Remember. On this Remembrance Sunday it’s time for reflection, contemplation and to remember loved ones you may have lost. Perhaps plan how to celebrate their life this Christmas.
Reach out to a ‘forgotten’ friend.
(Scroll down for the day in detail)
“Joyeux Noel” (2005): starring Diane Kruger, Guillaume Canet and Benno Furmann. Written and directed by Christian Carion, this is a moving French film – partly in English, partly with subtitles – which explores the famous World War I Christmas truce of December 1914, as seen through the eyes of French, Scottish and German soldiers. The film carries some considerable weight on the futility of war. (Movie Magic: A German soldier lifts a decorated Christmas tree from the trenches in a show of goodwill to the enemy watching on from across no man’s land and sings out in a gesture of goodwill that is soon reciprocated.)
“Let the children have their night of fun and laughter. Let the gifts of Father Christmas delight their play. Let us grown-ups share to the full their unstinted pleasures before we turn again to the stern tasks and the formidable years that lie before us, resolved that, by our sacrifice and daring, these same children shall not be robbed of their inheritance or denied their right to live in a free and decent world.”
Winston Churchill (1874-1965), from his 1941 Christmas message
“Happy Xmas (War is Over)” by John Lennon, The Plastic Ono Band, Yoko Ono and the Harlem Community Choir;
“L’Enfance Du Christ – The Shepherds’ Farewell” by Berlioz (the London Symphony Orchestra, Sir Colin Davis, Tenebrae Choir)
Did you know…in early December 1914 Pope Benedict XV requested an official Christmas truce, pleading that “the guns may fall silent at least upon the night the angels sang”? His request was rejected.
The Day in Detail:
Mrs. C says: If you have suffered the loss of a loved one, be it a family member or friend, then this weekend of remembrance could be the perfect time to plan the way you aim to remember and celebrate them this holiday season. We have a useful segment on How to Christmas about coping with loss – and I think it is worth sharing some if it with you right now. The team suggests the following:
“Laying a wreath or flowers at the graveside or in a garden of remembrance is the norm for most. But if ashes have been scattered elsewhere – or you want to do more than buy flowers – there are numerous other acts of remembrance to embrace. Charitable gifts are a good place to start. Make a donation to a charity most admired by the person you are honouring and donate in their name. If possible, offer your time to the charity. From an hour of fund-raising on the city streets to a whole day of selfless assistance: you cannot put a price on how much that could benefit the organisation.
Pay to have a unique entry etched in a book of remembrance at your church or crematorium and have copies made and framed for your family.
Light a special candle by a photograph of your loved one each of the 12 Days of Christmas.
Put a picture of them in a small, heart-shaped frame ready to hang on the tree.
Have their name painted on a personalised bauble for the tree.
Give such items to relatives for their trees.
Plant a fir tree in honour of the life of your dearly departed.
Buy a small, tabletop tree and adorn it with items that capture the essence of your loved one: capturing their passions and hobbies.
Frame a photograph of a street name or iconic image from their place of birth.
Cook their signature dish in their honour.
Create a memory box of trinkets and photographs.
Buy a gift they would have loved and donate it to a local nursing home or hospice.”
There’s much more, including inspiring poems, on our Coping with Christmas page. Hopefully you’ll be blessed enough that none of this coping with personal loss applies to you.
There’s another crucial piece of remembering you can do and that’s to reach out to a ‘forgotten’ friend. Is there someone you have been meaning to contact for ages and never quite get round to it; someone who you really quite like and should spend more time with? Well, why not arrange a coffee and some Christmas browsing? Today’s the day to send that email or make that call.
Ed Elf: Like your thinking, Mrs. C. I’m off to send that email right now.
- Plan to remember and celebrate a lost loved one this Christmas.
- Consider charity options to commemorate them or explore possibilities for more permanent tributes.
- Think of ways to deal with emotions of loss during Christmas gatherings.
- Reach out to and reconnect with friends that have been off your radar for a while – propose possible dates to catch up.