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Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Alone During Holidays! What to do?

It's Christmas season and people are buying gifts and getting ready to celebrate. People also celebrate other holidays, including New Year,
Commercials attack our sensors. The eyes gaze at many adds. The ears hear blaring commercials. The seasonal smells engulf us. Everywhere the messages try to convince us that we have to buy gifts in order to make our friends and family happy. Commercials also try to convince us that our happiness depends on things we buy, on car we drive, on the travel destinations, on jobs we have, on groups of people we spend time with, on the way we look, on a car we drive, and on many other things. 
According to commercials, happy people are those whose lives are going great, those who have great jobs/careers, and those who have the latest gadgets. Some commercial say that our meaning of life is happiness of our loved ones. Here is the catch, in order to reach happiness you have to buy things--spend money. If a person gives you an expensive gift it means that the individual cares abut you a lot. But it means that you have to buy an expensive gift in return. Many people get credit from a bank in order to get expensive gifts. Some end up in a debt because of their shopping habits.
We are also bombarded with constant messages--it's horrible to be alone for the holidays, especially Christmas.
Our society puts immense pressure on individuals to avoid loneliness. Sometimes people endanger themselves just to avoid the loneliness.
You can be lonely anytime anywhere, even in a crowd. I had been to social gatherings where I felt lonely. You will be lonely in a group of people when you cannot connect. Honestly, the loneliness was so overwhelming that I felt less lonely in my apartment by myself. Just because you share a faith doesn't mean that you will not feel lonely among the people.
If you find yourself lonely this Christmas or the holiday season in general there are the things you can do.

Explore your surroundings 

 Many houses and buildings have illuminating decorations along with trees, some parks and squares have decorated trees. Many places play Christmas music. You ca take yr time admire those things without any rush. Have you ever walked around the neighborhood. It's better to plan your route ahead. Many places have breathtaking views. From my personal experience I can tell that walking around the city, observing Christmas lights, helps appreciate the beauty.Some places have quite intricate decorations. So, what's surrounds you? Maybe you live near a field, where you can gaze at the start-spangled sky. Perhaps, you live near the mountains or close the ocean? Just pause for a moment and think about a piece of nature nearby. If you are alone for Christmas and other holidays, please make an effort to catch the glimpse of a beautiful view.

Decorate your place

No matter how big or small your place is, you can always decorate it. Decorations make place look more festive. You can also make decorations out of any different things. Many people put up Christmas tree if they know that there would be a company.We spend so much time trying to impress others that we often forget to take a moment for ourselves. We spent so much trying to impress others and then get disappointed when the people don't react the way we want them to react. 
The decorations don't have to be elaborate. You don't have to show off your place and flood the social media with those photos. You don't have to compete with Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram. I like handmade decorations. They might not be the prettiest, according to commercials, but they have special meaning. 

Prepare something special

Each holiday has traditional food. Each country has different cuisine, different recipes for the same holidays. Turkeytraditional Christmas dish in many countriesis cooked differently. You can make whatever you want: salad, turkey, mashed potatoes, vegetables, and desserts. It's also an opportunity to experiment on new recipes, especially when you don't have to cook for other people. 
I also like to sit in an armchair and drink tea. Clothes also can be special.

Listen to music

I like listen to Christmas music, such as Silent Night, Carol of Bells, God Bless You Merry Gentleman, and many other songs. Sometimes I watch a Christmas movie or two. I like to have music at the background. There are many instrumental versions of many songs. Music affects how we feel. We have to be careful what music we listen.


Many organizations have soup kitchens, which are run by volunteers. Helping less fortunate allows us to get perspective on our own situation. Volunteering also builds character. It's also a great way to meet new friends. You can keep company someone who doesn't have anywhere to go.

Hospital visit

Do you know anybody who is in the hospital: a family member, a friend, a coworker a classmate, a teacher, a neighbor, or someone else? Visiting someone at the hospital is one of the most humbling experience. The patients need a lot of encouragement. I can tell from my own experience that hospital visits are rewarding, from both patient's and visitor's perspective.
If you know someone who is sick, but is not at the hospital, know that your visit will be also appreciated.

Get in touch with people who matter

Call your family, friends, or someone who matters. Send a message or an email. Schedule a Skype call with those people. Too many people wait for someone else to approach, missing great opportunities for connections and friendships. 

Learn the history of holidays

Original Christmas was not about Santa Claus, gift shopping, parties, and indulgence. It's a story about the Birth of Jesus Christ. Tree decorating comes from non-christian traditions. Church incorporated traditions in order to connect with local people. The Wise men from the East brought gifts to God, not to each other. Mary and Joseph did not have a lavish dinner. In fact, they had to flee in order to save the life of Jesus and probably their own. Their Christmas was focused on Jesus. Stressful Christmas, not the one we are used to in many places.

I am going to be by myself this Christmas. I will be at my church during Christmas Eve. I would rather spend the time by myself than being surrounded by people and being lonely in the crowd. Just because you are not surrounded by people doesn't mean that you matter less. Remember that most of the people were not ready for Jesus to arrive. There was no place for him in any of the houses. He was born in a manger stable.





  1. Dear Irina,
    I have an idea. Shall we meet each other through Skype? If you are able, please send me an email:) from Kinuko

    1. Dear Kinuko, we should surely do that. I e-mailed you my Skype name.

  2. Nice article! There is also 'you should not be alone on christmas'pressure in Japan. I had faith in Jesus at the age of 20,but did not attend church service until 23years old.(My christian friend was like a mentor in Faith then.)

    One Christmas day,I was alone in my apartment.I felt bit lonely at that time.I turned the radio on, kept listening classical christmas carols.NHK FMradio played such kind of music for hours on radio at that time.
    I was so consolated even I do'nt know the reason.

    Your ideas,especially volunteer,hospital visit are so nice.I think that Christmas is rather for people who have to stay alone,feel lonely,suffer than for strong,happy people.The meaning of this day is celebration for that our God came to us as a person to save us.

    I remember the christmas day which I had to stay alone,but I know God kept me even at that time.God bless you,Irina for your faithfulness..Merry Christmas from Japan.


    PS Hope you and Kinuko can have blessed meeting!

    1. Sanae, so many are losing the meaning of Christmas. It's also a great pressure to fit in, to get the best gift possible. Many people, even Christians, are giving in. I am so glad that you have Christmas carols in Japan. I absolutely agree with you.
      Merry Christmas to you too.

      Thank you for sharing with us your experience.

  3. This post is very good and endearing. We must truly remembeber those who are alone (and especially those in need) in such a bountiful and celebrated time of year! This has touched my heart and I really enjoyed reading it! Thank you for this, dear sister!

    Yours in our Lord,
    Kegan Cook

    1. Thank you s much for your comment, Kegan. Indeed we must remember those people.