What to Do If You Are Alone for the Holidays


By Dr. Margaret Paul
December 07, 2020

Worried about how to spend the holidays? Even if you are alone, you can have a wonderful holiday season!

Being alone for the holidays is a major challenge for many people, and this is especially true during the pandemic. For many people, holidays  conjure images of family, of warmth and the sharing of special time. Loneliness can be overwhelming when you have no one with whom to share holiday time, or you can’t get together.

Most people know that the point of the holidays – and what makes them so special – is not about what you get, but what you give. The joy of the holiday season is about the love you share. Our hearts get filled to the brim with love when we give and share love – way more than when we get love.

holidays, caring, sharing love, love, self-love

It may seem like a paradox that we experience more love when we share it than when we get it.

Many people spend their time with others attempting to get love, attention and approval, thinking that this is what makes them feel full, happy and worthy. But getting attention from others to fill ourselves is like eating chocolate when you are lonely – it works for the moment but then you need more and more of it. Eventually it becomes an addiction.

What truly fills the emptiness and aloneness is the giving of love and the sharing of love. If you are alone over the holidays, the question becomes, “How can I give love in ways that will bring me joy?”

Below are some suggestions for giving your love and caring over the holidays:

  • Gather toys from friends and store donations and bring them to children who would not otherwise have toys. You can find these children through schools, churches and various other organizations.
  • Find a battered women’s shelter in your area and help to create the holiday there – preparing food, bringing a decorated the tree, and just spending time with them, even if it has to be with masks and social distance. One year a friend of mine organized a number of her local markets to donate food over Christmas to the local shelter that housed mothers and their children who had left abusive husbands. She got to know the mothers and children and received great fulfillment in providing them with an abundant Christmas. We can do this even with our current challenges.
  • Find a way to connect with old people in nursing homes, especially those who have no family. Caring about another lonely person will go a long way toward taking away your loneliness! It might have to be through a window or online, but it will be much appreciated.
  • Volunteer to help distribute food to the hungry over Christmas. Many people are in great need of good and there are organizations gathering food to give away. Many churches and other charitable organizations welcome volunteers to help distribute food. Just be sure to stay safe.
  • Locate a safe retreat center near you that has a special event over the holidays and is safe with social distance and share your time with other people who are also alone for the holidays. One year a friend of mine, who had just left her husband and was alone for the first time with no family around her, went to a beautiful retreat center on the East Coast. Twenty people gathered there to share Christmas together. There was a wonderful ceremony of gratitude that she said filled her heart, and she enjoyed sharing time with new people. We can find ways to do this even with the current challenges. Just be sure you are safe.
  • Find a church, temple or 12-step group in your area that has special online events for singles over the holidays. Attend these events online with the intention of sharing your caring with others, which you can do just by being interested in listening to another person. We all love being listened to and understood, and all of us have the capacity to give this to another.


Let Scrooge be Your Role Model!

One of my all-time favorite movies is “A Christmas Carol” – the one starring Alistair Sim. I just love the scene on Christmas morning when Scrooge realizes that no time has passed and he has the opportunity to give. He feels such joy at the prospect of giving that he can hardly stand it! He dances around and stands on his head and laughs and laughs with the joy of giving! In one night he went from being a miserable old man concerned only with getting, to a man now focused only on giving, and he became a joyful person.

While you might not have money to give, we all have caring to give. You have no idea how much you might enrich your own life as well as another person’s life just by giving your time, your attention, your interest, your smile, your understanding. Whatever your life circumstances, you always have the opportunity to give your caring. You will discover that giving your caring to others, even if it’s online, is a profound way of caring about yourself!

Learn to connect with your spiritual Guidance with Unlocking Your Inner WisdomA 30-Day at-home Experience with Dr. Margaret Paul.

Image by RitaE from Pixabay


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