Keeping the Holidays Joyful for Your Loved One


“The holiday season is a perfect time to reflect on our blessings and seek out ways to make life better for those around us.” – Terri Marshall

End-of-life care and the holidays are two words that probably don’t seem to go together. After all, the holidays usually mean joy and celebration, while the end-of-life tends to mean the final chapter of someone you love.

If a spouse, parent or relative is dealing with a life limiting illness this year, you may struggle to find a way to celebrate the holidays with them. However, if this is their last holiday season, it’s all that more important that you celebrate with them and make it as special as possible.

5 Ways to Celebrate the Holidays with Your Loved One with a Life Limiting Illness

Depending on your loved one’s condition, they may not be able to travel as easily or do the usual holiday festivities your family is used to. Here are some different ideas for how to celebrate the holidays with a life limiting illness:

  1. Embrace Your Loved One’s Favorite Traditions. Just because this holiday season looks a bit different this year, doesn’t mean you can’t still partake in your loved one’s favorite holiday traditions. Does your loved one like to listen to specific holiday music or watch certain holiday movies each year? Maybe your family used to spend the afternoon dressed up in your favorite holiday-themed pajamas and drink hot chocolate. You should try, to the best of your ability, to uphold these traditions with your loved one and make them feel like this holiday season is just like the rest.
  2. Give Thanks. Keep in mind what the holiday season is all about: giving thanks. Make it a point this holiday season to help spread joy and appreciation to your loved one by expressing to them how thankful you are for their presence in your life. The holidays are a great time to reflect on how your loved one has impacted your life over the years and to let them know how thankful you are to get to spend this holiday season with them.
  3. Decorate Your Loved One’s Room. A great way to spread the holiday spirit is by decorating your loved one’s home for them. Spread pumpkin decorations around their residence or put up the Christmas tree with all its ornaments and lights. If your loved one is able, you can have them decorate with you! This will get them excited for the holidays and give you both an experience to bond over.
  4. Share Your Favorite Memories with Them. The holidays are all about spending time with your loved one, regardless of how that time is spent. A great way to make any holiday memorable is to simply reflect on some of your favorite memories. Over some hot apple cider or tea, flip through old photo albums together or spend a couple hours swapping holiday stories.
  5. Bake Their Holiday Favorites. You can almost never go wrong with baking, especially during the holidays! Maybe they love indulging in chocolate pie after Thanksgiving dinner or can’t resist a delicious pumpkin roll. Whatever the dessert may be, make it for them just how they like it. It’ll bring a smile to their face and remind them of fond holiday memories from years past.

*Holiday festivities and activities may be limited due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Remember to follow social distancing protocols and adjust holiday plans with your loved ones as needed.

Experience Passionate Hospice Care at Ethos Care

At Ethos Hospice, our services are designed to improve quality of life for patients and their families. We want your loved one to feel comfortable and for every day to be as joyful as possible. We work to manage your loved one’s pain and symptoms while doing our best to provide emotional and spiritual support. Ultimately, our hospice care is designed to give your loved one the support they need to live their life as comfortably as possible.

Our compassionate hospice team of professionals work to provide holistic care to you and your loved one to ensure they are getting the personalized care they require. To learn more about our hospice services, please contact us today.