Holidays are about traditions, rituals that are followed year to year. With your partner’s absence, you can’t experience the rituals as you knew them or believe they should be, making you susceptible to feelings of sadness and anger. You spend your time trying to make the holidays ‘normal’ instead of realizing your normal requires establishing traditions specific to your family and circumstances.
With a little planning and a shift in attitude, you don’t have to dread the holiday season nor do you have to walk around stealing joy from others. Create the spirit of the holidays by crafting the season in fun and imaginative ways.
- Keep candles burning in honor of your partner all season (all year)
- Ask friends and family to put your partner on their holiday card list (mailing the card is required)
- Send a ‘holiday’ in an envelope.
- Make a drawing/coloring of a Hanukkah menorah with the candles to be ‘lit’
- Make a drawing/coloring of a Christmas tree and send the ‘decorations’ one day at a time. Create paper presents that have a ‘gift’ written inside.
- Make a drawing/coloring of a Kwanzaa kinara with the candles. Celebrate the individual principles
- Write a letter to Santa (yes, it’s okay to ask for his release)
- Take pictures of holiday decorations at home and around town. Send to your partner.
- Give your children gifts marked from the parent who is away
- Send pictures of [actually] gifts bought for your partner with a message on the envelope: DO NOT OPEN UNTIL CHRISTMAS. Give partner a time he/she should open. Your partner can be a part of the unwrapping of gifts (Since their mail is more than likely opened when received, this will add to the fun)
- Have your partner call during family time and take pictures of everyone speaking to them. Send your partner the photos. They will enjoy seeing themselves as part of the festivities.
- Create a holiday word search or crossword puzzle as your partner’s gift. Have the clues reveal the date of your next visit
- Make a countdown to the New Year. Send one number at a time. Shout Happy New Year in a phone call (Slow countdown required).
- Make resolutions together
Whether it’s the first or twentieth holiday away from your partner, the feeling of missing them never goes away. Remember to have fun and with each holiday that passes you are one step closer to being together.
How do you share the holidays with your partner?