Christmas cards on a table - Winston's wish

Writing an unsent Christmas card

Christmas time can cause grief and its emotions to feel more intense for some people. You might be reminiscing on happy memories or feeling like you can’t think about those memories right now, either way it might be helpful for you to write down your thoughts. Sending Christmas cards might seem like an old-fashioned thing to do, but it can be lovely to send and receive cards at this time of year, especially if you’re grieving. There may be someone else that you’d like to write a card to… the person you’re grieving for.

It might feel a bit weird to write them a Christmas card, but it can be a nice way to include them in your Christmas and also a way to let out some of your feelings of grief at this time of year. You might have seen writing an unsent letter, which is also a very useful thing to do if Christmas isn’t the right time for you or you’d like to write to past, present, or future self.

What should I write in my Christmas card?

There is no right or wrong thing to write in your unsent card, it’s entirely up to you and is possibly only going to be read by you too. Here are some examples of what you could write about:

  • Plans you have for this coming Christmas and what you’d like to have involved them in
  • Memories of previous Christmases, spent with or without them
  • How you’re feeling in the lead up to Christmas
  • Things you’ll miss most about this Christmas without them
  • Something else you’d like to tell them about

Always put yourself first and allow the time to grieve. Don’t hide how you’re feeling because it’s Christmas but also because it is Christmas use it as a time to celebrate lost loved ones in a positive light. I always like to buy my dad a Christmas card and have a drink for him over the Christmas period 🙂


What should I do with the Christmas card after I’ve written it?

It’s completely your choice whether you want to keep your card private to yourself, show friends or family, or get rid of it after you’ve written it. You might have a memory box to keep things in, if you put it in there you could re-read it whenever you want to. If you share it with someone, they might ask you questions or you could ask them questions and talk about how you’re feeling. Perhaps you have a special place you like to visit connected with your person, for example their grave or resting place, you could take the card there if you want to. If you don’t want to keep it, you could tear it up into small pieces and put it in the recycling bin. 

How to get grief support

If you’re a young person who is struggling with their grief or you are an adult who would like help to support a child or young person after the death of someone, Winston’s Wish are here to help. Winston’s Wish provides support for children, young people up to the age of 25 and adults supporting them.

You can call our Freephone Helpline on 08088 020 021 (8am-8pm, Monday to Friday), email us on or use our live chat (open 3-8pm, Monday to Friday). Our practitioners are here to listen, can offer immediate guidance and resources and tell you what support we can offer and what might be most suitable for you.

Our Winston’s Wish Crisis Messenger is available 24/7 for urgent support in a crisis. Text WW to 85258.

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