As the holiday approaches and families start to gather, I think about the one person who will no longer gather with us but is still so much in our hearts. I think of those who also are navigating life within their own grief. The holidays seem to be harder to manage grief when we are gathered with our loved ones but our heart is still missing the greatest piece. When you experience a death, sometimes you hear “as time goes on, it will be easier” and you hold on to those words. As your journey continues, you realize that it really never gets easier, it hurts as much as it did the day you lost your loved one but you learn to manage and survive the heartache.
During the holiday season so many emotions come to the surface because the sadness settles for the season, things remind you of what used to be and sometimes our hearts sit with that, hoping those days could return. As your journey with grief is completely yours, peace and joy are allowed during these times too, don’t forget that! We are allowed to feel happiness and sadness at the same time. You may make your thanksgiving plate and feel the emotions run over you. There is no right, there is no wrong when it comes to grief.
We are on our two-year walk with grief and the holidays for us mean a time to bring happiness to our family and to those we love. Our grief is never dull and never gone. Once you’re touched by grief, it stays with you; however, for us, we talk about him every day, we include him in everything that we do. We feel him with us and in everything we do. That doesn’t mean that the days don’t hurt, especially the holidays.
Tips for making the most of the holidays while dealing with a great loss or helping someone that has lost:
Number 1. “We rise by lifting others.” - Robert Ingersoll.
Sometimes we feel so many personal feelings that focusing on other people during the holiday can lift your heart. I have connected with others that have lost a loved one and it brings my heart so much joy to be a support for others. How can you help?
-Donate a wreath to Wreaths across America; so many grieving families end up there during their holidays.
-Take cookies to a family that needs cheering up
– A surprise gift to someone who has to buy for their entire family but the person who would buy their gift is no longer there
– My biggest suggestion is to make sure someone knows that their loved one is remembered
Number 2. It’s not just the first Holiday season that hurts.
Remember those who have lost a loved one every season of every year. Time does not heal our hearts and a lot of times those who have lost can struggle with feeling alone. As life moves forward and the lives of those around us continue in the same motion they always have, ours is still taking baby steps to move forward. Sometimes we just need a friend to remind us that we are seen and loved. We never want to be a burden to another however, our hearts have not healed.
Number 3. You can say “NO”
This is big! It's not rude, it's not insensitive. To survive grief, boundaries have to be set. Invite them to the holiday parties and family gatherings, include them! If they say no or if you need to say no then say it! Tell those people who plan to come but say they can’t make it or those who just say no that you are here, you love them and that you understand.
Number 4. “Grieving during the holidays can create isolation”
Similar to number 3, I know. However, because we said no doesn’t mean we want to be alone. We may not specifically ask for company but having someone care means more to us than you could imagine. If you have time this holiday season, visit someone that has lost a loved one. If you have lost a loved one see if you can connect with someone that has lost a loved one too, it never hurts to give time to someone even when they didn’t ask.
Jessica Jarrell is a girl mom living in Richmond, VA. She lost her husband and enjoys sharing her heart with those that may be in a similar situation.
If you're anything like me, you've started racking your brain about what to get the special people in your life for holiday gifts. Everybody wants to find something different and that will be truly appreciated by the recipient. Lucky for you, we've compiled a great list of both unique and unconventional gifts alike that are specific to RVA which are sure to top the lists of most memorable gifts!
Happier Space RVA
Organize | Simplify | Declutter
Give the GIFT of ORGANIZATION this holiday season. Being organized never goes out of style and lasts longer than a box of chocolate! A Happier Space gift certificate provides a unique and customizable experience. Happier Space = Happier You!
Call or Text: Athena Conte (Founder + Organizer) at 804-402-9262
USE CODE: HAPPIERHOUSEWIVES to receive 10% off of a 3 Hours Session
My Nourishing Kitchen
My Nourishing Kitchen wants to make it easier to incorporate more fruits and veggies into family meals, and take the hassle out of the dreaded question, “What’s for dinner?” As a healthy plant-based meal prep service, we do this by making convenience healthy, and family mealtime nutritious, attainable and affordable.
We create recipes with 100% plant-based ingredients, that are organic and allergen-friendly because we truly care about what you feed yourselves and your families.
Give the gift of easy, healthy meals by giving a My Nourishing Kitchen gift certificate for a meal prep workshop!
Gift certificates can be found here: www.mynourishingkitchen.com
Water’s Edge Design
Water’s Edge Design specializes in creating custom, hand-lettered wooden signs. The pieces are hand-crafted from start to finish and make the perfect holiday gift for your loved ones.
Order before December 15th and get 10% off!
You can check out the website to see past projects and to request a custom piece: http://www.watersedgedesignrva.com
Knot Too Shabby
Knot Too Shabby was created in 2017 as a place that could be a family-oriented environment and have local makers display their creative skills.
For the holidays, let Knot Too Shabby be your local one stop-shop! We offer home decor, re-purposed furniture and custom furniture painting to achieve the look you've envisioned. We have boutique clothing, Christmas decorations and plenty of gift options for whomever you may be shopping for (even if it's yourself 😉).
You can find us 7 days a week at 6800 Woodlake Commons Loop Midlothian, Va 23112.
Need to reach us? (804)594-5714 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Creating Goods that Do Good”
Ginny Crane makes versatile handmade jewelry & men's accessories in recycled sterling silver, brass and copper. They are easy to dress up for a formal event or down for everyday wear. She creates sustainable designs through ethical studio practices. Many of her designs are inspired by the “throwaways” of her other pieces, allowing organic shapes to occur and no material to go to waste.
You can purchase the jewelry at www.liberatusjewelry.com and receive 20% off using code “RVAHW20”
Wine & Design Richmond
Looking for a creative and personal gifting option this holiday season? Featuring Wood Signs, Chunky Blankets, Paint Your Pet & More; a Wine & Design Class is the gift of Memories and Masterpieces. Wine & Design is a locally, woman owned Art Studio & Wine Bar - perfect for reconnecting with friends and family! With our in-house menu of Eats & Sweets, Beer, Wine and Cider, we’ve got everything needed for a creative escape.
Link to purchase gift cards here: https://www.thegiftcardcafe.com/cart/index.php?storeID=11672
Give the gift of comfort and style this Holiday Season! Sisters Lucy and Michele launched L&M Company in RVA in 2018. L&M incorporates premium fabrics with thoughtful designs to offer three styles of leggings that are made in the US. Whether you need pants for work, working out, play dates, happy hour, or lounging, we have your bottom covered.
*L&M Company will be at Stony point mall on Black Friday and Small Business Saturday.*
Monday Morning Press
Monday Morning Press is a custom letterpress boutique specializing in high-end luxury paper goods. Services include, but are not limited to, custom letterpress wedding invitations,
shower invitations, business cards, personalized stationery, greeting cards, and most recently, letterpress paper earrings.
Natalie Monday, the owner, designer and printer behind MMP has a degree in Architecture from Virginia Tech. She worked in a design firm in Richmond for 6 years prior to opening her print studio. Natalie works out of her home studio in Moseley, Virginia while also balancing the roles of wife to Nick and mother to 3 young girls, Olivia, Charley, and Brooklyn.
Visit mondaymorningpress.com for more info or to purchase any of her unique items.
Give the gift of captured memories by gifting a gift card or photo session from EmmiClaire Photography. EmmiClaire Photography provides memorable photography sessions along with beautiful visuals for families, couples, events, branding, and more!
Do you or someone you know need fresh, new photos for your home, office, website, or to give as framed gifts? This is a gift that will be enjoyed and treasured for a lifetime. Packages can be customized to suit your needs. In addition, we offer design layouts for printed images to hang right on that blank wall you always walk by.
Madison Blair Boutique
Shopping for the tween in your life? Madison Blair is a young girl’s boutique carrying the latest, on trend style clothing for tweens and teens, ages 7 to 16. We strive to empower young girls with confidence through cutting edge style trends, while keeping everything affordable. We direct our attention to young girls transitioning from kid’s clothing into young adult clothing. Our buying team searches the world for the coolest trends in clothing, accessories and gifts! Everything in the shop is hand-picked for our customers. We do our best to never over-saturate our shop with pages of products, but rather bring in limited quantities to ensure unique styles
Shop online at: shopmadisonblair.com
Shop at our Midlothian store-front at: 1332 Sycamore Square in the Sycamore Village Shopping Center
Thank you PlatinumSitters for partnering with Richmond Housewives in the City and sponsoring this post!
I don’t know how it happened, but the 2019 Holiday Season is upon us. With the holidays, come all sorts of social gatherings: "friendsgivings," corporate Christmas parties, New Years Eve celebrations, etc. One thing that pops to your mind if you have kids is: “who’s going to watch the kids?” That’s where Platinum Sitters come in - they will be this holiday season’s MVP!
Platinum sitters was founded in 2013 by by Stephanie Keefer. Stephanie saw a need in the childcare world and after 15 years in the financial industry, she decided to do something about it. Platinum sitters was created to “modernize and simplify childcare in a complex world.”
When you’re ready to book a sitter, you can do it one of two ways: either on your own with their 1-2-3 booking process or by working with one of their qualified platinum managers. You’ll know what you’re paying for the care before you ever book (between $14-$18/hr) and most importantly, all of their sitters are vetted at the highest of standards. They don’t just stop at the initial hiring process, but continue to evaluate each sitter through constant feedback from the families they work with.
Their sitters are available for individual families or for events that you may want to have childcare provided for like a corporate holiday party (what a great perk that would be)!
Take it from Meredith: “Katherine was phenomenal! She connected so well with my little girl. I felt so confident that she was in good hands. We can’t wait to have her back!”
To check out PlatinumSitters for your childcare needs, just head to www.platinumsitters.com.
Welcome! I’m Dannah.
I’m a full-time working mom of two young kids and a fur mom to a Boxer and a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. I’m a multi-passionate entrepreneur with my main focus being on creating community for the women of RVA. I can’t wait to meet you at an upcoming event!