From Bereavement and Support by Marylou Hughes
Taylor & Francis, 1995, Used with permission

  1. Get your fears about the holidays out of your system. Write them down. Know what they are.
  2. Plan ahead. Know what you want to do, are willing to do, or do not want to do.
  3. See the holidays as a series of small events instead of an endless stream of pain. You can handle one event at a time.
  4. Decide if you want to continue with family traditions, alter them, or start all over with your own traditions.
  5. Try to keep holiday planning and celebrations simple. Do not ask too much of yourself. Do not get too tired.
  6. Put some effort into seeing that someone else has a wonderful holiday. Visit nursing homes. Work on a holiday dinner at a charitable organization. Find satisfaction in doing for others.
  7. Go on a trip.
  8. Take a friend or relative to a spectator event, such as a play, concert, or sporting event.
  9. Talk about your feelings. Cry, laugh. Do not try to hide your honest emotions.
  10. Remember your responsibility to yourself. Take care of yourself!
  11. Shop early or by mail order if you want to avoid the holiday hoopla.
  12. Give yourself a nice present.
  13. Decide how you will answer all the cheerful greetings of the holiday season. When you hear “Happy Holidays!” you may want to say, “Thanks, happy holidays to you.” or “I’m trying.”
  14. Talk about the deceased if you want to. Look for positive memories.