here for book

⭐️Connect on Facebook by “liking” page: http://www.facebook.com/GettingYourBreathBackAfterGrief

🎄Kim’s blog: http://www.griefbites.com

❤️FREE YouVersion reading plans:

1. Grief Bites: Finding Treasure In Hardships: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/912-grief-bites-finding-treasure-in-hardships

2. Grief Bites: Doubt Revealed: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/954-grief-bites-doubt-revealed

3. Grief Bites: A New Approach To Growing Through Grief https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/862-grief-bites

4. Grief Bites: Hope For The Holidays: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/1964-grief-bites-hope-for-the-holidays

5. Experiencing Holidays With Jesus: Christmas: http://bible.com/r/3V5

6. Experiencing Holidays With Jesus: Happy New Year!: http://bible.com/r/3Zv

7. Valentine’s Day: Experiencing Holidays With Jesus: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/14059-valentines-day-experiencing-holidays-with-jesus

⭐️All content on the Grief Bites blog and website is copyright protected material. Please ask for permission to copy, use, or print.

⭐️⭐️All content on the Grief Bites blog and website is for encouragement purposes only and is not in any way to be construed as medical, emotional, mental, relational, or psychological advice. We hope to serve as a bridge to encourage others by sharing our personal grief and life experiences. Please contact a qualified healthcare professional, mental health professional, or qualified pastor for guidance and advice.

🎄❤️🎄

Grief & Holidays—helpful tip #5

Going through grief during the holidays brings many challenges—seen and unforeseen.

Grief, especially during the Christmas season, can feel like a minefield of the soul. Step left, and you’re okay…but step right, and an explosion of memories and heartache can blow right up in your hurting heart.

Today’s holiday grief tip is: Watch out for, plan for, and be mindful of triggers.

While going through deep grief, there usually isn’t much of a desire to do anything at all, but with a few preparations, many situations that can present further heartache can be pre-planned for, contained, or avoided.

Whether you have experienced the death of a treasured loved one, are going through illness, a divorce, or family conflict, or are going through another heartbreaking loss, grief during the holidays can certainly bite. Grief can bring many unwanted surprises and additional heartache that hasn’t been planned for. It also can be a challenge to balance grief, while also honoring and treasuring remaining loved ones. Hopefully, today’s tip can help prevent further grief so the holidays are more peaceful.

Some people who are deep in grief have the full ability to do all of the usual Christmas traditions and activities they’ve always enjoyed doing…this even brings great comfort to some. For others, doing the usual activities and traditions feel as though their heart is being pierced with an indescribable pain. During grief, triggers can suddenly pop up and hurt very badly – with both scenarios.

Sometimes, there’s a need for a griever to change things up so they can figure out how to enjoy the holidays once again. No choices need to be permanent or “set in stone”…change may be needed just for this year.

No matter which you are experiencing, if you’re needing to change things up or keep things exactly as they are, here’s a list of questions to help you navigate through the holidays (and triggers) as comfortably as possible:

  1. Traditions~ What triggers do you think have the potential to surprise you? Is it putting up your usual ornaments or doing your usual traditions that previously held great sentimental memories? Is it baking your treasured loved one’s favorite recipe or a baked good they loved? Will doing these things trigger feelings of fond remembrance…or will they trigger deeper heartache? Also, consider places that are tied to traditions. For example, if you recently lost a spouse, and you always went to get coffee or a meal together at a specific coffeehouse or restaurant, will you feel comfortable or uncomfortable seeing other couples at the same place? Or if you lost a child, please consider if it will be too hard to go to the mall and see children there with their parents? Sometimes, it is hard for grievers to see all of the joy-filled couples or families while out shopping or dining. Shopping online or getting take-out can truly be a griever’s best friend during the holidays. Consider all of the traditions that you treasure and then decide which you would like to do, and which ones to wait until next year to do.💕
  2. Events~ What events do you feel you could enjoy, and what events might prove to be too painful to attend this year? What events do you think can provide you with feelings of love, encouragement, and hope? What events do you feel may no longer interest you? Events should make you feel better, and definitely not worse. Look out for any events that you feel would simply be too hard to attend this year.
  3. Relationships~ Who has been helpful or encouraging to you in your grief? Are there loved ones in your life who don’t quite understand grief or what you’re going through? Is there anyone in your life who you can ask for extra support this holiday season? Grief, sadly, reveals the depth of majority of a griever’s relationships. Relationships can be a blessing, or they can definitely become challenging during times of grief. Communication can greatly help to prevent confusion and heartache. What if you’re already at a family gathering or a friend’s holiday party and you begin to feel uncomfortable? Sometimes, it can be a necessity to go to a different room at gatherings or events if you’ve tried to communicate with loved ones about your grief, yet they continue to compound your grief and cause further conflict. Ideally, do everything possible to keep and maintain peace, but sometimes, it may be best to distance yourself from additional hurt by preventing relational triggers…and instead, primarily and purposely be around those who will offer you kindness and support at family gatherings or friend events. Avoid conflict, especially with family, as much as possible. And always realize beforehand that emotions can be heightened during times of grief so preparation may be needed. Whatever choices are made, do everything in love.
  4. Usual enjoyments~ There are so many things to savor and enjoy during the holidays…all of the sights, sounds, fragrances, tastes, memories, and joys…but after grief shows up, be prepared that these things can now potentially trigger intense feelings of loss and heartache. What favorite holiday enjoyments could possibly be a trigger for you this year? For example: What Christmas songs can bring sadness this season? You might want to make a playlist that you create to avoid hearing songs that will intensify grief. Think about the things you’ve previously enjoyed and decide which you’ll want to savor and enjoy…or not. There’s nothing wrong with waiting until next year to try to enjoy familiar holiday enjoyments if they prove to be too hard, sad, or daunting this year.
  5. Church~ If you’re used to attending church holiday services, or if you’ve never attended, I wholeheartedly encourage you to do so. Christmas services are an amazing experience every year! Be prepared, however, that they may be much more emotional this year. When going through grief, feelings can be very intense. If you’ve allowed God to guide you and encourage you through your grief, attending Christmas services will be a much more meaningful experience for you. After my sister’s fiancé passed away, she was surprised to find that heavy tears surfaced out of nowhere as the church band played. Be prepared for possibly more intense feelings during church services this time of year. If you know you’ll feel uncomfortable attending services, check to see if your church offers online services. Many churches do. Saddleback, Elevation, and Life.Church all have fantastic online Christmas services. Sometimes, it is very helpful to go ahead and attend church in person so you can be around others and not feel so isolated or alone. There is no wrong or right answer, so do whatever brings you and your family the most peace.

Being mindful of triggers definitely doesn’t mean to avoid Christmas activities or enjoying your loved ones this year. There are so many wonderful things about the Christmas season that can bring unimaginable joy to your heart! Just being prepared, as well as a little planning, can ensure a much more relaxed, comfortable, more enjoyable, and peace-filled holiday season.

Wishing everybody love, peace, encouragement, healing ,and HOPE throughout this beautiful season and the new year!

Gratitude & many blessings,

Kim

©2015 by Kim Niles. All rights reserved.

❤️If you were encouraged by this post, please feel free to share it to encourage others!

⭐️For more encouragement:

❤️Making peace with God: http://peacewithgod.net

❤️Getting Your Breath Back After Life Knocks It Out of You (Kim’s book): Click here for book

❤️Connect on Facebook by “liking” page: http://www.facebook.com/GettingYourBreathBackAfterGrief

❤️Kim’s blog: http://www.griefbites.com

❤️FREE YouVersion reading plans:

1. Grief Bites: Finding Treasure In Hardships: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/912-grief-bites-finding-treasure-in-hardships

2. Grief Bites: Doubt Revealed: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/954-grief-bites-doubt-revealed

3. Grief Bites: A New Approach To Growing Through Grief https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/862-grief-bites

4. Grief Bites: Hope For The Holidays: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/1964-grief-bites-hope-for-the-holidays

5. NEW!🎄Experiencing The Holidays With Jesus: Christmas~ http://bible.com/r/3V5

⭐️All content on the Grief Bites blog and website is copyright protected material. Please ask for permission to copy, use, or print.

⭐️⭐️All content on the Grief Bites blog and website is for encouragement purposes only and is not in any way to be construed as medical, emotional, mental, relational, or psychological advice. We hope to serve as a bridge to encourage others by sharing our personal grief and life experiences. Please contact a qualified healthcare professional, mental health professional, or qualified pastor for guidance

My First Christmas In Heaven

❤️🎄MY FIRST CHRISTMAS IN HEAVEN🎄❤️

I see the countless Christmas trees around the world below,  

With tiny lights, like Heaven’s stars, reflecting on the snow

The sight is so spectacular, please wipe away that tear. 

For I am spending Christmas with Jesus Christ this year.

I hear the many Christmas songs, that people hold so dear,

But the sounds of music can’t compare with the Christmas choir up here.

I have no words to tell you, the joy their voices bring, 

For it is beyond description, to hear the angels sing.

I can’t tell you of the splendor, Or the peace here in this place.

Can you just imagine Christmas, with our Savior face to face?

I’ll ask Him to light and comfort your spirit. As I tell Him of your love.

So then pray for one another, As you lift your eyes above.

Please let your heart be joyful, and allow your spirit to sing.

For I’m spending Christmas in Heaven, and I’m walking with the King.

I know how much you miss me, I see the pain inside your heart. 

But I am not so far away, We really aren’t apart.

So be happy for me, dear ones, You know I hold you dear. 

And be glad I’m spending Christmas with Jesus Christ this year.

I sent you each a special gift, from my heavenly home above. 

I sent you each a memory of my undying love.

After all, love is a gift more precious than pure gold. 

It was always most important in the stories Jesus told.

Please love and keep each other, just as my Father said to do. 

For I can’t count the blessings or the love He has for each of you.

So have a Merry Christmas and please wipe away that tear,

Remember, I am spending Christmas with Jesus Christ this year!

~Author Unknown

Praying everyone has a Christmas season filled with love, comfort, encouragement, and HOPE!

Gratitude & blessings,

Kim

❤️If you were encouraged by this post, please feel free to share it to encourage others!

⭐️For more encouragement:

🎄Making peace with God: http://peacewithgod.net

❤️Getting Your Breath Back After Life Knocks It Out of You (Kim’s book): Click here for book

⭐️Connect on Facebook by “liking” page: http://www.facebook.com/GettingYourBreathBackAfterGrief

🎄Kim’s blog: http://www.griefbites.com

❤️FREE YouVersion reading plans:

1. Grief Bites: Finding Treasure In Hardships: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/912-grief-bites-finding-treasure-in-hardships

2. Grief Bites: Doubt Revealed: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/954-grief-bites-doubt-revealed

3. Grief Bites: A New Approach To Growing Through Grief https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/862-grief-bites

4. Grief Bites: Hope For The Holidays: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/1964-grief-bites-hope-for-the-holidays

5. Experiencing Holidays With Jesus: Christmas: http://bible.com/r/3V5

6. Experiencing Holidays With Jesus: Happy New Year!: http://bible.com/r/3Zv

7. Valentine’s Day: Experiencing Holidays With Jesus: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/14059-valentines-day-experiencing-holidays-with-jesus

⭐️All content on the Grief Bites blog and website is copyright protected material. Please ask for permission to copy, use, or print.

⭐️⭐️All content on the Grief Bites blog and website is for encouragement purposes only and is not in any way to be construed as medical, emotional, mental, relational, or psychological advice. We hope to serve as a bridge to encourage others by sharing our personal grief and life experiences. Please contact a qualified healthcare professional, mental health professional, or qualified pastor for guidance and advice.

🎄❤️🎄

Grief & Holidays—helpful tip #3

Today’s tip: It is totally okay to remember and honor your treasured loved one.

After losing a loved one, so many questions come to mind…

  • How am I going to make it through this holiday season without my loved one?”
  • “Is it okay to remember my loved one or talk about them during the holidays?”
  • “How do I go about remembering and honoring my loved one throughout the Christmas season?

There’s nothing more painful around the holidays than to no longer have a treasured loved one with you (or experience devastating loss), and yet try to salvage the holiday season and remember a precious loved one.

The memories from Christmases past were some of the best memories a griever has experienced in life, but now the realization of not having their loved one here to enjoy the holidays with is so painful to deal with.

It can be a balancing act for a griever to authentically grieve and remember their deceased treasured loved one(s), while also creating meaningful memories with their remaining loved ones—it’s a balance all grievers will need to decide and create for themselves and their family.

Be kind to yourself and those closest to you, and do what you (and your family) need to do to get through the holidays. If you feel like remembering and honoring your treasured loved one, then absolutely do so…and do not feel bad about it. You loved them so much while they were with you…and your love is still so very great for your loved one today! Never apologize – or feel bad – for remembering and honoring those you love…deceased or living!

Ask God to guide and direct you throughout your grief, to comfort you, and to give you fresh ideas of how to remember and honor your loved one during the Christmas season.

Here are 10 ideas for remembering and honoring your cherished loved one this holiday season:

  1. Think of your loved one’s favorite holiday tradition and then do that special tradition in their honor. You may even choose to invite your loved one’s closest family members and friends to do this special tradition with you.
  2. Light a memory candle in honor of your loved one. You can share with others what your special candle signifies, or you can tuck the special meaning privately in your heart.
  3. Place a treasured photo in a special picture frame and place it out for all to see.
  4. Do an activity (if you feel ready and comfortable) that you and your loved one specifically enjoyed doing together. My sister and I loved baking together, so throughout the years, I have hosted a “cookie party” and baked in her memory. I pass out the treats to family, good friends, and those who I know need encouragement.
  5. If certain Christmas songs remind you of your loved one, make a playlist of those songs and listen to them when you miss your loved one most. The first few years after my sister died, it was very painful to hear certain songs – especially Feliz Navidad which was her favorite. Now when it comes on, I take it as a loving reminder of how important my sister was to me…I think of it as my sister’s way of saying, “hello” from Heaven and a way of God allowing my sister to be a special part of my holidays.
  6. Share and exchange past special holiday memories of your loved one with understanding family members and close friends. Be sure to share funny stories, too!
  7. Make a scrapbook, including important mementos, special stories, and treasured photos of your loved one. Write an annual Christmas note to your loved one and tuck it somewhere safe inside the scrapbook. Anytime you miss them, take out the scrapbook and look at it.
  8. Donate a special gift, participate in Angel Tree, volunteer your time, or make a donation to your loved one’s favorite charity in your loved one’s name and honor. If you do Angel Tree, try to find an angel that has the same birthday as your loved one.
  9. Watch old home videos or enjoy special photos of your loved one. These truly can eventually be a source of great comfort.
  10. Light the Christmas tree, turn out the lights, play some soft Christmas music, get some hot chocolate, and have a special time with God, pouring your heart out to Him. Talk to God about your treasured loved one and how much you miss them, your remaining loved ones on earth, your hurts, concerns, and cares, and everything else that is on your heart and mind. God truly cares about your pain.

Holidays can be a very challenging and sad time after the death of a loved one (or while going through loss or life challenges). I hope these 10 ideas are a source of comfort, help, and encouragement to you this holiday season.

Praying all who are hurting will find genuine compassion, support, love, and encouragement this holiday season!

Gratitude and blessings,
Kim

©2015 by Kim Niles. All rights reserved.

❤️If you were encouraged by this post, please feel free to share it to encourage others!

⭐️For more encouragement:

🎄Making peace with God: http://peacewithgod.net

❤️Getting Your Breath Back After Life Knocks It Out of You (Kim’s book): Click here for book

⭐️Connect on Facebook by “liking” page: http://www.facebook.com/GettingYourBreathBackAfterGrief

🎄Kim’s blog: http://www.griefbites.com

❤️FREE YouVersion reading plans:

1. Grief Bites: Finding Treasure In Hardships: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/912-grief-bites-finding-treasure-in-hardships

2. Grief Bites: Doubt Revealed: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/954-grief-bites-doubt-revealed

3. Grief Bites: A New Approach To Growing Through Grief https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/862-grief-bites

4. Grief Bites: Hope For The Holidays: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/1964-grief-bites-hope-for-the-holidays

5. Experiencing Holidays With Jesus: Christmas: http://bible.com/r/3V5

6. Experiencing Holidays With Jesus: Happy New Year!: http://bible.com/r/3Zv

7. Valentine’s Day: Experiencing Holidays With Jesus: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/14059-valentines-day-experiencing-holidays-with-jesus

⭐️All content on the Grief Bites blog and website is copyright protected material. Please ask for permission to copy, use, or print.

⭐️⭐️All content on the Grief Bites blog and website is for encouragement purposes only and is not in any way to be construed as medical, emotional, mental, relational, or psychological advice. We hope to serve as a bridge to encourage others by sharing our personal grief and life experiences. Please contact a qualified healthcare professional, mental health professional, or qualified pastor for guidance and advice.

🎄❤️🎄

Grief & Holidays—helpful tip #2

Everyone dreams of having the most wonderful, pie-in-the-sky-high, beautiful, and memorable Christmas season.

The reality for many is presently not so beautiful, memorable or wonderful though…

  • some have lost a treasured loved one and are deeply missing them
  • some are going through a divorce, adultery issues, or terrible marital problems
  • some are going through intense family or extended family conflict
  • some have a spouse or a child who is incarcerated
  • some are experiencing “blended” family challenges
  • some are estranged from a parent, child, sibling, or other important family member
  • some are going through financial devastation or hardships
  • some are experiencing a serious illness or the illness of a loved one
  • some have lost a precious child through death or a miscarriage 
  • some have a spouse, child, or family member away in the military, or who does mission work, or travels longterm for work
  • some have major in-law issues or a difficult family member
  • some recently broke up with a fiance or significant other 
  • some are going through a “prodigal” situation, deep rebellion, or addiction issues with a spouse or child
  • some are going through infertility issues and desperately want a child…or are mourning an abortion or regret placing their baby for adoption
  • or some are experiencing other major grief experiences or life challenges

There are many who are hurting, so the holidays turn from being a joyful time of expectation into being a dreaded time of devastation.

My holiday tip today is:

Grieve the loss of not being able to enjoy the holidays how you once knew them, or how you wish they could be. You are NOT selfish for missing someone or mourning the fact that holidays are a sad time for you.

Holidays can be very challenging when life is painful or chaotic, or especially after experiencing a major loss. When life knocks the breath out of you, it sometimes becomes necessary to learn how to breathe again…and that may include learning how to navigate through the holidays and life after a major loss has taken place.

You may not feel like the cheeriest elf on the block…and that’s totally okay. It takes time to experience happiness and joy after life crushes and devastates you.

Everybody has a holiday “ideal” – how we wish the holidays could be.

It doesn’t seem like it would help, but it truly brings peace as we choose to mourn the loss of holidays as we wish them to be.

As we choose to create a new holiday season that is kind to our heart, brings hope and comfort to us and our remaining loved ones, and honors our grief…and choose to lean into God’s heart…a peaceful holiday season is possible.

Even through thick grief, we truly have the ability to create meaningful holidays. They might not hold the same joy you once knew, but they can be special and meaningful once again.

The next tips I share in my next blog post will share specific ideas on how to navigate through the holidays during times of grief, yet still create a meaningful holiday season.

Praying right now for everybody who is going through trials, challenges, conflicts, and grief. I am genuinely sorry for your heartache and pain!

May you all choose to create and have a peaceful, meaningful, special holiday season filled with memorable moments.

Gratitude & blessings,

Kim

©2015 Kim Niles of Grief Bites. All rights reserved.

❤️If you were encouraged by this post, please feel free to share it to encourage others!

⭐️For more encouragement:

🎄Making peace with God: http://peacewithgod.net

❤️Getting Your Breath Back After Life Knocks It Out of You (Kim’s book): Click here for book

⭐️Connect on Facebook by “liking” page: http://www.facebook.com/GettingYourBreathBackAfterGrief

🎄Kim’s blog: http://www.griefbites.com

❤️FREE YouVersion reading plans:

1. Grief Bites: Finding Treasure In Hardships: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/912-grief-bites-finding-treasure-in-hardships

2. Grief Bites: Doubt Revealed: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/954-grief-bites-doubt-revealed

3. Grief Bites: A New Approach To Growing Through Grief https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/862-grief-bites

4. Grief Bites: Hope For The Holidays: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/1964-grief-bites-hope-for-the-holidays

5. Experiencing Holidays With Jesus: Christmas: http://bible.com/r/3V5

6. Experiencing Holidays With Jesus: Happy New Year!: http://bible.com/r/3Zv

7. Valentine’s Day: Experiencing Holidays With Jesus: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/14059-valentines-day-experiencing-holidays-with-jesus

⭐️All content on the Grief Bites blog and website is copyright protected material. Please ask for permission to copy, use, or print.

⭐️⭐️All content on the Grief Bites blog and website is for encouragement purposes only and is not in any way to be construed as medical, emotional, mental, relational, or psychological advice. We hope to serve as a bridge to encourage others by sharing our personal grief and life experiences. Please contact a qualified healthcare professional, mental health professional, or qualified pastor for guidance and advice.

🎄❤️🎄