This article was published as part of the Our Rural Roots column for Progressive Farmer.
For many people, the holidays are a joyful time filled with gifts, treats, and family. But for those who have lost loved ones, especially those who have lost someone within the last year, the holidays can be really difficult.
I am glad that sometimes when I don’t have the words, I have carbs. My kids and I recently spent the afternoon baking treats for friends of ours who will have a difficult holiday. I really talked to the kids about the importance of remembering loved ones that our friends lose. I know it matters, and I hope to teach them that lesson.
There are practical ways to do this. For example, I keep a paper planner (I am sure for the millennials there is some app for it too!) and when someone passes away, I write it on my calendar. Then, the next Christmas, I make it a point to send a note or baked goods to the family. Similarly, on the anniversary of the person’s death, I send a little note in the mail every year. For some, this was my first year to do so. For others, I’ve been sending them for decades. It is simple, it costs next to nothing, and it takes very little time, but my friends tell me it really matters to them.
As we enter this season of giving and celebration, I encourage you to take a moment to think about people form whom this season may not be filled with cheer. Then do something heartfelt to let them you know you see them, and you have not forgotten.
Give them the gift of remembering.