Home Alone on the Holidays

Posted on: November 15th, 2011 by Kay Swatkowski

7 Things To Remember When You are Home Alone

Two years ago, all four of our children and their families had alternative plans for Thanksgiving.  We have chosen to be “no pressure” parents and in-laws and allow our adult children to do whatever they need to do on those special days.   Fortunately, a couple days later I cooked a turkey and we were able to  celebrate with most of our family.

I would like to say that Thanksgiving was okay for us that year.   But, it really wasn’t.  I felt like a fish out of water with no turkey to cook, no hustle and bustle, no laughing kids running through the house.   The feelings of emptiness are hard to describe.

I am a realistic person.  We will spend other holidays alone.  I am determined to make the most of those days and find ways to enjoy the time.  So, here are some of my random thoughts on being alone on the holidays.

1. My happiness is not dependent upon the presence of other people.  It is my job -and no one else’s – to find ways to enjoy Thanksgiving and Christmas.

2.  I can cope with those painful, lonely feelings.  I will miss my family on those days, and will always have a sense of loss. Nevertheless, as an adult, I am able to acknowledge and cope with those feelings. I will manage my feelings and not let my feelings manage me!

3.  I will avoid self-pity and instead express gratitude for the times we can spend together as a family.

4. I will find some activity that will take us out of the house or create a new tradition that my husband and I will enjoy. Going to a movie, a concert or having friends in could be new traditions to start on those holidays.

5.  I will look for other people in the same situation and find ways for us to share some holiday fun.  We can go to a movie together, have a potluck, go to a restaurant or engage in a serving project.

6.  I will use technology to connect to my family!  I am so grateful for Skype and facebook chat.  I believe both of those things have allowed us to stay better connected to family.

7.  I will emphasize the spiritual aspects of these holidays and find comfort and joy in worship and opportunities to serve.

What are your ideas for spending the holidays in a meaningful way–even if you are home alone?

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