To Decorate or Not When You’re Grieving?

Image of a Christmas tree being decorated:

As with all things around the holiday when you’re grieving, it is ok to skip whatever you don’t feel up to doing. That includes all the decorations, but if you do want to decorate, here are some ideas to keep things simple, manageable, and meaningful.

While some want to use the same decorations they’ve always used, many decide to start over. Others change one thing like the lights, the garlands, or the ornaments. Some people will choose to eliminate all but the most meaningful ornaments. Some people keep it very simple by putting on the lights and tinsel and skipping the ornaments entirely. 

I like to go with the sentimental when it comes to ornaments and decorations. One I particularly like is to add ornaments that include photos of the person who died. You can buy empty plastic ornaments to which you can add a photo, glitter, beads, and ribbon.

One of my favorite stories about creative and sentimental decorations is the one about the daughter who decorated her Christmas tree with her mother’s costume jewelry. Yes, there was enough of it to decorate the whole tree. Now that has meaning. 

Personally, I have had 3 sentimental ornaments on my tree over the years. One was a satin rose I found in my grandmother’s sewing basket. One of my animals got a hold of that one so it’s no longer with us. The other 2 are still there. One is a bell I gave my mother when I was 5. I think it came with some perfume. The other is an old corsage my mother used to wear at Christmas. Both are pretty ratty looking at this point but they are still there. The bell is on the back of the tree and the corsage buried deep within the branches.

As with all things about grief and grieving, you are your own expert. That is just as true with the decorations you choose as anything else. Do what brings you comfort and ignore the rest.

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Photo Credit: Image by Elf-Moondance from Pixabay

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