Seven Creative Ways to Remember Departed Loved Ones During Your Holiday Celebrations

holiday cooking as a family

Making a conscious effort to warmly remember departed loved ones enriches holiday celebrations with love and nostalgia.

With its twinkling lights and joyous get-togethers, the holidays can be a time of both celebration and reflection. While thoughts of departed loved ones often come to mind, it presents an opportunity to fondly remember them during the festivities. In these moments, creating heartfelt and touching remembrances can be a source of comfort, allowing you to celebrate the enduring love you shared.

Please read on to discover seven touching ways to remember departed loved ones and all of their special qualities throughout your seasonal celebrations.


Cook up a storm.

As you plan your holiday menu, include several of your loved one’s favorite dishes. They don’t have to be traditional holiday favorites like ham, turkey, or mashed potatoes. If the departed loved empanadas and flan, serve it. Was pizza a favorite? Include it on the menu. Original additions like these can add charm and whimsy to the festivities while keeping your loved one top of mind.


Share fond memories.

One of the warmest ways to remember a departed loved one is by calling to mind favorite memories and stories. As your friends and family gather for the holidays, spend some time swapping endearing recollections and light-hearted anecdotes about the departed. Between the laughter and tears, you’re sure to feel great comfort and abundant love.


Light a candle.

As you sit down to eat, light a special candle at your holiday table and say a prayer for your loved one. Spend a few moments in quiet reflection afterward. This simple gesture can help you feel their presence during your holiday gathering.


Create a photo montage.

Compile photos and videos that showcase the joyous moments shared with your departed loved one. Display the montage or slideshow during your holiday gathering as a visual celebration of their life. This can serve as a heartwarming focal point that brings smiles, tears, and many wonderful shared memories.


Create a new-ish holiday tradition.

You and your departed loved one probably had some special holiday rituals that brought you great joy. Perhaps you decorated the tree while playing your favorite holiday tunes. Or maybe you loved making popcorn and binge-watching classic seasonal movies. Think about the good times you shared during the holidays and reprise those rituals in new ways. For example, you might invite your family for a tree decorating party in your loved one’s honor or watch those classic movies with your best friend. Make it a point to enjoy your favorite holiday rituals in new ways that are inspired by the memory of the one who passed on.


Set up a wishing tree.

Adorn a small tree with pretty tags and place a basket of pens nearby. Encourage guests to write down their wishes, messages, or thoughts for the departed and hang them on the tree. This beautiful display becomes a tangible representation of your enduring love, even in their physical absence. Take time during the festivities to read these poignant treasures and reconnect with the memory of the departed.


Make a commemorative toast.

Set aside some time during your holiday gathering for a commemorative toast in honor of the departed. Share some words about your loved one, expressing gratitude for their life and the joyous memories you shared. Invite everyone to raise a glass as you celebrate the enduring positive impact they made on your life and the lives of others.


We hope you find meaningful ways to remember departed loved ones during your holiday celebrations. If you have questions, need additional ideas, or wish to make funeral arrangements, we are here for you. Please contact us anytime.


About Evan W. Smith Funeral Services: Since 2009, residents of Wilmington, Dover, and the surrounding Delaware community have relied on the caring staff at Evan W. Smith Funeral Services to help them through their darkest hours. Family-owned and operated, the company offers an array of elite funeral care services, including traditional funerals, cremations, memorials, pre-planning, grief counseling, and more. With decades of experience in caring for families from all cultural backgrounds and diverse walks of life, Evan W. Smith Funeral Services is committed to creating memorable, uplifting experiences that always exceed expectations. For more information, please visit

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