I have already mentioned that the holidays are not the easiest time for me. I am struggling to get into the Christmas spirit. I attempted Christmas shopping over the weekend and let’s just say if I couldn’t find it at Target, you aren’t getting anything. My house is festively decorated, but the atmosphere is lacking. And that is okay. I know it won’t always feel this way.
However, I am not going to let myself stew and dig myself into a deeper hole of depression. No way! I am the decider of my feelings and my reactions to them. I can either let them tear me down or I can choose to change them. My situation is what it is. I am divorced and have to share my kids. That will never change. But the way I look at my life can.
Christmas is just a day
One day. Okay two if you count Christmas Eve. Just a day. Think of it as that. Yes the kids might be gone. Yes you are alone. Yes everyone is with family celebrating. Yada yada yada. When you think of it like that, then yes you will become down in spirits. Change the way you see Christmas. Honestly, it helps.
Let your people know you are going to be alone
Please don’t suffer alone. You are not helping yourself by not saying anything. I have already told most of my family and friends that I will be kidless for 10 days over the holidays. I am pulling out all the stops calling in reinforcements. My tribe shows up. So will yours. But you have to tell them first. No one is a mind reader. Even though we like to think our loved ones are.
Get out of the house
It seems like everything is shut down on Christmas Day. However, there are quite a few restaurants open. Treat yourself. Movie theaters are open. Go catch the latest flick. Go to a nursing home or hospital and visit someone. Anyone. There are so many people alone on Christmas. Some with no family. Some with no children. Some who are dying. Be the light for them. Be someone else’s joy. Take treats or coffee to the nurses and doctors. Go to church. Volunteer at a shelter. Open your eyes to the blessings you have. Realize this is the best way to celebrate our Lord’s birth.
Last year, I met a widowed co-worker for a Christmas matinee. This year, a fellow single mom friend and I are spending the day together. We haven’t decided what we are doing yet but see tip #3.
Honestly, I have been focusing on how I should be feeling for the holidays. The commercialized version. The shopping, the baking, the carols, the christmas cards, the gift exchanges. Maybe what I need to do instead is focus on the true reason for this time of year. The birth of my savior. Maybe I need to be preparing to give and love like Jesus. Extending acceptance, forgiveness, and a helping hand. Maybe I need to be focusing on how that makes me feel. Which makes me much more excited about Christmas.
6 thoughts on “How to be alone on Christmas”
Wonderful message!! Nursing homes are in need.
I think this is a really good perspective. I also think it depends on what stage your divorce is in. If it’s not final and your spouse is still trying to battle you in court, the holidays are very difficult.
You are absolutely right. When you are still going through the hardest part that is when you need to lean in even more to family and friends to help you get through. I know for me when I was at my darkest times, helping others who were struggling or worse off than me, I found a healing and gratitude towards the situation.
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One year ago today is when I picked up my soon-to-be-ex at the airport at 11:30 PM after a whirlwind and exhausting pre-deployment Army trip to Boston. Which turned out to be a whirlwind and exhausting trip to see his mistress. This time of year will be forever tainted with that memory.
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Mine happened on Dec 15. And yes this time of year will always be mixed with grief.