A lot is written about holiday loneliness. I’m sure you have heard it mentioned many times over, or maybe you are experiencing it yourself this holiday season, or maybe you know someone who is. Despite the headline, I feel sorry for people who are alone this time of year. However, if, for whatever reason, you happen to be alone this Christmas, please don’t feel sorry for yourself. There are many worse things than being alone for the holidays.
Loneliness is a state of mind
Did you know you can be in a crowded room with people laughing and having fun around you and still feel alone? It happens. Maybe that’s the reason a lot of people take off on a cruise or go somewhere to get away from the frenzy that now characterizes Christmas. It was never meant to be this way. Christmas is great when celebrated with family and friends, but does it have to be accompanied by wasteful spending and gluttonous eating? Your state of mind should not depend on whether you’re alone or not.
Loneliness should not mean sadness
This brings me back to the title. If you are alone, don’t feel sorry for yourself. If you have recently lost a loved one, you would be sad. There’s no getting around it. Memories of the person and the times you spent together will bring on waves of sadness. But know that this too will pass. Cherish those memories and move on. If on the other hand, you are alone at Christmas because you live alone, then you should prepare for the occasion
Choose not to be lonely
By this I mean, make plans for the holidays. Do what pleases you. If friends invite you to spend the day with them and the idea appeals to you, then accept their invitation graciously, take a nice gift and go and have a good time. If you would rather be alone, then prepare to enjoy your own company. Cook your favorite meal, put on your favorite music, wear something nice, and enjoy the day. Or you might decide to go off somewhere by yourself where you can walk on the beach, gather shells and read a good book.
You can be alone and not be lonely.
Reach out to others who are lonely
Some people find great satisfaction in volunteering at homeless shelters where they can interact with others who are alone at this time. Many psychologists recommend this as a means of taking your mind off yourself and by so doing, you avoid feeling sorry for yourself. If you don’t like volunteering, why not invite a friend or neighbor who will be alone for the holidays for a nice home-cooked dinner. But be sure to make this a pleasant time, not one to cry in each other’s egg nog.
If you are used to living alone, Christmas should not be a lonely time for you. You should have certain things in place for celebrating this time of year. If, however, being alone is a new experience and you dread the idea of spending the holidays alone, then by all means, reach out to someone, or don’t be too proud to accept the invitation of others. Christmas is all about celebrating the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ. He is the “friend who sticketh closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18: 24). Let Him be your Savior today and He will see you through these alone times. Merry Christmas!