For someone about to go through their first (or 20th) round of holidays after the loss of a loved one, even the simple food shopping trip can be painful when all of the decorations start filling the shelves. Grief can be strong and debilitating until you're able to establish a new normal.
It is okay not to attend as many holiday parties, decorate to the same extent, or host family events. Make sure you communicate with those around you so they understand that your actions are made out of grief and does not reflect your relationship with them.
Being able to cope with the pain can be extremely difficult. Sometimes the cheerfulness of any holiday can make grief all the more prominent. Allow yourself to go outside of family traditions that have strong attachments to that person. You can always go back to the tradition the following year. There is no right way to grieve. Pave a way that works best for you and your family.
Sadness is understandable, but be sure to create a plan to prevent a downward emotional spiral or substance relapse. Schedule an indulgent spa day, work out some of your emotions with a new exercise routine, lose yourself in a hobby, help someone else, or schedule a day/evening out with friends that allow you to be YOU without pretending everything is fine.
If you feel that you need any substance to handle your emotions, please reach out to a therapist or call someone that will guide you through this difficult time. Support is all around you.