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Alone on Christmas?

By December 17, 2008 - 10:16am
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Not to start a pity party or anything,... I'm actually going to be alone on Christmas. It had never occurred to me before that I'd ever be alone on Christmas Day, so it's got me thinking about how others spend that day if they find themselves without family. Anyone else out there wondering what they're going to do on Christmas?

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EmpowHER Guest

Hey there! I have been single and spent the last couple of Christmas's alone and I really enjoyed myself.

This year, I put an ad on Craigslist for anyone else alone on Christmas and got several responses. So am meeting a new friend for some drinks or cocoa.

I also like the idea of starting a new tradition. I love to cook. So what I might do is go to the Whole Foods store, and start up one of those new recipes.

I think there are a lot more people that we know alone and sometimes its a lot more peaceful than the crazy overwhelming family scene. I actually might read a book, write my journal, do some shopping.

December 24, 2008 - 12:28pm

I had some really good news a couple of days ago.... my ex-husband told me that he'd bring the kids by to my house at 10 am for a couple of hours. I'm ecstatic that he'll let me share part of Christmas morning with them. (I think there might have been a mutiny if he hadn't.)

One thing on my mind at the moment is that a very dear friend of mine has invited me and my ex-husband and our kids to dinner on Christmas Eve. This is a tradition that our families have shared for several years. Every year we'd have them over for the big Thanksgiving dinner and they'd have us for Christmas Eve. This year I fled -- took the kids down to Tucson for Thanksgiving because I didn't want to re-live a similar Thanksgiving and needed to start a new tradition. But my friend really wants to continue our old Christmas Eve tradition. It's really kind of her to go to the trouble, and it gives me the ability to be with the kids on Christmas Eve since they're with their dad that night, .... but I'm also dreading it. Like playing a broken record.

December 24, 2008 - 11:14am

MisCortes, just thinking about both you and Kristin now that it's Christmas Eve.

Have you made plans for Christmas Day? Does it seem doable to you?

Mis, I tihnk it's very cool that you worked on the holiday, and gave someone with a family the chance to be with their kids.

Don't forget, it's just one day. I'll be peeking in on Empowher tomorrow night, be sure to check in and let us know what and how you're doing!

December 24, 2008 - 10:43am
EmpowHER Guest

I am one person that will be spending Christmas alone. I also spent Thanksgiving alone. Thanksgiving did not go over too well. I thought to myself, I would never do the holidays alone again. I cried, self-pitied, and did not answer my phone. It was horrible.

I got out of a 7 year relationship in February and these are the first holidays alone. It is not easy. Self-pity is such an overwhelming emotion. So easy to fall victim to it. For Christmas, I am trying to go to a friends house for dinner or something...just to get out of the house and force myself to be social.

I found that there is one thing that makes the loneliness feel better which would be helping someone else. I chose to work on the holiday since I knew others have families and would want to spend time with them. Especially ones with children. Christmas is such a kid day anyhow. I feel better knowing that I am volunteering myself to take a person's place that has a family.

I hope this story helps....it is not easy but I found solace with volunteer work.

December 20, 2008 - 4:24pm
(reply to Anonymous)

Miscortes, I'm so sorry about what you're going through. Wish I could give you a big hug. (We both need it!!) Are you going to be able to go to a friend's house like you mentioned?

December 24, 2008 - 11:16am

Kristin, I will get a little deeper here but forgive me if I make reference to why do we have Christmas in the first place.

First of all, I do not think the word "alone" should be the concern. We are so busy with the external world that we never have time with the our OWN self. YES, we have built a big hype around Christmas and YES it is time to spend it with family, friends, co-workers, shoppers or why not ALONE! What a great opportunity you have to spend this holiday with YOU and connect with that side who you have little time to be with the rest of the year.

Long time ago in a far away place a little baby was born in a very humble Inn and a manger. No parties, no noise, no big presents, just His earthly parents, shepperds and a few animals. It was a special night for humanity, and in the Silence of that Night, the greatest Teacher and Savior was born in human form. I will reflect on this more than any other time in my life and pray for those who have had to endure suffering: illness, loneliness, financial difficulties, addiction, etc.

Peace and Love is what we need and Christmas offers us an opportunity to renew our commitment to spreading the real message.

December 18, 2008 - 12:00am
(reply to Coach Virginia)

Coach Virginia, I think you've hit on something really important ... that "alone" time is all in your perspective. Thanks for reminding me of this!

December 18, 2008 - 10:07am

My father had a tradition of inviting the "homeless and indigent," as he fondly referred to his employees and colleagues who had no place to go, to share the holidays with us.

One of my kid sisters, rather than spend a holiday alone, would go to a local church or other location to help serve a holiday meal to the needy.

Whether you take the time to reconnect with yourself or to go out and do something for someone else, I hope the spirit of the holidays chases away any possibility of feeling the blues.

December 17, 2008 - 7:27pm

I love your advice, Cyndi!! Thanks for giving me some great ideas. I already don't feel so alone.

December 17, 2008 - 11:02am

Kristin, the first thing I would ask is, how does it make you feel to be alone on Christmas? Since you're not with family, does it make you want to be with others? Or just have a good day on your own?

I've dealt with this two different ways. One, I went through several years where I had "strays" in -- others who were without family, and we all pitched in for a potluck dinner. Some were single people far from home who worked where I did, and others were friends in the neighborhood. To cook and then to have company makes the hours go by pretty quickly; by the time you get to Christmas evening, you're 90 percent of the way there.

If you're more of an introvert, make it a movie day. Bunches of movies open on Christmas day, and you can (guiltlessly) go from theater to theater and see them all. Or do this at home, heading to Blockbuster a few days ahead of time to pick up all the chick flicks you've missed in the last couple of years.

I think the most important thing to realize is that it should be a day that is appropriate to you. If that's reading and watching television; if that's doing something outside; if that's going through the newspaper and mapping all the sales for the day after, then that's what you should do. If it's cooking like a maniac, playing music (Christmas or otherwise!), or starting a journal for 2009, do that.

If you get invitations, the same rule goes: Accept them if you'd like to, don't accept them if they aren't right for you. There's no one watching you here, there are no rules of etiquette, there are no have-tos. And for all those pesky "So what did you do over Christmas?" inquiries afterward, just have a sublime response: "Opened presents, talked to friends, ate good food. How about you?" that will fit almost all circumstances.

I read about your Thanksgiving -- you did an awesome job of setting a new tradition. If Christmas seems sad or lonely, just realize that it's only one day -- and really, the only part you have to "survive" is early morning to early evening. After that, it's practically the 26th, and then it's on to the New Year. (Denial also works for me, as you can tell, LOL.)

Take care, and make it a day about you.

December 17, 2008 - 10:48am
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