Maybe you’re divorced and unattached, or perhaps you are newly separated? Maybe you’re still married but unhappy. Or, maybe your spouse recently passed away. All of these are very painful situations, and all of these result in being or feeling alone at Christmas–a feeling that can be devastating, lonely, sad, upsetting, painful, awkward and/or depressing.
Let’s start with being newly separated…
I was separated for about 4 months before the first season I was alone at Christmas. Let me tell you, it was brutal. I felt more alone than ever. My advice is, please know that God is with you, and that your family, your kids, your friends and other people you know love and care deeply for you are with you. Next year at this time, life will look a lot different, and you might look back and think, ‘Wow, that was a really sad Christmas.’ What’s so beautiful about life is that with time and good choices, things always get better.
If you aren’t newly separated, but divorced and still grieving the demise of your marriage, or you still miss your spouse…
Think back on last Christmas or the Christmas before that. Are you in a better place today? I hope so. If you aren’t, ask yourself why. Talk to yourself. Reason with yourself. Why would you want to be with someone who didn’t want to be with you? You wouldn’t. Why would you want to be in a situation that was toxic or making you unhappy? You wouldn’t.
While it’s scary to make such a big life transition (whether it was your choice or not) I almost always hear people say that it was for the best. Sometimes it takes several months, even years to get to that place. Things will continue to get better and better for you as time goes on, but you have to keep trying. Don’t give up hope. Be open minded. And try not to keep reflecting back and saying “If only…” The past needs to stay in the past. The future can be wonderful if you let it be.
If you are thinking about divorce on Christmas, you are still with your spouse but you are really unhappy and you feel like you are kind of faking it…
I feel for your pain. Try to spend the day focused on gratitude for all the wonderful things and the beautiful people in your life—kids, family, parents, friends, and of course health. Ask God for the strength to make the right decisions in the upcoming weeks or months. He is listening.
If you are single and lonely, over your divorce but just feeling alone…
Remember that being without a spouse today–being alone at Christmas doesn’t mean you’re going to be alone forever. Christmas might make being alone feel more lonely (it’s a nice holiday to have a spouse for). But, have hope that next year you’ll be with someone.
You might have to make some changes in your life to help make meeting someone easier. You might have to seek therapy, or be more open minded, or let go of anger, bitterness and resentment from the past. Or, maybe it just isn’t your time for Mr. Right yet. Maybe you’ll meet him as soon as next week, or maybe in a few months. Try to appreciate and enjoy what and who you have, and try not to put too much pressure on meeting someone. Let it just happen naturally. Focus on platonic friendships, being social, and putting good into the world. The goodness will come back to you.
If your spouse has died this past year…
I pray for you and your children for strength, hope and peace. I don’t know what it feels like to be a widow, but I know a few people who have lost a spouse. I can’t imagine the pain. God is with you.
In closing, being alone at Christmas is different for everyone. But, one thing should be the same for all of us. Christmas is a day for family, celebration, love, and even for those who don’t celebrate it, rest and tranquility.
Embrace it. Feel gratitude for loved ones, friends and other wonderful things in your life. Pray for those who WISH divorce was their worst problem—maybe the homeless or the sick.
I don’t want to tell people you aren’t allowed to acknowledge being upset or sad or angry that you are divorced. I don’t want you to think you can’t be grieving your divorce or missing your spouse or missing the idea of having a spouse on Christmas. It’s very valid and understandable to have feelings of loss that intensify on Christmas Day.
Take care of yourself today. Take care of others. And lastly, find enjoyment, even from simple things—food, drinks, laughter, pets, children, babies, Christmas ornaments, material gifts, chocolate, songs, hugs, conversation, old photos, and meaningful words to loved ones. Because all of the simple things really matter in life.
Like this post? Check out, “10 Reasons To Be Thankful, Despite Your Awful Divorce”