My Mum died in June, and this Christmas we're doing him a big collage frame of photos of him and Mum over the years collected from family. He’s not really into “stuff” and I wanted to do something that recognised this Christmas isn’t what it used to be and something that meant something.
We were in this position 9 years ago. My FIL died unexpectedly in the November. My MIL was desperately sad understandably, and did have to slip to another room a few times to shed a few tears. We gave her the space to do that which was important. I thought the DC may have their Christmas spoilt but encountering grief, made them more empathetic people, far more so then me. Looking back, I was more worried about our Christmas fun being affected rather than considering it was her first Christmas without her DH for 40odd years. Regarding presents I think the best things were tickets for events (theatre and Chelsea flower show in her case), making it clear that her DS was going with her to Chelsea and both him and I to the theatre. I think she could just see lonely months spread ahead and it was good to start making plans for the future.
I got my Mum a Christmas tree bauble from Etsy, she recently lost her mum andit has a little white feather inside with the word Mum on it, it’s lovely and I thought it would be a nice little gift for her to remember her Mum