How to enjoy the holidays after a loss

Written by Reynolds Defense Firm

On November 19, 2019

The holidays are typically a time for celebration with friends and family. Yet, when you’re grieving a loss of a loved one or going through a divorce, the most wonderful time of the year can feel not so wonderful. For a lot of people, alcohol is a coping mechanism for dealing with these types of situations. So, what do you do if you can’t drink as a result of a DUI, health reasons, or even just a personal choice to refrain from alcohol? To help you enjoy this holiday season, here are a few pointers to help you have a pleasant holiday season, despite your current circumstances.

It’s okay to feel sad – and its okay to be happy!

It is okay to miss a loved one and it’s okay to feel angry. Grief is complicated and it can be almost all consuming. None of these things mean that you can’t still enjoy life or a holiday. And if you start to feel happy as a result of holiday events, just enjoy the feeling! Give yourself permission to be happy alongside the sadness. The two are not mutually exclusive.

Be patient

Even in the best of times, the holidays can be hectic. When your navigating the holidays during a time of distress, they can feel overwhelming! Be patient with yourself and the rest of your family. This is probably new and different for everyone and a little patience will go a long way toward making your holidays more enjoyable than you might believe they can be right now.

Reach out to family and friends

Sure, it would be so much easier if someone could read your mind and offer help when it’s needed. Unfortunately, nobody can read minds with any real reliability. If you need a little extra help to get your holidays to feel merrier, be sure and ask for it. Besides, you can gain a different perspective if you open yourself up to a little fun celebrating the holidays with others.

Focus on others

If leaving an empty seat is too upsetting, invite someone who doesn’t have any family to spend the holiday with. They might have a similar experience that relates to what your going through, and you can never have too much support. Further, turning your attention toward helping others has been proven to combat depression.

Plan ahead

When you want something to happen in a specific way, there is almost always a plan involved. Wanting to have happy holidays requires a plan too. They don’t have to be elaborate, but by giving some thought to what you want to have happen and then doing what needs to be done will make it more likely you’ll have a joyous holiday season.

What do you love most about the holiday season?

People like the cooler weather, cooking, giving gifts, decorations. Whatever it is that you love most about the holiday season, figure out a way to get more of it – heck, lose yourself in it. Try new recipes and be the brightest lit house on the block! The focus that you’ll put into doing those things, along with the happy reactions of the loved ones around you, will create happier holidays.

This is a small list of simple suggestions that can make a big difference for you this season. Even still, if trying them all seems like a hefty feat, choose one that resonates with you the most and make a plan to implement that tip to help you enjoy your holidays just a bit more.


If you or a loved one is facing a DUI during the holiday season call Reynolds Defense Firm, at (503) 223-3422. We can help get your questions answered now, and any time of year. At the risk of sounding immodest, we are very good at what we do.

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