5 Ways to Handle a Hard Holiday

It was the Thanksgiving after my Grandmother passed and it was hard - getting up, getting dressed, getting in the car, and walking into her house to see tears in the eyes of my grieving Grandfather. My heart was broken and I missed her dearly. Among many other qualities, my grandmother was a great cook. Everything she touched was amazing - turkey and dressing, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie... but this Thanksgiving, she was gone…along with her amazing culinary skills. My Mom spent hours in my grandmother’s kitchen trying hard to recreate the awesomeness that had occurred in that room so many times before.

I’m sad to report that she failed miserably, and when we all sat down at the table and looked over the soggy sweet potato casserole, a mystery bowl of what was supposed to be green bean casserole, and the pan full of burnt-to-a-crisp rolls…we erupted in uncontrollable laughter - even my Mom could hardly breathe. I think God knew we needed a good laugh.

Are you facing a difficult time this holiday season? Know someone who is? It’s important to realize that we are allowed to grieve, but we are also allowed to laugh at the awkwardness of new situations, and to rely on God for peace and joy even in the hard times. Here are 5 ideas on what to do when you are facing a hard holiday...

1. Write about it.

Write a tribute to the one you’ve lost. Writing a personal tribute in your favorite journal can help you clarify what you are feeling and thinking. Why not share this tribute with family members, along with a framed photo of your loved one?

2. Give thanks.

Thank God for His many blessings in your life. Focus on having a heart of gratefulness by making a list of things you are thankful for, and remind yourself of those thoughts throughout the day. If you have time, you could even sit down and write out some cards to loved ones expressing your gratefulness for them in your life.

3. Find the funny.

Find your favorite funny movie and spend an evening among friends, with pizza, popcorn, cupcakes and maybe even some good laughs. It might not be the Thanksgiving you are used to - but it might be exactly what you need.

4. Give back.

Maybe this is the year you volunteer at the soup kitchen, or donate to your local food pantry. You could even fill a Grateful Ceramic Platter with homemade goodies and pass them out to nearby nursing homes, fire departments, police stations, schools and more! 

5. Nurture your relationships.

Reach out to your family and friends - even if only for a brief coffee date. While it might be easy to isolate yourself, sometimes it’s better to be surrounded by those who truly care for you.

Are you about to face a difficult holiday? Do you know someone who is? Check out our Difficult Times section to find comforting sentiments such as candles, inspirational books, journals, coloring Bibles and more.

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