For all the lights and sparkle Christmas brings it can also be very stressful and it can be even more difficult to cope if you are grieving a loved one.
It may be your first Christmas without them or a few years down the line but this time of year can bring so many different emotions to the surface.
Susie Baker, Head of Counselling at Woking & Sam Beare Hospice has shared some advice that may help you through the festive season.
Bereavement around Christmas can be incredibly hard but it can help to make a plan that you feel comfortable with even if you don’t stick to it in the end.
It is important that you think about what you need at this time, speak to your loved ones about how you are feeling and explain that you may need to take yourself away from the festivities for a while.
The festive period can get very busy so plan some quiet days to take time for yourself this may be quietly at home or going out for a walk.
Old family traditions don’t have to be upheld if someone is missing and it is sometimes healing to change the way you do things. Maybe eat at a different time, go out instead of cooking at home or even go away, it can also help to make some new traditions.
If you do want to keep things the same, then it can be a nice idea to honour the person who is no longer with you maybe with a special bauble on the Christmas tree, lighting a candle so you can take time to remember and reflect, hanging their stocking up for loved ones to fill with letters or share memories together.
Don’t be afraid to cry, you may be worried that if you start you won’t be able to stop, but tears can for some be the emotional release they need and don’t feel guilty or worried about all the things you think you should be doing it’s OK not to be OK.
It is also sometimes useful to know that despite the fact you may feel very alone in your grief, there are many people out there who feel similarly.
Irvin Yalom talks about grieving as feeling like you are a little tug boat bouncing around a stormy ocean in the dark…the only light is a tiny lamp on your mast. However, when your eyes become accustomed to the dark, you look around you and see that there are hundreds of other similar little lamps bouncing alongside you!