Whether you’re living overseas for school, or moved to a new country for a job, sometimes you can’t help spending the holidays by yourself. If you’re used to celebrating Christmas with your family, your children, or even your coworkers, the first Christmas alone can be overwhelming. I remember one Christmas, back when I was an undergrad, that I had to spend by myself in my dorm. I didn’t know people well enough by then to be invited to their own holiday festivities, and my family was in another country and I couldn’t afford to go visit them. Since then, I’ve only spent a handful of holidays on my own, so I thought I’d write up a little guide on how to get through it if you find yourself spending Christmas alone this year.
Handle Your Emotions
A lot of people find it extremely depressing to be on their own over the holidays. When every television special and ad is about spending time with your loved ones, it’s easy to feel unwanted or lonely. Allow yourself to feel upset, and to miss people in your life. You are allowed to feel however you want to feel, just don’t wallow.
Now that that’s out of the way, make some plans! If you know ahead of time that you’ll be spending Christmas alone, look for some local events that you can go to. Find out what’s open– maybe Christmas is the perfect time to visit a Chinese grocery store you’ve always been meaning to go to. Maybe you can treat yourself to some shawarma. If you know that your local soup kitchen is in dire need of help, help! If you can talk to your loved ones, try to set up a Skype date.
Last year, I had to spend Christmas alone, and the biggest thing that I missed was giving presents. I love giving gifts, and not having anyone to do that for was really hard. I signed up for Reddit’s Secret Santa and gave an anonymous stranger on the internet a present, and someone did the same for me. You can always buy or make things for charities like youth centres, and giving back to your community might help you feel better.