I lost my husband one year, my mum the next and my dad the year after, leaving just my young daughter and myself for Christmas. It was so difficult looking around that Christmas table and seeing all the empty places!. I'm not very religious, so church was not the answer, but we volunteered to work at a soup kitchen for homeless people on Xmas day, which gave us such a sense of joy and satisfaction and we didn't have time to think of ourselves and our own losses. It taught us to count our blessings and made us feel so needed! Good luck
It was always just my husband, myself, and our son. We had a quiet Christmas, but it was fun with a child in the house. Now he is grown, married, living far from home, and he is unable to make it for the holidays very often. At first, I never used to invite anyone since our meals weren't very fancy or festive and just the two of us. I refused to get depressed or lonely, so one year I asked an elderly widowed neighbor and her divorced daughter. I figured that their dinners were just as quiet as ours. Our dinners are still quiet, but we enjoy their company, and they apparently enjoy coming. I'm so glad that I finally decided to invite them. We have them over every Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas day. We talk, laugh, joke, and visit. It makes the holidays so pleasant. I'm wondering who else we know that is alone that we might add. Just being remembered and not being alone can mean so much.
Invite friends over. Church, while being great for inspirational needs, is also great for social gatherings and connections. If you don't attend one now, find one for the following year.
I was a single mom with one child and except for very special years when my brother and sister and their families came, it was just us plus my mom and dad - and they were elderly. On Christmas day after gifts and dinner - many years we'd go to a special movie.
I plan to volunteer at a local animal shelter. Maybe your kids would enjoy something like that.
I suggest that you put your teenagers to work on solutions to make christmas not so "boring". I have found that no matter what someone's age is that if you include their ideas and use their help in the planning of something they will be more apt to participate and have more fun then if it is pre-planned without their help. You could do the 12 days of christmas and use 12 different activities during the month with the biggest and the best done on xmas eve or day. Then you all vote on your favorites and make them part of your christmas traditions for years to come and replace the activities that weren't to the liking with new ones next year. Once your kids are adults they will pass these down to their families and have great stories to tell as well. Good luck and Happy Holidays to you and your children.
We are more or less alone although my DH has a big family. We use to get together but now that everyone is older, they have their own Christmas at their homes. We try to find a free activity like a singing Christmas Tree or a living Nativity.
Last year we went to this Nativity that promised live animals but all they had was one small Shetland pony that Mary rode in on. It was so funny and kept us laughing all night. They tried really hard though and we had a good time. Great singing.
You might also find a game being played even if you are not into sports. We have an ice rink, so it is fun to watch even if you don't skate. And there is always the open houses with the pretty lights and refreshments.
Make cocoa or cider, pile into the car, and drive around at night looking at Christmas lights.
Volunteer at the Salvation Army or go visit at nursing homes. There are likely lots of elderly people without families who would love seeing some kids or teenagers.
Walk around the yard or neighborhood in search of evergreen branches or pine cones (be sure it's okay to gather these items) to use to make a wreath for the front door or inside the house.
I agree with others who suggest board games, cards, or dominoes with your teens and friends. It might be fun to have an "I'm Board!" themed party with everyone bringing a snack to share potluck-style and small prizes for game winners (little bags of candy, cookies you bake, etc).
The key to avoiding loneliness is to change your surroundings and be creative in finding others to spend time with. Best of luck and Merry Christmas!
My husband and Iused to open our home to the local police department for dinner. These dedicated men and woman who have to work on the holidays don't get to spend time with their family and it can get pretty lonely. It's a thankless job they have. I'd cook a turkey with all the trimmings, put on a large pot of coffee and they'd come in for coffee early in the morning and then come back for dinner. They were very, very grateful. As one officer told me, the year before we did this he had a hot dog at the local gas station for dinner. I even got our local grocery store to donate towards the cost of the food and the media came out and put us on the news that day. It was very gratifying.
There are lots of good suggestions posted! I'd like to add that there a lot of good movies coming out on Christmas Day! I hope you have a blessed Christmas!
I love the idea of inviting people over to share the holiday with them. This would be especially nice for an elderly neighbor or another single parent, but you could even invite a bigger family over for shared fun. You could have contests such as cookie decorating, or who can put on several coats, scarves, gloves, and hats the fastest. Volunteering is not only fun, but it builds community connections. Good luck and happy holidays to you.
One year my husband and I got a bunch of one dollar bills and drove around town on Christmas morning and handed out money to strangers. It was so much fun! The people were shocked, but always smiled, even if they didn't understand what was going on. Or you could make a big thermos of hot chocolate and offer cups of it to people around town, cops, bus drivers, etx. Try to think of things to make other people happy and it will take your mind off of your loneliness.
Ever thought about volunteering? Sheltered workshops support disabled persons that can always use some help.
Food banks and pantrys need hands.
Contact an organization like Junior Chamber, 4-H, Rotary, etc. and ask if they have any leads on who needs your help, and just your friendship. Reaching out teaches a child to be a respected member of the community and to value human personality.
I'm not sure if you mean ideas for the whole holiday season, or specifically Christmas Eve/Day. I grew up in a small family (just me and my parents), with no relatives around. It was always just the three of us. That was what I grew up with, so it was fine with me. I prefer a quiet Christmas.
Don't know if your teenagers are into crafting, but I always enjoyed decorating/making ornaments. So many more materials are available today, and there are projects for all different skill levels/interests.
If your budget allows, your family can adopt an angel from the Salvation Army Angel Tree. We usually get a couple kids, and buy a few quality items for each child.
I like other suggestions of Christmas caroling or visiting nursing homes. You could also see about volunteering at someplace that serves community Christmas meals. You'll be with lots of people, keeping busy, sharing the joy of the holiday season. It's nice to give your teenagers experiences of helping others.
And just for the three of you, making goodies in the kitchen is fun. You can enjoy your treats yourself, or share them with classmates/co-workers/neighbors. We really enjoy driving around and looking at Christmas lights. If we're going on a big drive, I'll make something like rice crispies treats to pull out part-way through our drive.
I hope someone's suggestions seem "right" for you and your family . . . and I hope you have a wonderful holiday season!
Go visit the sick in hospitals. Ask at the front desk who needs visitors,do the same at nursing homes. Ask friends the same about your neighbors. You might like to help out in the above places, also walking is a good thing, as the Dr's say. Walk at least 30 every day. You will also meet someone to talk to. If you like to sew, make something for somebody, even something for a pregnant person, making crafts is a very good idea, good luck.
I had this problem. The first year instead of buying gifts we went to New Orleans and sang carols along the river banks while the bonfires burned. That's okay and was fun but expensive. Now I invite people to come to my house for eats, games. I tell them to bring any photos to share. Photos are more fun if you can share them. So we have a good time eating, talking, looking at photos, playing trivial pursuit, etc. Don't forget to have people of differing ages. Everyone has a different outlooks on life.
I love the suggestion of playing board games. It's amazing how fun it is even for teenagers. Movies are always good, especially classics like Christmas Vacation.
You are not the only ones in this situation. Maybe they can invite some friends over? Or go out to see a movie. I know that's not too thrifty but it can be a special holiday treat.
Find out if any churches are going caroling and ask if you can tag along. Go to midnight mass. If you are in a college town they might have a free Christmas concert you can attend.
Ask a retirement home when they are having visitors for Christmas and if you can visit (ask them if anyone has no family and spend some time with them).
A suggestion is to play a board game together as a family. Or borrow some Christmas movies at a local library, pop up some popcorn and enjoy it while watching the movies.
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