Surviving the Holidays Essential support surrounding Thanksgiving and Christmas

Help the grieving in your community navigate the holiday season, which will be flooded with memories of happier, past celebrations. Offer a special Surviving the Holidays 2-hour seminar to provide practical holiday coping strategies and hope for brighter days ahead.

Surviving the Holidays is perfect for two audiences:

  • Members of your existing GriefShare group
  • People throughout your community

Order the kit for this holiday season!

$95+ shipping
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“People are so hungry for it.”

How it works

Surviving the Holidays is structured much like a single weekly GriefShare session. You’ll show a holiday-themed video session and lead a group discussion. Each participant receives a Holiday Survival Guide. Anyone grieving the death of a loved one is welcome to attend.

There is one difference. Surviving the Holidays is a freestanding event that does not require participation in a weekly GriefShare program. We recommend scheduling two hours for your Surviving the Holidays event.

“Our hope was to have at least 20 people attend the event.
God blessed us with 78 participants at the seminar.”

A strategic way to grow
your GriefShare program

When you promote Surviving the Holidays to your community, it becomes a very effective tool to help you increase participation in your weekly group.

There are two reasons for this:

  • The holidays amplify grief-related pain. That means more people are likely to be seeking help in the weeks before Thanksgiving and Christmas.
  • It’s easier to commit to a single session than a full 13-week program.

Best of all, once people are exposed to the helpful material and warm environment, many will want to become a part of your weekly group!

“Many expressed a desire to attend our next group in January.”

What you get

Each kit includes

  • Surviving the Holidays video session on DVD
  • Leader’s Guide to equip your lay team
  • 10 Holiday Survival Guides for participants
  • Promotional video and materials
  • Free telephone support
$95+ shipping
Order the kit

Additional Survival Guides: $5 each
Additional Leader’s Guides: $10 each

“If you’re on the edge of deciding whether or not to do this, go for it!
Each life there was impacted for the better.”

The experts

A total of 14 leading Christian counselors, authors, and pastors are featured in the Surviving the Holidays print and video materials.

Sabrina D. Black

Sabrina D. Black, author and speaker, is the CEO and clinical director of Abundant Life Counseling Center. She is a limited licensed professional counselor, certified addictions counselor, and certified biblical counselor. She experienced the death of multiple close relatives and the miscarriage of her baby.

Dave Branon

Dave Branon is an editor, a contributor to Our Daily Bread, and the author of many devotional articles and books. His book Beyond the Valley details his journey after the death of his 17-year-old daughter Melissa.

Zoricelis Davila

Zoricelis Davila is a bilingual counselor and speaker. She has authored several Spanish books, including ¡No sé lo que me pasa! [I Don’t Know What Is Wrong with Me!]. Her dad died of cancer.

Dr. Robert DeVries

Dr. Robert DeVries is professor emeritus of church education at Calvin Theological Seminary. His first wife of 28 years died of cancer. Now remarried to Dr. Susan Zonnebelt-Smeenge, they work together to help people in grief and are coauthors of many books, including The Empty Chair: Handling Grief on Holidays and Special Occasions and From We to Me.

Dr. Alfonza Fullwood

Dr. Alfonza Fullwood is the senior pastor of Riley Hill Baptist Church in Wendell, North Carolina, and adjunct professor of preaching and speech at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He has led preaching clinics and seminars in North Carolina and abroad and has been in ministry for over three decades.

Omar King

Omar King is a counselor at Bridgehaven Counseling in Raleigh, North Carolina. He holds a Master’s of Divinity with Biblical Counseling degree from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. His mother passed away.

Susan Lutz

Susan Lutz served as a counselor at the Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation in Glenside, Pennsylvania, for over 15 years. She now counsels at her church, New Life Presbyterian Church of Dresher. She authored the booklet Thankfulness: Even When It Hurts. Her parents passed away.

David Bueno Martin

David Bueno Martin is a bilingual counselor and supervisor at Martin Counseling in Katy, Texas. He also speaks at workshops and seminars. David experienced the loss of a child.

Dr. Ramon Presson

Dr. Ramon Presson is a certified marriage and family therapist and the founder of LifeChange Counseling and the Marriage Center of Franklin, Tennessee. He has written several books, including When Will My Life Not Suck?

Lois Rabey

Lois Rabey is a speaker and writer. She has authored several books, including When Your Soul Aches and Moments for Those Who Have Lost a Loved One. Lois lost her husband in a hot-air balloon ride accident.

Dr. Paul David Tripp

Dr. Paul David Tripp is a pastor, author, and international conference speaker. He is the president of Paul Tripp Ministries and has authored many books, including Forever and A Shelter in the Time of Storm. Dr. Tripp experienced the death of his father.

James White

James White is the pastor at Christ Our King Community Church in Raleigh, North Carolina. He currently serves as the executive vice president of organizational relations for the YMCA of the Triangle and as a board member for Carver Bible College. James experienced the loss of his parents.

H. Norman Wright

H. Norman Wright is a grief therapist and certified trauma specialist. He is the author of over 70 books, including Experiencing Grief and Recovering from Losses in Life. He experienced the death of his wife and son.

Dr. Susan Zonnebelt-Smeenge

Dr. Susan Zonnebelt-Smeenge is a licensed clinical psychologist. Her first husband died 18 years after he was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. Now remarried to Dr. Robert DeVries, they work together to help people in grief and are coauthors of many books, including Getting to the Other Side of Grief and Traveling through Grief.


Consider offering TWO seminars. Schedule one in the weeks before Thanksgiving and the other between Thanksgiving and Christmas. If you decide to offer a single seminar, schedule it before Thanksgiving.

As a special event, you are not limited to your standard weekly meeting schedule. Groups have offered very successful seminars on Saturday mornings, Sunday afternoons, and weeknights.

The video seminar is loaded with practical, hope-inspiring ideas including:

  • Why the holidays are so difficult
  • How to plan for the season
  • How to deal with holiday invitations
  • Surviving “alone time”
  • Dealing with emotional ambushes
  • Managing strong emotions
  • Creating new traditions while honoring your loved one’s legacy

They are not. Group members would get lost because the material is structured differently. Likewise, the new Survival Guides are not compatible with the old videos.

Learn what is new and updated in the latest edition of Surviving the Holidays.

Yes. The DVDs have a menu option that allows you to activate English subtitles.