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10 beautiful Christmas memorial ornaments and gifts

Gold wrapped Christmas gift in front of a Christmas tree

After the death of a loved one, including their memory in the way you mark the festive period may be a helpful way of coping with grief and their absence. You might choose to raise a glass to them at Christmas dinner, keep their favourite traditions alive, or choose a special remembrance ornament to remind you that they are still in your heart.

Whether you’re buying a token of remembrance for yourself or someone you know who is grieving, these 10 decorations and memorial gift ideas could inspire a fitting tribute to someone special.

1. A Christmas tree decoration or snowglobe in someone’s memory

glittery red bauble

Personalised baubles or snow globes are a great way to incorporate a memorial into your Christmas decorations. You can buy custom designed baubles, or DIY clear snowglobes to insert your own photographs or message.

2. Memorial jewellery

heart shaped locket

There are so many lovely memorial jewellery items available online with messages such as: “I’ll hold you in my heart until I hold you in Heaven”. Perhaps you would prefer to have your loved one’s name engraved on a bracelet, or keep a sentimental photograph of you both inside a locket. Ready to wear, or custom-made to order by artisan makers, there are many memorial jewellery options with different designs and messages.

3. Remembrance roses

A photo montage of different remembrance roses

Planting a remembrance rose in memory of your loved one is a special tribute, which you can enjoy for years to come. There is a wide range of specially named remembrance roses to choose from – including the Eternally Yours rose, which has scarlet petals edged with a shimmery silver. During the winter, you can buy and plant bare-rooted roses, which you can even send through the post asa thougthful Christmas memorial gift.

4. Dedicate a bench in your loved one’s name

a couple sitting on a bench

A bench with a personalised plaque or inscription is a wonderful public memorial tribute. Whether it be along a favourite coastal path or in a local park, it is a lovely way to remember someone — and you can go back to it time after time. Or why not consider these other ideas for memorialising someone special’s name?

5. A special candle

A Christmas candle

Candles are a traditional way to remember someone’s life and can be a focal point of Christmas celebration. Bring them together with a special, personalised Christmas candle, which can sit alongside your other Christmas decorations as a glowing reminder of your loved one.

6. A huggable t-shirt cushion

Cushion made from an old shirt

This is a DIY craft project which uses a loved one’s old clothes to make a decorative and comforting cushion. If you’re making a cushion for someone else who’s lost a loved one, make sure you get permission to use the clothing before starting. There are a number of ways to sew a cushion cover, The Guardian has a step-by-step guide to help you make a simple cushion cover that could be a lovely Christmas memorial gift.

7. Make your own memorial wreath

A Christmas wreath

These funeral wreaths may inspire you to create a Christmas wreath that reminds you of your loved one. You could even incorporate family photographs, or keep it simple by using tree leaves, holly bush and fruit. A wreath is a craft project that could make a wonderful Christmas present or decoration for your home.

8. Make a playlist of your loved one’s favourite songs

two women listening to music

Whether these songs were played at your loved one’s celebration of life funeral, or they were a fan of a particular genre or artist, making a playlist of their favourite songs is a wonderful way to add to the atmosphere and to remember your loved one. Their playlist could include Christmas carols, rock songs, classical music or popular favourites, either way it’s a thoughtful gift to share with someone who is missing a loved one this holiday season.

9. Donate to a charity of their choice

A fundraiser holds a placard reading 'please donate

There are a number of charities that would be very grateful for a donation, big or small. Perhaps you have a few old pound coins lying around which could go to your loved one’s hospice or charity of choice. Hospice charity Shooting Star Chase’s #FirstChristmas advert shows just how valued your donations are to the bereaved families it supports, while Child Bereavement UK’s #OneMoreMinute campaignhighlights its important work helping children and families around the UK through grief, when someone they love dies.

10. Photo memories

A man holds framed photo close to his heart

A picture frame with a sentimental photograph could be the perfect Christmas or bereavement gift for someone you know, or a year-round way of paying tribute to someone who has died. There are many different styles and messages available, with or without personalisation. Why not get the paint brushes out and personalise a frame yourself? This creative craft blog lists 14 ways to customise a special photo frame at home.