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Holiday Season 2020: The Most Meaningful Holiday Season Ever


The number one regret grieving families share with funeral directors is this: the conversations they never had with their Loved Ones. This revelation, shared with me by a funeral director not too long ago, changed the way I approach family gatherings, especially over the holidays.


Invite Conversation

When my family gathers around the dinner table, before we take even one bite to eat, we take the time to talk.


Starting on one end of the table and going around one at a time, each person shares a reflection that fills him or her with gratitude. I learn more about my family from these precious moments than I do at most other times of the year. And it makes me appreciate the holiday season that much more. There’s no doubt we’ll do the same this year, even over Zoom.


Are you looking for ways to make your holidays even more meaningful? Read on. Below are three more ideas. If you have ideas you’d like to share, please email me at allison@allisongilbert.com. I’d love to hear from you!


Make Cooking a Game

Bring children with you to the grocery store and let the scavenger hunt begin! Ask them to find all the ingredients you’ll need to make “Grandma’s Famous Pecan Pie.” I recognize it’s nearly always easier to go shopping alone, but if you’re open to the assistance, you’ll create a bonus pocket of time to discuss why that pecan pie really matters.


Set a Loving Mood

In addition to flowers and candles, use framed photographs to enhance your holiday table. Even if you’re gathering virtually this year, your extended family will see your festive decorations online and that’ll spark conversation.


Play Sentimental Music

My father died when he was 63 and he absolutely adored jazz. When my family gathers, Charles Mingus tops my playlist. You can incorporate music into your digital gathering this year, too. Just make sure all mics are muted before you play your selections.



Bonus Idea!
OK, please forgive me: Passed and Present: Keeping Memories of Loved Ones Alive makes a terrific gift for the holidays. In my book, I reveal 85 practical and creative opportunities to remember the family and friends you never want to forget – from strategies involving tech and social media, to opportunities centering on cooking, gardening, and everything in between.

Because of my partnership with Legacy Touch, I’m offering FREE signed and fully customizable bookplates to put inside your gift copy of Passed and Present. If you send me your email request by December 1, and the personal note you’d like me to write, I promise to send you the bookplate before December 25. And apologies, this opportunity is for Domestic mail only.


Never Too Late

2020 continues to be a challenging year unlike any other. Let’s make this the year we remember our Loved Ones fully and without hesitation. It is possible to look forward, to live a rich and joyful life, while keeping the memory of Loved One alive.


This article was written by author and grief and resiliency expert Allison Gilbert. Learn more by visiting her website www.allisongilbert.com. You can also follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.