A few times in my life, I've had nothing to do during the holiday season. Both of my parents passed away when I was young, and I've always felt self-conscious inviting myself over to a friends' place for a Chanukkah or Christmas dinner. Throughout the years I've done various things to keep me busy, distracting myself from the thought of being alone:
- Creating a tradition to share with a friend, which at the time was going to see an animated or kids movie in the theater on Christmas Day;
- Volunteering at a soup kitchen or Meals on Wheels;
- Watching sappy, romantic holiday movies; and/or
- Inviting everyone I knew over for dinner.
Some years however, I've found myself grieving a loss and not feeling much like celebrating. Friends and family have kept me cheerful, and the secret gift exchanges I participated in past years warmed my heart. One gesture in particular from a group of my colleagues here at About.com made me feel more grateful, humble and thankful than I have in years, and I can't thank them enough. It reminded me that people do care and want to help those struggling in any way they can.
So for those of you feeling alone this time of year and with whatever celebration you normally recognize, this post is for you. I've written an article about Being Alone During the Holidays in response to this feeling, and I hope it provides assistance and comfort to those who need it. For everyone else, I'd love it if you shared how you cope with being single, alone, or otherwise sad during the holiday season, or how you're currently struggling with it and how you plan on working through it.