Many of us are facing the Holidays alone this year, with COVID restrictions and trying to keep gatherings to a minimum. But that doesn’t mean we have to give up and spend the day hiding under the covers in our jammies.
There are plenty of ways to enjoy Christmas. Gatherings may be smaller, people may opt not to travel, or it may just not be possible this year. Christmas may not be what you picture as a perfect Holiday, but try to think outside the box and reimagine things. Or rather, imagine a Happy day…what would that look like for you?
Find ways to spark some joy in your Holiday, even if you’re alone this year. Maybe the kids aren’t coming home, or you don’t have kids or grandkids, maybe you got divorced, maybe you’re not able to have the large family gathering you usually do, whatever the reason, know you are not alone in feeling blue at Christmas.
But there are ways to enjoy the most happy time of year even though it’s not ideal.
Here’s some ideas.
Take a stroll down memory lane.
Go back in time to when Christmases were fun and magical, and relive those times in your mind and heart. Whether that’s your childhood, or when you were first married or the kids were little, whenever you remember being happy this time of year. Cherish those memories, let your mind wander back, remember the magic, and the good times. What traditions do you remember? What decorations meant the most to you? What presents do you remember loving the most? Who do you remember loving you and you loving in return? Remember. Cherish.
Take a stroll outside.
Get bundled up and take a walk in the snow. Notice what’s around you…the beauty of a snow covered bush, sparrows chirping in the trees, a bright blue sky, or maybe a gray, overcast one. Listen…to the birds, to the earth crunch under foot, or to silence. Feel…the sensation of cold air in your lungs, the emotions at the memories that spring to mind, the knowledge that you are part of a world much bigger than you…feel the progress as your feet and legs move you along, and know that represents something bigger…the strength that comes from tackling your problems and moving ahead.
Play with your dog.
Dogs can be wonderful companions…loyal, loving, and true. Snuggle companions and playful friends. Take your baby outside and play snowball catch, or just watch them play in the snow. Inside, sit on the floor and love them up. Whatever you do with your fur baby, just enjoy them and shower them with love. You can talk to them, too, you know. They listen without censor, and they don’t tell anyone what you said. A very good quality.
Yes, there are things…or people…missing from your life, no one’s life is perfect. But we are happier when we’re grateful for what we do have. Make a list of everything you are grateful for. Every night thank the Lord for what he’s given you. Don’t ever get complacent or think that nothing has gone right in your life. That’s never true. Make a point to be grateful.
Sing Christmas music
I know…you’re feeling blue and “All I want for Christmas is You” is all you feel like singing. Maybe this isn’t for you, but for me singing Christmas songs lifts my mood. Give it a try. Crank up the stereo and belt out “Deck the Halls” and see if it makes you smile. The dog may look at you like you’ve lost it, but that’s no biggie.
I know a lot of older women don’t put up a Christmas tree if the kids aren’t coming home, and I never quite understood that. Not everyone has children. Decorate anyway. The decorations are for you as well as for the kids. Get out from under the notion that everything you do is for someone else. Do it for you. Don’t you like the lights? Don’t you enjoy the tree and garlands and the happy Santas and elves sitting around? Decorate anyway.
Buy gifts for those you love.
IF you can’t get to them this year, mail the packages. There’s something to be said for getting outside of yourself, for thinking of others, to make you feel better. If you don’t have someone to buy for, buy for Toys for Tots, and donate so little kids in your area will have a gift for Christmas. There is probably a nursing home in your area as well, you could see about buying a gift for an elderly person who doesn’t have family nearby to visit them. There’s always someone in need. Reach out.
Plan your Christmas Eve and Christmas Day
Don’t just wing it, because if you’re feeling blue you may just sit on the couch staring at the wall. Or worse. Make a plan. Lots of churches are holding services on Facebook or online if you’d like that. Plan to bake something. Read a good novel. Try a gourmet meal. Watch a movie marathon. Call a friend. Call family. Take a drive and look at the Christmas lights. Visit a friend. Have a few people over. Ride your exercise bike. Try dancing to some great disco song on youtube. Whatever. Write it down, plan your day.
Learn to do a video call on your Smartphone. Then you can see and talk to family and friends without being there. Try connecting via Zoom so you can all get together for a quick visit. Technology is making a lot of things possible.
I hope one of these ideas has sparked your imagination. There are many things we can do to make the Holidays sparkle. And sometimes they end up better than we ever thought they would. I hope your Holiday sparkles with joy this year.