Helpful Holiday Ideas for Widows
The first Christmas I had without my husband brought me shudders and shivers. There was a chill buried in my bones that I couldn’t warm up and an ache in my inner being that was inconsolable. My treasured traditions, anticipations, and more parts of me died when he did. As hard as I found it to be around ‘our people’ and ‘our places,’ I know it was equally as hard to be around me in that kind of despair.
Retrospectively, not all of these goosebumps were anxiousness or cold-related. In all truth, the Christmas holiday was one of the best times in my grief for the Holy Spirit-given chills! That year, I recall feelings of chilliness, but it was more like the little sweeps of relief, release, hope, and praise during simple things such as:
-Reading and studying The Holy Bible
-Someone surprised me by completing a chore or errand
-Hearing a child sing
-Being moved by a heartfelt Christmas story or song
-Getting a Christmas card from a friend or stranger
-Having a teary moment during a Christmas movie
-Watching a Christmas play or musical performance
-Seeing a Nativity scene
-Being accepted as I was, whether I said “no,” “yes,” or didn’t know the answers to questions
-Spending time with my parents and grandparents
That first December had authentically brought me more sparks of joy and life than I had guessed it would. The priorities of “the hustle and bustle” Christmas took a far back seat. There was simplicity in what I did that year, including clinging to God’s goodness in sending Jesus and appreciating the goodness of people.
I admit to significant struggles with holidays for many years as a twice-widowed mother. Come December, I quickly identified and became the grouchy Scrooge and anti-celebration Grinch! Over many years and with the help of many sources, including God’s voice of guidance, I learned I was not a captive in that space. I looked for the simple movements of the Spirit that aided my grounding. I am very thankful for the community of friends at Widow Strong and Mishael’s outpouring of widow support in the holidays! You will never know how touching those times were and how they brought up my good “chills”!
Widow Strong is here rooting for those on the journey of grief. You have me personally rooting for you and those Christmas chills to shake us up! We can turn to “the light of the world, Jesus (John 8:12) and know we will have the light of life. Therefore, let us gather strength in the quiet or loud moments and help one another through challenges.
Things constantly change, one year is not like the next, and this year has a new twist for me because I recently remarried. This December, I will do this dance again and turn to the wonders of Jesus’s birth and what it means as the best way to handle life’s real emotions.
When my daughter was little, we watched Signing Time Christmas every year. That simple children’s show message lifted my spirit, and I still recall it: “The spirit of Christmas is family, friends, peace on Earth, and joy that never ends. The spirit of Christmas is giving, hoping, and sharing the most incredible gift: Your love.” So, look around, see, and feel what God is showing you this Christmas season. God’s blessings to you!
Extra tips: Take time and invest in your hope, health, and healing. You can try again next year if you are not up for an event. God’s grace is with you every new day to face that day! Register now for the first New Beginnings 10-Week Online Grief Support of 2023 to learn more about grief empowerment steps and strategies in a widows-only setting.