My neighbor spent a recent warm afternoon putting up his outdoor Christmas decorations. Retailers are already filling up my inbox and loading our television airways with holiday advertisements. Some may say it’s all too soon, but for many, it’s a time of year we may never be ready to celebrate.

Last year was the first time we put up our Christmas tree since my husband Colin died in 2018. It was a big moment since the previous years I was only able to muster putting up a small decoration in the corner of the living room as an afterthought.

When you lose someone you love, the holidays just hit differently. Memories of those good times can make you smile and then make you cry because you realize all there was with that lost loved one is all there will ever be.

For me and my son, the holidays are now about mixing old traditions with new. We have a new tree with our old ornaments. I still make those cranberry rolls for breakfast on Christmas morning, but I’ve let go of the egg casserole Colin loved. We watch our favorite seasonal movies — “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation,” “Home Alone,” “A Christmas Story” and “Elf” — and recite our favorite lines like we always have, except we know one person is missing and isn’t there to yell out his favorite lines. We still do pajamas as gifts on Christmas Eve, but no matter how many traditions we try to keep alive, it’s just different.

By admin