There’s an image created that the holidays are spent surrounded by family and friends, celebrating traditions, creating memories and enjoying quality time with the people you love. Except it’s not like that for everyone. For some people the holidays can be really tough to go through especially while going through them alone. This is something I’ve personally been struggling with the last couple of years since my parents and siblings now all live far away. It’s been challenging for me (and still is) to be happy during a time where it’s supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year. I still have not yet figured out how to get through the holidays without feeling sad and alone because things aren’t the way they once were, but I’ve learned to create ways to alleviate some of the sadness that comes along with the holidays for me.
1. Celebrate a tradition or start a new one
I remember every holiday my mom getting out her Christmas village to set up. It’s the New England version. My twin sister, Emily, and I loved setting it up with her. It’s our favorite holiday tradition. I used to love looking at it all lit up at night. I thought it was so magical. Emily and I loved it so much we started collecting our own Christmas village. Since then, I lost my village while moving one time, and I was so upset. My mom knew I didn’t have many Christmas decorations and that the Christmas village meant so much to me. This year my mom sent me her village to have so I could set it up in my home. Celebrating or creating a tradition is so important during the holidays, as it’s something you will look forward to every year.
2. Enjoy a winter activity
I love being outdoors. During the winter I ice skate, downhill ski, snow shoe and cross country ski. There’s been many times I’ll grab my skates or my skis and head to the ice rink or the mountain to get some fresh air and have some fun. Even though I was alone, I didn’t want to miss out having a great day.
3. Bake a festive treat
I love baking cookies for the holidays. Either Peanut Butter Blossoms or Raspberry Almond Thumbprint Shortbread
cookies are my favorite. There’s nothing better than having a warm batch of freshly baked cookies, some hot cocoa and a good Netflix Christmas movie to get you in the holiday spirit.
4. Be with friends
I remember a few times in the past where I had no where to go for Thanksgiving or Christmas. One of my best friends invited me to her parent’s home to have dinner with them. I thought it may have been awkward because it was the first time celebrating a holiday without my family, but I really enjoyed myself and was thankful for her invitation.
5. Give to others
There’s no better way to spend the holiday than giving your time to others. For a couple of years I volunteered my time helping a local business package food into boxes to give to families who were in need. The boxes contained staple items for a holiday dinner. I also delivered those boxes to the families in need. The holidays can be tough for a lot of people, and I was grateful to spend time helping others.
It’s okay to spend the holidays alone or celebrate them in a different way than you’re used to. The holidays are so busy, it’s nice to relax and enjoy some quality time for yourself. Even if your face-timing your family while opening your gifts or you’re having cookies and cocoa instead of the holiday dinner you know your family is eating, just know that it’s okay. Remember this isn’t how it will be every year.
The past 2 years I’ve been fortunate to celebrate with Lance and his family and it’s been so special to spend quality time with them. Lance and I have started creating our own traditions that we will continue in future years. Although I now have someone special to spend the holidays with, it will always be bittersweet knowing I can’t celebrate the holidays with my family as often as I would like.
I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas, and I hope you enjoy spending time with family, friends or even if you are alone creating a holiday to remember.