Alone for the holidays?

kayjonesNovember 10, 2003

With the holidays quickly approaching, will you find yourself singing these words: "Gloom, Despair, and Agony on Me, Deep Dark Depression, Excessive Misery, If I had no Bad Luck, I'd Have No Luck at All........"?

After the demise of a long-term relationship, the holidays can be devastating, but they don't have to be. I, for one, prefer not to join in the commercialism and family gripe sessions, but I know there are those of you who enjoy these get-togethers. Good for you!

If you are recently single, remember that is is ok to mourn. I would like to offer some thoughts for how to manage your feelings:

1) She/He is REALLY gone - find your NEW best friend (that would be YOU). Spend the money (that you would have used to buy your SO a gift), put up your tree (new location), decorate it, wrap your gift, and put it under the tree.

2) Find out who you really are. You are SPECIAL. Take inventory of yourself. Write down 50 unique qualities/traits you have. I know that's a lot, so ask your friends to help you with the list.

3) Think about the REAL meaning of this holiday. Holidays were meant to be a Season of Giving - not of gifts but of ourselves. Give to someone less fortunate than yourself, whereby getting back an abundance of peace and joy. Give someone hope and help brighten someone else's life. If you have children, take them with you on your journey to help someone else - let them also experience the true gift of giving.

4) Don't be suckered into depression by the media, who display images of the warm, loving familys. That's how they generate dollars - by making someone feel guilty enough about something/someone to BUY something. THINGS don't cultivate happiness - happiness comes when you are comfortable with YOU.

5) Learn to cope - stitch together the connections that you have. Traditions are highly ingrained in us, and not having the closeness with that special someone is difficult. You will get through and though it may not be the BEST holiday of your life, getting into the right frame of mind is essential.

5) DO NOT feel obligated to attend holiday functions. Now that you are single, it is perfectly acceptable to be alone whenever you choose. Tell your family you are spending the holiday in a nudist colony!!! LOL

6) Most important thing to remember: WHAT YOU DO WITH YOUR LIFE IS UP TO YOU! Sit in the pity puddle or CELEBRATE your new independence!

God bless each of us this holiday season. I would like to hear what suggestions others might have, so WHO WILL BE NEXT?

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I've been debating whether or not to decorate this year. There are so many traditions that my ex and I loved - so I may have to wait a year so that the newness of being divorced wears off. But, maybe not. The idea of buying myself a present is a fine one. It's time I did something really special for myself.

Other good ideas - volunteer at a soup kitchen to serve Thanksgiving dinner. Call your local food bank for suggestions.

If you're at all religious, attend a church service on Christmas eve.

One of the surest ways to heal psychic wounds is to serve others. Contact the library and help an adult learn to read. Volunteer to work on a Habitat for Humanity home. Walk dogs for the Humane Society. Be a Big Sister or a Big Brother to a child needing a stable relationship with an adult. Adopt a family for Christmas and cook their holiday dinner. Take food to a shut-in. How about volunteering to hold the preemies at the neonatal unit of your hospital?

I'm going to spend Christmas eve and day with friends that I love. I'm counting my blessings this year!

Okay, who's next?

    Bookmark   November 10, 2003 at 2:33PM
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Great ideas Puddlejumper - THANKS!!!! Yes, WHO WILL BE next?

    Bookmark   November 10, 2003 at 3:02PM
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I have 2 children, 11 and 13. I am rarely alone! They always help with the decorations now that they are older.

Since I am not in another relationship I usually include the kids' father in the holiday meals. I think it's good for the kids to see us getting along. It sets a good example and reduces their stress.

I have been without a partner for about 5 years so there is no new pain. Still don't like it! But I am accustomed to it.

I will taking the kids to visit my sis and her family for Christmas in Phoenix so we will all be very busy and happy.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2003 at 12:26AM
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Am I alone for the holidays?, but I am about to run's gotten to be such a hassle over whose going to go where to please and appease a certain member of the family that it's become almost inane.
My mom is elderly and my brother from out of state and his daughters family talks about coming says her stove is broken (the stove is fine, I checked it out)and the doctor says she shouldn't be in the kitchen cooking (even though last year my brother and I cooked the entire meal and took care of the leftovers and dishes and MADE her sit and watch the football games to keep us updated on the score)...We have decided that we are bbq'ing hamburgers this year,using paper plates so we don't tax the stove and don't have a mess that she feels she has to clean up since last year was such a burden.
Told mom that if I knew it was going to be this much stress on her and cause such a burden, I'd made plans to have dinner out of town with my new friend...she said good, you could take me too. Aughhhhhhhhhhh!!
I tell ya, I am ready to run away!!...LOL

    Bookmark   November 13, 2003 at 9:04PM
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Are you sure you aren't my ex? Your mother sounds an awful lot like my mother-in-law!

    Bookmark   November 13, 2003 at 11:41PM
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I have a feeling that if you were to take a poll, browntoes...there would be a lot of mothers and mother-in-laws that could fall into this category after they reach the age of just practiced for the previous 20 years to master the art of driving us kids crazy...heh...did anyone ever notice how father-in-laws were generally decent people (at least to your face)...moms never think that any woman is good enough for their "little boy"

    Bookmark   November 14, 2003 at 12:53AM
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Actually, I still have a good relationship with my inlaws and they invite me to come visit whenever I am able to. I'm sure that they thought I was nowhere near good enough for their son for a long time. MIL referred to my family as "the rednecks" to my face before she ever met them.

They have since come around to realize that I am a very decent human being. They appreciate that their grandchildren are bright, socially adroit young people and that I still do things for my ex if he is ill.

Yep. Moms are good at driving us over the edge. My mother has honed and refined her methods to utter perfection.

It was the avoidance of holiday duty-bound behavior that reminded me of my MIL. She absolutely refuses to fulfill any obligatory holiday expectations. She'll make a turkey dinner, alright, but she'll do it on Saturday AFTER Thankgiving and invite us all over after we have all had turkey dinner and a day of leftovers. Go figure.


    Bookmark   November 14, 2003 at 2:55AM
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I'm fortunate in some ways... my mother is ill although only 68. Brain disorder called Normal Pressure Hydrocephalous. But we'll be alone for Christmas - my brother and his family are going to his in-laws in Maryland. So we're bagging the whole traditional Christmas thing and heading to Disney! Just booked the reservations last night!

Woo hoo!


    Bookmark   November 14, 2003 at 7:58AM
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I am not single, and I have one living son and two grandsons. Five years ago, we lost our only daughter to a tragic accident. The holidays can be depressing if we let it be. For those of you who are grieving the loss of a relationship, I do sympathize with you. The advice that I can give you, though, is how my husband and I deal with the loss of our child. We try to be thankful for all that we have and all of the filled chairs in the house and not dwell on the empty chair.
I pray that all of you can find peace and happiness with other family and friends. Be good to yourself.
Happy Holidays!

    Bookmark   November 14, 2003 at 1:32PM
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I'm truly sorry for your loss Lulie....I hope I never have to face what you have had to. I think that is why my family tries even harder to make the holidays work around my moms schedule and thoughts (thus hamburgers this year just to not make it a hassle), just because we know that a few years down the road that she isn't going to be around and we don't want this year to be the last without us having the memory of spending it with her.....the bottom line is to cherish all of our loved ones like it is the last holiday we will spend with them and hope that we are so "unfortunate" (TIC) that we are going to have to deal with it for many years to come

    Bookmark   November 14, 2003 at 10:11PM
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I'm fortunate (at least, I think fortunate is the right word, LOL) that my parents and remaining siblings all live in the same town that I do. Actually, my folks are great -- they never want to burden us kids and have always made sacrifices for us. They're in their late 70's and we don't want Mom trying to fix big meals anymore, so in recent years, my sister and I have tried to share the obligation. Problem is, I'm a crafter who usually has shows scheduled this time of year, so it's kind of difficult for me to host a big family dinner. Plus, my SO has a mother and a son who are nearby, so they'll also be included this year. I think we're going to go out for Thanksgiving and then I'll host Christmas at my house.

Lulie -- My heart goes out to you!! I lost a brother last year and have seen how difficult it's been for my parents.

Puddlejumper -- Buy yourself something extravagant, yet affordable (if that's possible!!), then decorate and invite friends over to show it off.

Tinmantu -- Does your brother or niece ever invite the family to their house?? Good for you for cooking last year -- it's a lot of work, isn't it?!!

Eileen -- I really admire you for including your ex. I'm not sure I could do it. If your kids don't already appreciate it, they certainly will someday.


    Bookmark   November 17, 2003 at 2:21PM
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Hi Janet....nice to see a new poster, even is she is crazy enought to get involved with a fellow HVAC reply to your question, My brother and niece live about 5 hrs away and my mom is 85 and doesn't do long trips real well so this is our way of making it happen....I do have to admit so I don't sound like the galloping gormet though ,that the last few years we have done the Dillons turkey dinners where a lot is preprepared and just reheat....good food,excellent turkey and I would highly recommmend it to anyone to relieve the holiday hassle

    Bookmark   November 17, 2003 at 9:58PM
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I can ditto Tinmantu's first paragraph, only it's my MIL that makes me want to jump off a cliff--no, wait--that's shove her off a cliff! LOL! I think that there are many times when being alone would be desirable, even sought after, than being with someone and being miserable, and feeling alone anyway.

I can be alone all by myself....

    Bookmark   November 18, 2003 at 3:17PM
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Welcome Maddie...I had to LOL at the thought of pushing mom or MIL off the cliff.....being alone has it's advantages, but it's more a biding of ones time and making the best of one wants to be alone forever, no matter how much they try to convince me, I won't buy it...there is no other feeling than waking up in the morning, knowing that you have a special person in your life

    Bookmark   November 18, 2003 at 9:34PM
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Thought I'd bring this one up to update...looks like I will be alone for T-Giving after's come down with a bad cold and feels rotten,doesn't want the family to catch it...Niece cancelled out because of unexpected company and my brother's not coming back because I am on call on friday for work and he wouldn't have anything to do since he can't be at moms. Gloom?...Despair?...nope, but on the sad side,I do think I sprained my wrist doing a few backflips.
I hope you enjoy one of the few holidays that isn't overly commercialized.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2003 at 5:54PM
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LOL Michael! You can come TO MY HOUSE!!! Happy Thanksgiving to one and all!

    Bookmark   November 26, 2003 at 6:34PM
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Thanks Kay....Email me the directions on how to get there and I'll bring the apple pie

    Bookmark   November 26, 2003 at 10:26PM
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OK Michael - head EAST -don't veer to the left or right - when you get to my house you are THERE - bring CHERRY pie, please. I'll hope to see you here!

    Bookmark   November 27, 2003 at 7:31AM
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Well I tried those directions....they led me to the Johnson county morgue....I get the hint...heh

    Bookmark   November 27, 2003 at 7:12PM
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Well, the next holiday is fast approaching and I've saved myself the hassle this time around....informed that family that I won't be around and it feels sooooooo good to not have that if I can just get these driving dirctions down, it will be a Merry Christmas for sure.....anyone else doing something out of the "normal" family get together this year?

    Bookmark   December 12, 2003 at 6:46PM
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Yes, I am doing something different for the holidays. I don't 'do' stay-over company - don't want the hassle - but THIS CHRISTMAS I have invited a friend to spend the holidays rejoicing at MY HOUSE for four days, and rejoice we will! We will just sit around the shack, go out to eat a couple of times, have kids and grandchildren over, go see the lights and sites of Kansas City, and RELAX as much as possible. I am really excited and happy that he is coming and look forward to an exhilerating time.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2003 at 9:54AM
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