First Christmas without Mom: How to Celebrate

Mothers make Christmas celebrations worthwhile. Celebrating your first Christmas without mom is not easy.

On the first Christmas after my mom died, her absence was felt all around. No one wanted to admit it but we all knew someone special was missing.

Moms are key figures in preparing for Christmas celebrations.

When the season of celebration comes, it takes a strong mind to enjoy without your mom. If you have no idea how to celebrate your first Christmas after the death of your mother, here are some ideas.

First Christmas without Mom

Celebrate First Christmas without Mom away from Home

If you have always celebrated Christmas at home with your mom, after her death, go and celebrate it away from home.

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It is easier for you to celebrate without thinking about mom when you are away from home than when you are at home.

Being at home on Christmas day will remind you of your late mom. You will notice her absence more. Before you know it, you will be overwhelmed by grief.

When you go away from home to celebrate your first Christmas, you will have an environment that doesn’t trigger grief. The new environment will make it easy for you to celebrate without constantly thinking about your late mom.

Read Also: Three Consoling Gifts to Buy for Someone who Lost a Mother

Instead of partying at home, you can celebrate Christmas while on a road trip.

Change Christmas Celebration Routine

If your typical Christmas celebrations began by storytelling at home followed by cooking and playing as a family, after your mom’s death, change the routine.

Keeping the same Christmas routine after your mother died will magnify her absence. The aim of changing the routine is to minimize your mother’s absence during the celebration as much as possible.

Give people new roles during Christmas and make sure that the role that your mom played in the previous Christmas celebrations is given to someone else.

If possible, remove the role that your mom used to play during Christmas celebrations.

The last thing you want is to trigger memories of your late mom using your Christmas celebration routine. If your mom used to cook a certain meal during Christmas, replace that meal with something new.

Let the memory of your mother during Christmas disappear completely.

Don’t Make First Christmas without Mom a Memorial Day

Unless your mom died on Christmas day, don’t make it a day to honor her. Let honoring your late mother be done on her memorial day.

Try as much as you can to avoid any discussions that will cause you to talk about your late mother on your first Christmas after her death.

As I mentioned in the beginning, on my first Christmas after my mom died, her absence was evident to everyone but none of us mentioned it.

It is obvious that your mother’s absence will be noticed on your first Christmas celebration without her but you must make sure you don’t give her absence more attention than it deserves.

Christmas is a day for you to celebrate the birth of Christ and not to mourn the death of your mother.

Celebrate Christmas with New People

Your first Christmas without mom is all about new things. Apart from changing the location from where you celebrate, change the people you celebrate with.

You may want to focus on the Christmas celebration and not the absence of your mother but the people you celebrate with want to endlessly talk about your late mother’s absence.

Read Also: Effects of Death of a Parent on Marriage

If you can get new people to celebrate your first Christmas without your mom with, the better. It will be great if the people you celebrate Christmas with pay little attention to your late mom.

This group of new people can be your co-workers, business partners, schoolmates, churchmates or even strangers.

There are many teams that do charity activities on Christmas day. You can join one of the teams in the charity work.

New people will give you new Christmas experiences. The new experiences will help your mind focus on the celebration rather than missing your mother.

Gifts on First Christmas without Mom

Handling gifts on your first Christmas without mom can be a challenge. If your mom used to play a role in the giving of gifts or receiving, you will need to deal with gifts without triggering memories of your late mom.

If people send Christmas gifts to your late mom, you can let someone else take those gifts. Involving yourself too much in celebration activities that trigger the emotions of your late mom will ruin your celebration mood.

It is very likely that people will send many gifts to you addressed to your late mom. Many will want to remind you about your late mom and how much she is missed.

But you must minimize thinking about your late mom if you want to enjoy your Christmas celebrations.

If you can be away from home all together, you won’t have to struggle with knowing what to do with gifts that are sent to your late mom.

If you want to buy gifts yourself, buy gifts for your friends and siblings but not your late mom.

Lay a Foundation for the Subsequent Christmas Celebrations

The first Christmas after mom’s death is likely to be your worst Christmas ever. You may not be in the celebration mood at all.

You may do all the suggestions I have talked about above but still not enjoy the day. Even if that is the case, don’t lose hope.

You can use the first Christmas without mom to lay a foundation for Christmas celebrations of the coming years.

If you decide to change the routine of celebrating Christmas, it will take a few Christmas celebrations for the routine to become the norm. Be patient.

The most important thing is that you establish a new way of celebrating Christmas without your mother. Remember that all other Christmas celebrations will happen without your mother.

Read Also: Should I Attend the Funeral of my Abusive Mother?

The earlier you get the Christmas routine in order the better.


There will always be the first Christmas without your mom. Many have experienced it and many more will experience it.

Not having your mom around on Christmas day is painful. Her absence is felt more than ever before. Celebrating feels like a chore rather than a fun activity.

Despite the odds being against you, your first Christmas celebration after mom’s death can still be fun.

Put into practice the suggestions I have mentioned above to increase your chances of having a fun Christmas without your mom.

All the best!