I'm here to share the tips and tricks I learned after spending Christmas alone.
Well, it's hard to believe it, but Christmas is almost upon us again. And for some people, the holiday season is a wonderful time of year to spend with their families, kids, and friends. Unfortunately, for a growing number of individuals, Christmas is actually a depressing time of year—one that they'd rather avoid. There can be many reasons for this, but the underlying theme usually revolves around loneliness.
For a single person, going to a Christmas party alone, decorating the tree alone, or not having a family to open gifts with is, in fact, understandably depressing. Even though a single person may have friends that he or she can spend some of the holidays with, feelings of being a "third wheel" often come up unless one is lucky enough to find friends who also have no real family obligations.
If you're spending Christmas alone this year, you might wonder how you wound up in this situation while everyone else around you appears to have loved ones to spend their time with. However, this may not be the best time to wallow in self-pity and get all philosophical. Instead, take heed of these five tips to make your Christmas easier.
1. Work Over Christmas
If you're looking for a way to distract yourself from your loneliness over the holidays, consider working as much as possible if you have the option.
If you work in an industry that keeps going over Christmas such as the healthcare field, you might be able to volunteer to work (getting paid, of course) so that your co-workers with kids can have time off. I'm certainly not suggesting here that co-workers with kids have any more right to their holiday time off than you do, but if you want to distract yourself, working could be the way to go.
And if you're lucky enough to get paid extra for working Christmas, all the better for you! I happen to be one of those people and plan on taking advantage of it this year.
2. Decorate Anyway
Sure, if you live alone, you might be the only one who gets to see your Christmas decorations, but that's okay! Definitely go all out on the decorations if it's your thing, but even if you don't feel like it, pick a few small things to try such as hanging a wreath on your door, getting a small tree (artificial if you like), or stringing a few cards across your living room.
Just because you're spending Christmas alone doesn't mean that you don't have a right to bask in the "Christmas-y" feel that decorations provide.
I really do suggest you make a few small decorations even if you don't feel like it, but if you really don't feel like it, that's your prerogative! I've actually gotten a bit of slack from friends (who don't have to spend Christmas alone, of course) for not getting a tree. Talk about annoying!
3. Are You Really That Alone?
Even though you might think you have no one to spend Christmas with this year, if you're really honest with yourself, you might find that you're exaggerating just a bit. Most people—albeit not everyone—can find at least a friend or family member or two to spend a little bit of time with over the holidays.
Put your thinking cap on! Maybe you have a neighbor who will also be alone this year. It might be cliché, but why not make a batch of Christmas cookies for him or her? Elderly neighbors are especially appreciative of this! Also, maybe there's someone at work this year who will be alone. Once you get to thinking about it, you realize that there are many people in the same boat.
Being alone over Christmas is not pleasant, but try to keep in mind that there are still those out there who are less fortunate than you. This is not about failing to recognize your own struggles but about trying to gain perspective!
If you have some free time over the holidays, why not volunteer at the food bank or local soup kitchen? While I don't volunteer over Christmas, one of the things I've enjoyed doing the past few years is to go out and buy about $100 worth of food for the food bank. I don't have any kids to spend my money on, and it is actually fun to see how many non-perishables I can get out of that amount.
5. Better Luck Next Year!
Again, getting too philosophical over Christmas might not be the best way to go if you're alone. But after the New Year is over and things settle down, you might want to reflect on where you are in your life. Being alone and having no one to spend Christmas with certainly does not make you a failure. There are many reasons why we can end up this way!
But if you know for sure that you hate spending Christmas alone, then start early for next year. For example, if you live away from your family, perhaps you can visit with them next Christmas—start making plans early! Or, if you're on the market for a significant other, make that extra bit of effort to put yourself out there this year. I know it's not easy, but it could be worth the effort!
Alison on October 12, 2015:
Thank you for sharing this. I was thinking about spending this Christmas alone, or just away from my family because I´m abroad. You gave me some good ideas on what to do during that time. Volunteering sounds amazing, and I´m sure that makes Christmas unforgettable.
In case you´re just hanging around on Christmas, what I also might do, here´s a little cheer-up, which makes you feel a bit more at home and less lonely. :) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IppmtygyUsw
redtailhawk on December 25, 2013:
First of all your comments on spending Christmas alone, having a pity party, etc. are ENTIRELY inappropriate. You talk about having spent ONE Christmas alone. How would you feel if you'd been spending Christmas alone more often than not during my 59 years on Earth. Yes I would love to volunteer, decorate, etc., but I've fallen on very hard times in the last 10 years. I couldn't begin to describe them all now.
Depressed on December 15, 2012:
Jennifer me to, had a falling out now it seem's i am the bad one, not one call,text, about xmas plans. So looks like i will be eating home alone at home, I don't care it's just another day to me, I want it gone and passed.. so the next day I don't need to think about it......Perhaps we can all think of one another that day, maybe i will do a Movie Marathon! pretend it's just another day........
jennifer stewart on December 07, 2012:
i hope i can make it through this is my first christmas alone since i'm on the out's with my mom i have no where to go for christmas
Didge from Southern England on June 08, 2012:
Fantastic hub PurpleOne and a good addition to Hubpages! Thanks for sharing!
Joanne on December 24, 2011:
Actually, Id prefer to spend Xmas alone rather than with my family. Why? Because my parents argue all the time! It is awful. It is sad to say it, but I am looking forward to the end of the Xmas, so we could separate again. That is the only way this "family" is working. Ive searched this article to find out what an alone person can do on Xmas to make it feel like Xmas anyway. Because I want to have a nice holidays, I love this time of the year, but I want to have happy holidays. For me, it means away from my arguing parents. People, dont do anything stupid, I know it is sad to spend Xmas alone, but there is going to be many chances to find someone to spend the next ones with you. This Xmas we can promise each other that we will be with each other in our thoughts, that way neither of us will really be alone. Enjoy the holidays anyway! Greeting from the Czech republic.
Used to it on December 22, 2011:
This is my second year alone for christmas in australia this year, My folks are in the states, Haven't seen my bother, and dad for three years. My mom came down from the states after my gran passed, that was it.
You just get used to it after a while. Kind of sounds like i give up. But the one thing i hate is seeing people get fancy presents and things and i get nothing. NOT EVEN A DAMN CARD from anyone. oh well. Ill have to prepare for next year as well
GAG on December 20, 2011:
Any tips for someone who has just been made redundant from work, dumped after 6years, no family and most of all hopeless? I do have friends and have been invited but i know I'll be hurt more seeing what they got that i haven't, but more arsed about being a burden. I've been numb in the last 2 months hardly sleeping, over thinking and dreading Christmas day alone.
I coming to terms of giving up because everything around me depresses me like Christmas adverts, films or even walking through my own street. I may sound like a humbug but seriously I wanna be part of the Christmas spirit, tbh I don't know what i should do... I like the idea of being a volunteer at a soup kitchen or make some homemade mince pies for an orphanage but like i said just been made redundant so where does that leave me? Only idea is string up for being such a failure, or is it?
Sumballo from Deep in the Heart of Texas on November 26, 2011:
Thanks for the effort and advice. I have been thinking about this topic and found this Hub. Well-written and practical advice. Christmas time can be such a difficult and paralyzing time of year for those engulfed in depression. Your article gave me a lot to think about. Well done.
evie on December 30, 2010:
Sometimes being alone at christmas or new year can make you feel very lonely especially when your kids/friends are all out enjoying themselves but you need to remain positive as it won't change anything and you need to try to stay positive even though you may be feeling a bit like a loser.
craigmissuea from USA on December 27, 2010:
Enjoying Christmas alone is the biggest fun. It is much more entertaining spending alone if you love solitude. Your blog greatly helps such people.
Baseball Jerseys on December 27, 2010:
That is an awfully astounding column you've posted.Thanks a lot for that a fantastically amazing post!Baseball Jerseys
joyce.blue on December 07, 2010:
Spending alone at Christmas is not that bad especially like what you've said volunteer. It feels great when you help people during Christmas especially kids.
salt from australia on November 01, 2010:
Ive spent Xmas alone. I actually enjoyed it. Tune out of all the sad stuff and have fun. Its not a dark and gloomy day if your on your own. You can really have a great time. Or go where travellers are. Theres always something to do. I had a great xmas that year. I avoided everybody!!!