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Lighting ceremony help.


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Like the title says.

On October 29 my mother passed away. 5 days before we found out she had late stage 4 cancer. My mother is and forever will be the reason I decorate for Christmas. I have never done a lighting ceremony nor do what it should entail.

I want to honor my mother . My display is static. Withe lots of cutouts. Has anyone else out there done anything like this. 

I was going to play its beginning to look a lot like Christmas and hand out candy canes. I plan on inviting family only.

Many of which have never seen my display before. It feels like I'm not doing enough.  Any suggestions will be appreciated.  

This is just a sample from this year



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First of all, my condolences to you and your family. I went through something very similar. My wife lost her father to cancer on Christmas morning 2 years ago, and her younger brother 2 years prior in March. Christmas each year was/is/remains very difficult.

Christmas was always a special time for my wife and I, we were even married on the first day of Christmas.
When she lost her brother in March, it was a tragic loss for sure. He left behind his young daughter which was very tough on her.  We had just moved into our current home as well. I knew Christmas was going to be very tough that year and so I started my Christmas display as secretly as possible, ordering tons of lights and decorating when no one was around.

My personal reveal

First, I revealed the lights to my wife privately on a separate day, and explained to her that now her brother can see our house from up there.  Which was a truly touching moment for us. I also explained that no matter how dark her days may be- remember, how bright the nights can be with just a little love. I dedicated my love for her once again that night, and promised to light her darkest days.

For the Family:

That year none of the family had been to our new home.  We sent out invites to them for a very special Christmas memorial at our new home.

1. Memorial Box. I designed a photo collage/dvd to play in the background and decorated the box very festive with a cheerful christmas picture of her brother. Each person would write down fond memories of her brother and place them inside. (This can be done in advance -we instructed them on the invite.)  That night  at dusk we would take turns reading them. Which was both a great laugh/and a difficult thing to do. Just make sure if you do something similar the last memory being read should be from you/host and should be light heated and funny.

2. A memorial bench -- I installed this right next to a beautiful Japanese maple that I strung up with over a thousand lights. I dedicated that tree of lights to him. It was in my backyard away from view on the main reveal, and done first! The family thought that was the reveal!

3. The main reveal- I brought the family around front and had them gather as I did a short speech. I dedicated  this house of lights to him/and my loved ones passed. Sharing my personal memory with them during Christmas, and flip the switch! Let the display do the talking.

4. Final ornament on the tree- His daughter would place a very beautiful glass angel my wife picked out on our tree as the final decoration in a spot where ever she wanted. This would signal dinner time.

Those few things touched people immensely and anything more would be too much for us.

Fast forward to the loss of her dad on Christmas, there is nothing that I can do to fix that one. My intuitions were very in tune that year for some reason, for the first time I wanted to exchange Christmas gifts on Christmas eve with my wife and we did. It gave us a moment of joy that year. Christmas morning we received the news. Needless to say there was no Christmas cheer. I comforted my wife by explaining that her pops was a party animal (he was very fun guy) and that he didn't want to miss the real party upstairs on the 25th.. It change the way she felt but didn't lessen the pain.

Now we kind of go with that format each year by doing the same as the above... it has become sort of new tradition which is great. We all go outside to see the lights, we all talk about our loved ones and we all cry/laugh and make new memories and always bring them into our conversations out loud!

Hopefully you can grab a few ideas from my experience.

Your cutouts look really good so maybe you can do one of your mom! That would be superb. There are a bunch of tools that can make a photo look like a line drawing/outline online, to help get you for the cutout.. If you can't find one PM I'm a graphic designer and I can help you out for sure.


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