Judy Field

Counselling in Harrogate, North Yorkshire


Honouring a Loved One at Christmas

13th December 2022

With Christmas upon us and the focus on spending time with friends and family, it can be particularly hard if you have lost a loved one. Being surrounded by all the joy and goodwill of Christmas can bring your feelings of grief to the surface and make it a really difficult time.

If you are feeling the weight of the empty space at the table and you are finding it hard to allow yourself to enjoy Christmas, finding ways to honour your loved ones at Christmas may help you cope with your grief and see Christmas as a time for fond memories and not painful ones. Here are a few ways to remember a loved one who is no longer with you at Christmas.

Memory Candle

Lighting a candle is a time-honoured way to pay your respects and remember someone who has passed. So, having a memory candle, either one you make yourself or one you buy that you light each year, can become a tradition and it may help you remember your loved one. Choose a scent that your loved one liked and make it one of your Christmas traditions, taking time to share memories about your loved one, or just having a quiet moment alone to remember them in your own way.

Favourite Recipes

Sitting down to Christmas dinner and thinking about the space at the table where your loved one is missing can be really painful. One way to help is to keep making their favourite recipes so you feel like they are still with you. Whether it’s their favourite stuffing or their brussels sprout recipe, preparing and serving their recipe may bring back happy memories for everyone and stimulate conversation about them.

Make a Memory Jar or Christmas Stocking

You and your family may have treasured memories of your loved one, so creating a memory jar or a Christmas stocking for them will give everyone a chance to remember your loved one and share memories with everyone. Place a Memory Jar under the tree and encourage people to write their memories on a piece of paper. On Christmas morning, open the jar, share the memories so you can all have some time when you remember your loved one. The same can be done with a Christmas stocking. Either way, it gives everyone the chance to share their own personal memories.

Make a Christmas Ornament or Tree Decoration

You could create a more personal object in memory of your loved one. Creating a Christmas ornament or a tree decoration that comes out every Christmas may help you remember your loved one and talk about them. You could use a photo, or their favourite colours and it’s the perfect way to make sure your loved one lives long in the memory.

Make a Memory Wreath

Another permanent memory object that you can bring out every year is a Christmas wreath. You can make this using photos of your loved one, their favourite colours and other keepsakes and then hang the wreath on your door. Again, this may help keep their memory alive and give everyone who visits a chance to share their own personal memories.

Keep their Favourite Traditions Alive

Family traditions are really important, and this is never truer than at Christmas. A great way to remember a loved one is to keep the traditions that they loved alive, year after year. This could be a favourite post lunch walk, a movie they loved to watch at Christmas, their favourite Christmas songs, or the order of the day. Whatever it is, it may give you and your family time to reflect and share happy memories of your loved one without it being too painful.

If you are looking for personalised, sensitive bereavement counselling in Harrogate or online, feel free to get in touch and I’d be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Get in Touch

To find out more about Individual CounsellingBereavement Therapy, Remote Counselling or my other services, you can contact me on 07855 059 964. Due to the nature of my work, I am not always available to answer the phone – please leave a voicemail message and I will get back to you as soon as possible. Appointments now available for in-person sessions, with social distancing in place. My therapy room is well ventilated and cleaned between each client session.

Most of the time I am able to offer you your first therapy session within a few days of your initial enquiry.

View my opening hours

Fees & Location

Opening Hours

I am able to offer daytime, evening and weekend appointments, subject to availability. My final appointment time on an evening is 8pm, Monday to Thursday and 7pm on a Friday.


Monday: 8am to 9pm

Tuesday: 8am to 9pm

Wednesday: 8am to 9pm

Thursday: 8am to 9pm

Friday: 8am to 8pm

Saturday: 9am to 3pm

Sunday: Closed

I offer an optional FREE Initial 30-minute telephone consultation to give you the opportunity to get a sense of what I am like and see whether you think I am someone you feel comfortable talking to about your issues.

By contacting me through the form below you are agreeing to share your personal data with me. For more information about how I securely store and use your data, please see my Privacy Policy.

Opening Hours

I am able to offer day, evening and weekend appointments, subject to availability. My final appointment time on an evening is 8pm, Monday to Thursday and 7pm on a Friday.


Monday: 8am to 9pm

Tuesday: 8am to 9pm

Wednesday: 8am to 9pm

Thursday: 8am to 9pm

Friday: 8am to 8pm

Saturday: 8am to 2pm

Sunday: Closed