Are you going to be alone for Christmas, but don’t want to be?
I have recently had many people ring and say different versions of this story:
I have just broken up with my boyfriend, I have only lived in this new location for three months and I don’t want to be alone for Christmas! What can I do?
Is this you? Or do you know someone in this position?
I said to “Christine,” “Well what is stopping you from letting someone know that you do not have plans for Christmas and planning a get together?”
Christine said, “I don’t want to look pathetic.”
I said, “Christine do you really think everyone at Christmas has a family living close by and everyone is going to play happy families for Christmas?”
“I don’t know, probably not.”
“How would you feel if someone told you they were going to be on their own? What would you do?”
She said, “I would say, come with me and we will do something together.”
“So what is it going to take for you to let someone know you want company for Christmas?”
We discussed a few things and we came up with:
“Where have you been that way before?” I said to Christine.
“Recently, I had to let my boss know that we could not complete a project on time due to unexpected events. He appreciated me telling him even though I was scared he would think I was incompetent. He didn’t and we re-scheduled the project.”
“Okay, so you do have those skills. So what are your choices for Christmas?”
1: Be a Victim.
Play small, cover up and pretend that you are going to have a happy Christmas on your own, and don’t tell anyone. The consequence: be miserable and have a lonely Christmas.
2: Live in Hope.
Hope that someone will ask you what you are doing, tell them you will be on your own and then hope they will invite you to their get together. The consequence: be miserable and blame other people for not inviting you over.
3: Be Proactive.
Take responsibility for creating your life. Be a risk taker and be vulnerable and share with a friend or work colleague what has happened. I have broken up with my boyfriend, I am new to town and have no family here or whatever the situation. Ask them what they are doing and ask if you can join them. The consequence: an invite to a Christmas gathering, new friends, fun and connectedness.
Choose to be kind to someone less fortunate and volunteer to help others at Christmas, at a local church or community group that cooks meals or cares for the homeless. The consequence: meet new people and feel great helping others.
A couple of days later I had a message from Christine.
I told Brendan, my work colleague, that I was going to be on my own. He said great, he and his wife had not planned anything yet and he asked me to join them and we can invite some others. He did not think I was pathetic! I am going to have a great Christmas making new friends.
So, are you going to be on your own for Christmas? Do you want to be?
If you have a gathering of friends and family do you know anyone who might be on their own? Could you invite someone else and extend your Christmas hospitality to a non-family member?
What is Christmas about? None of us have to do it alone. There are billions of people on this planet and all of us love a little love and it is great to share a little love with others.
If you have a Christmas story of how you had the courage to connect with others I would love to hear what it took? If you have invited others who would have otherwise been alone I would love to hear what happens at your extended family Christmas.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Deborah Lange is an advocate for “The Human Spirit”. In a world where so many people are busy, stressed and pre-occupied with technology, Deborah sees a great need to remember the essence of our humanity: kindness, relationships, compassion and seeing beauty in each other and the world.
She has worked as a Management Consultant, Facilitator, Personal and Executive Coach and in mid life she “retired” early to care for her mother to honor her last wish to die at home. She is currently writing a memoir about that experience and as she grows into eldership, she is sowing the seeds she has gathered of truth and wisdom so that she can guide others on their
She has a keen interest in working with people at any stage of life who have a desire to be free of the often unconscious constraints they have placed on themselves, unleash their creative potential and be free to live a soulful life of their dreams. Her experience has been living a life in a state of flow when there is alignment between what we feel, with what we think and what we do. When out of sync life can be hard work. It doesn’t have to be. There is much wisdom to gain through a practice of integrating body, mind and spirit.
Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn—or send her an email at email@example.com.
Assistant Editor: Elysha Anderson