Thanksgiving. A holiday to give thanks and enjoy three things: food, family, and football. This is great for most, but for some, the loss of a family member hits them hard at this time of year. So while you’re giving thanks and gathering with friends and family, here are some things you can do to include your loved one and their memory during your Thanksgiving holiday.
Set a Place for Them at the Table
So many things happen around the dinner table. Meaningful conversations, sharing memories, telling jokes, and enjoying each other’s company are all things that make this holiday so memorable.
Setting a place at the table is one way to keep your loved ones’ memory alive while enjoying dinner with those closest to you. You can use an entire place setting or simply include a photograph or memento with the table decor to include your departed loved one. Did you know that it’s even tradition in some cultures to set a place for a departed loved one during a holiday or special occasion?
Serve Their Favorite Food
Was your loved one known for their sweet potato pie? Did they have an old family recipe that had been handed down from generation to generation that they used to make? Or did they love apple stuffing? No matter the food, preparing and serving it as part of your meal is a great way to bring back happy memories as you raise a glass to them around the dinner table!
Want to take it to another level or get others involved? Teach other family members how to make it! That way, they can carry on the tradition for generations to come!
Decorate with Their Favorite Flowers
Flowers are a fabulous way to brighten a room or your Thanksgiving table! So why not use your loved ones’ favorite flowers?
The centerpiece is an essential part of the table decor. As family members gather, that decoration will be front and center and a fantastic way to pay tribute to your loved one!
In the words of former First Lady Claudia “Lady Bird” Johnson, “Where flowers bloom, so does hope.” If you’re unsure what their favorite flower was, you can use pink carnations, whose meaning is “I’ll never forget you.” yellow pansies mean “thinking of you,” or daisies represent “I love you truly.”
Donate to a Charity
The two biggest shopping days of the year also fall around the Thanksgiving holiday – Black Friday and Cyber Monday! What a great time to skip the malls and make a donation instead. There are so many organizations that can benefit from a gift in your loved one’s name.
Do you know if they had a favorite charity or a cause that meant a lot to them? No matter the cause, a donation is always welcome and a great way to keep a memory alive while helping someone in need!
A common Thanksgiving tradition is sharing what you are grateful for. Why not give it a new twist by sharing what you are most thankful for about your loved one? Was there something they always did or a memory you’ll never forget?
Share those thoughts with your family and allow everyone to reflect on the impact their loved one had on them. It’s a great way to include someone special in conversation and remember how they are still an important member of your family.
We’ve only scratched the surface of things you can do to keep the memory of your loved one alive while you celebrate Thanksgiving. No matter what you do, always remember that there is no right or wrong way to keep a memory alive. Do what you feel is right in your heart.