You are not alone this Christmas
Christmas time is challenging for most people for different reasons. This is especially true for those who are alone at Christmas. Those who’s families are in a different country, those who don’t have a loving partner in their lives at the moment, and those who don’t have a family to spend Christmas with. This post is to remind you that even though you may feel lonely, you are not alone this Christmas or ever.
Why I can confidently say that you are not alone this Christmas
I have plenty of experience with what it feels like to be alone at Christmas. Having had no family since I was a teenager I had spent more Christmas’ alone than I had with people. I’ve spent Christmas day walking the streets, I’ve been invited as the “pity” guest to other people’s family dinners, and I’ve spent Christmas day serving other families in the hospitality industry.
As a child, the people who adopted me and that was entrusted with my care weren’t very good parents and were also extremely poor so Christmas time usually was a depressing event that always ended in violence and abuse. So sometimes, even if you have a “family” around you, you may still feel alone if you are in a similar situation as I was.
There are also people who feel alone even though they have a loving family and friends around them because they don’t feel like they can be themselves or that their beliefs and opinions are accepted by their family. So they show up for Christmas day and spend the whole day feeling like an alien, watching their “P’s” and “Q’s”, and feeling very alone.
So…you aren’t alone this Christmas if you are feeling lonely. There are lots of other people in different situations as mentioned above who are feeling the same way. The problem is, knowing this doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to make you feel better about your situation. Here are a few suggestions of what I’ve found can help.
How to deal with feeling alone this Christmas
1. Make it special for yourself
One of the best Christmas’ I ever had was in Mosman Sydney, Australia. A couple of days before I went to the shops (should have done it weeks before as it was totally crazy!) and I bought my absolute favourite food items.
I planned out the best eggs benedict breakfast, a picnic lunch with wine, cheese and fruit and of course a dinner with a lamb roast, baked potatoes and pudding with custard. I had mince pies for snacks all day and at that time I ate chocolate so I bought my favourite chocolate.
I also bought myself several gifts and had them gift wrapped and put under my little “single persons” tree. The day arrived and I opened my gifts, enjoyed my meals, went to the beach and basically did what I wanted for the whole day. I then did this on a regular basis for Christmas’ from there on.
2. Focus on the positives
You have the whole day to do as you please! You don’t have to drag yourself over to the in-laws, or wear that ugly sweater your Aunty knitted, or put up with the drunken uncle, or do a bunch of dishes. You can choose to do exactly what you want, when you want, while the rest of the world is doing what they “have to”. How cool is that!! Once I realised the freedom I had, I then cherished Christmas day as one of my favourite days.
3. Take yourself on a holiday
It doesn’t have to be an extravagant holiday if the budget doesn’t suffice. Go for a drive (or catch a bus or train) and give yourself a change of scenery. A little mini break just for you. Away from your usual environment. They say that a change is as good as a holiday, so give it a go.
I’ve spent many a Christmas in a different country too and experiencing a different culture (some that don’t even celebrate Christmas) and that has given me a whole new perspective on Christmas and what it means to me. It’s also changed the level of importance I place on Christmas Day.
4. Change the level of importance you place on Christmas Day
I am not an overly religious person and therefore these days I see Christmas Day as a day, like many others, where I get to choose what I get to do with it and how important I choose to make it. When you see it as just another day when the sun comes up (if you are in Australia) and goes down, and the moon rises and the stars come out, then you won’t feel so alone this Christmas.
5. Volunteer to a charity organisation
One of the best things I’ve ever done is to volunteer to an old people’s home on Christmas day and visit those who don’t have anyone to spend Christmas with. Talk to them and ask them about their lives. I promise you it will be a wonderful experience. You can also volunteer at a homeless shelter or a pet rescue. There are so many places to go and give of your time and in return, not only will you feel good about yourself (it’s impossible to feel bad when you are giving to others!) but you also won't be alone this Christmas either.
6. Focus on the angel moments
This one might seem a bit “Woo Woo” but one of the things I love to do every Christmas is to go back over my year (using my diary helps) and then the major points in my life and remind myself of all the times when an angel stepped in to help.
You know those moments when things seemed impossible and then the right person magically showed up, or you received a call from a friend just when you really needed it, or a stranger paid you a compliment when you were having a bad day. Those times are what I call “Angel Moments”.
Am I going to be alone this Christmas?
For me, this Christmas I am in Singapore, and as much as I have cherished my alone Christmas’s I am feeling very blessed to have a wonderful husband to spend my Christmas day with. He too likes a low key Christmas and so after we call, Facebook and Skype our families (I now have quite a large family) and wonderful friends, we will probably take the dogs for a walk and basically enjoy the Singapore weather and chill out for the day.
However, I will also be taking myself away for a few hours alone this Christmas, just like I’ve always done, to give thanks for all the wonderful gifts (life lessons & experiences) I have received this year, and to count all of my angel moments.
Note: Hopefully you will find these suggestions above to be helpful if you are feeling alone this Christmas. But if you are still feeling lonely, depressed, anxious then please do get some professional help. Call your local support network and talk to someone. There are people who are there to help you.