This is a follow up to my earlier post about coping with Christmas and is meant for those who are struggling with any aspect of this season. It’s a buffet – see if there is anything that appeals to you.
For a start, here’s something for those who are alone at Christmas
Loneliness is never too far away and this is especially true when, in the lead-up to 25 December, we’ve been railroaded with images of families packed around dining tables and scenes of children opening presents around a tree. But being alone at Christmas doesn’t have to be a negative experience and it doesn’t mean that you’ve necessarily made a series of bad decisions – this is just how life works out sometimes. Here’s a motto for a solo Christmas Day: being alone and being lonely are not the same thing.”
Taking time to help others is one way of alleviating our own loneliness or sadness, all while being a genuine support for other people.
- This article has some ideas for where to go and what to do/
From grass-roots projects providing food for refugees to food banks that supply essentials to many, these are just a few of the charities that are looking for help this festive season. If you can’t volunteer, remember that you can donate instead.”
“Breaking bread with loss”
If you have the opportunity, it’s worthwhile finding those with whom you can pass at least some time this Christmas. One website called it “Breaking bread with loss”:
One of the most powerful human experiences is the act of eating together. There is very little you can do that is more healing or holy than gathering a group of people you love and sharing a meal. This might be your family, or it could be the “family you chose.” There is no requirement that your house be clean (do not invite anyone who would criticize your house cleaning), or that the meal be fancy. Order pizza if you like, it isn’t what you eat that matters. What does matter is sitting down with a group of people who love and care for each other and spending time feeding your bodies and your hearts.
Eat whatever you like, and tell stories. Stories are the seeds that help joy grow out of loss. Tell the story of how your parents met, your husband proposed, your child was born. Tell the stories that make you laugh, and the ones that make you cry. Pass stories around among you, each offering your own dish of memories until everyone is full.”
If you don’t have anyone in your own social or family circle for whom this is appropriate, you might want to consider some of the Support Groups who organise meet-ups at this time of the year.
If you have a Christian viewpoint and are finding it difficult to express your thoughts or find the words to pray at this time, here’s something you might want to look at:
More coming in Part 2, including contact details for Helplines that are open over the Christmas season.
Your suggestions and recommended links are very welcome!