Often the anticipation of Christmas, like other anniversaries, is more painful than the day itself when it finally arrives.

  1. For the first Christmas, don’t try to recreate the old rituals. Do something completely different. If possible, get away somewhere. Even if it’s a disaster, it will be a different sort of disaster!

  2. You might want to make your own Christmas cards that say what you want to say.

  3. You might find it a time to share your story with less close friends. It may be therapeutic to write it all down – don’t be afraid to send round a printed letter to those who you would normally send cards to.

  4. Consider using the money you would have spent on presents to support a worthwhile cause your loved one cared about.

  5. It may be helpful to avoid the shops as much as possible – it can make Christmas feel more empty and shallow.

  6. Finally, if you have a few free days, try to use them productively – don’t just sit and brood. For example:

  • You could tackle small jobs you’ve been putting off around the house.

  • Or, you could sit down and sort through your old bills and bank statements – and shred the bills that are over a year old (you’d be amazed how quickly paper mounts up).

  • You may want to take everything out of the kitchen cupboards and get rid of anything that’s out of date and been lurking in there for years. Enjoy your sense of achievement for having got something done.

7. Remember, you don’t have to do anything!

With thanks to Care for the Family UK