Holidays without loved ones? An encouragement


Kernel Opinion SIG

The holidays are upon us: The wide Thanksgiving spreads lush with foods you only eat once a year (ahem, cranberry salad), the dressing up only to sit in the living room, the random dishes you eat out of tradition and not because you like them (ahem again, cranberry salad). The laughter, the family photo that took hours and 1,000 attempts. And if you’re like my family, there’s an eight-hour game of Monopoly tucked away in there, too.

But many of us also will spend the holidays without certain loved ones. That makes the normal festivities a bit dimmer. If that applies to you, I want you to know that I understand how you feel. I also hope I can offer some encouragement for you that makes Thanksgiving and Christmas a bit easier.

I’m still trying to get used to Christmas without my granny, who passed away in 2016. I miss her making homemade fudge and candies from scratch for weeks before Christmas, and Thanksgiving isn’t the same without her making green bean casserole or pistachio salad.

Your memories will be different, but the bottom line is that holidays are tough without all the ones we love. I want to encourage both those of you who are suffering this holiday season and those who still have all their loved ones at the holiday dinner table.

If you’ve lost someone, find ways to keep their spirit alive in your home. Set a place at the dinner table for them or make the dish that they always made. It may not turn out the same (because, let’s face it, grandmothers have magical touches with whatever they do), but you can laugh over the mistakes and reminisce over old memories. For me, I’ll be remembering how Granny used to let me and my siblings eat the leftover burning hot fudge from the pan after she poured most of it to cool.

For everyone who still has their grandparents, don’t take one second for granted this holiday season. Sit on the couch and listen to their stories again. Hug them. Love them. Savor each moment with them. Life is too short to take for granted those we love.