When we grieve the loss of someone, we also grieve the loss of the rituals we shared. While we can’t be with them on the holiday, we can still interact with them symbolically and feel a connection.

In American culture there is pressure to let go and move on after a loss but in reality there is no clear end to our relationship or the love that we shared with the deceased. Every death is unique and rather than try to move on, it is better to make connections that help us feel close.

Leaving a gift at the grave or a creating special holiday decorations can help alleviate our sorrow. Visiting the gravesite can be a positive coping strategy, especially during the holidays.

Whether you celebrate a cultural or religious holiday, what you place on the grave represents holiday traditions and the bond you share.

Graves can be decorated for Christmas, Hanukah, Solstice, Kwanzaa and more. Decorations such as wreaths, floral saddles and grave blankets are the most common styles. The shape of these arrangements is not particular to any holiday, so the colors and types of décor can be customized. Pine is often used as a base for any of these and because it symbolically means immortality or renewal, it is a beautiful way to represent the never-ending bond and relationship with your loved one.

While every cemetery has different regulations, there is usually some way that a grave can be decorated. Call the cemetery office before you bring anything out to make sure it is allowed.

We have picked a few of our favorites from Pinterest but would love to hear what you do decorate your loved one’s grave for the winter holidays. Share a photo so that others can get new ideas for their family cemetery plots.