Are you single? Does your family live far away? Is this your year to not have the children? Perhaps your ex got custody of the "friends" you shared when you were together? Or maybe you just want to do something different this season?
Being single during the month of December can pose challenges that you don't have to think about at other times of the year. People who are newly single may struggle as they try to figure out what to do when there isn't a built-in place to go for the holidays.
Because I was single a long time between my two marriages, I needed to come up with activities to keep the holiday doldrums away. I found that being proactive ahead of time not only guaranteed I'd have something to do, it also gave me something to look forward to.
My single friend, Pat, has been telling me she doesn't know what to do for the holidays this year. For a variety of reasons, she's on her own this season and feels short on options. She mentioned that she might spend part of the day meditating, something she finds personally fulfilling. However, her tone of voice led me to believe it would feel very solitary if that were her only option.
This prompted me to dig out and share with her some things I did before I remarried. Here are a few ideas for singles this holiday season:
- Reach out. Put out the word to other singles who don't have plans for the holidays and ask them to invite their single friends, too. Perhaps you could have a potluck dinner and movie. How about watching White Christmas?
- Go caroling. Organize a caroling event in your neighborhood.
- Visit neighborhood lights. Your local newspaper or city hall will list the neighborhoods that pull out all the stops in terms of holiday decorating. You can go alone or assemble a group of friends and drive (or walk) through the decorated streets. The neighborhoods often have music playing and some even hand-out cookies and candy canes — your evening can become quite festive!
- Attend services ... at your local house of worship on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.
- Volunteer for a charity. Many charities (fire and police department, scouting organizations, churches, etc.) ask for donations of gifts for children. They need volunteers to sort and wrap these.
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