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The holidays are officially in full swing and this will be the fifth holiday season my husband and I will be spending alone.
The season makes it tougher than most to fight back homesickness. Everyone talks about their plans of big family dinners and activities, but when you haven’t seen your family in years it starts to make you feel really left out and lonely.
We made the choice to live between 2,700-3,000 miles away from our various family members. It costs $1000 a plane ticket to go home and times 2 for a 3 day Thanksgiving visit is much too rich for our blood.
People who are lonely on a normal day find the holidays intensify those feelings. This goes out to all of you out there who don’t live near your families, don’t have a home to go back to, or for whatever other reason find yourself alone this holiday season.
Throughout the last couple years my husband and I have had to find a bright side to being alone. Christmas as an adult has lost its magic. Thanksgiving with two people is just another Thursday night dinner.
Here’s some of the things we like to do to try to enjoy the holidays.
In order to feel some of the excitement of the season, we like to start to develop our own traditions. This is great for us to get started as a couple before we start to grow our own family. We are still in a testing phase, trying to figure out what traditions we like and what we don’t want to establish.
Thanksgiving weekend, for us, is less about the big dinner and more about the time together. We enjoy going out to do some Black Friday shopping a couple hours after the stores have opened. This usually means the sweet spot is 11PM if we drive down to Connecticut or 2-3AM Friday if we stay in Massachusetts. When we go during these times we avoid the crowds and are able to check out the sales at a leisurely pace.
This year we went to a movie together on the Saturday morning and decided to treat ourselves a little bit and buy concessions. We also picked up some matching Christmas PJs and had a nice lunch out. It was one of the best days we had in a while and definitely wiped away some of our holiday gloom.
Throughout December we like to have nights of Christmas movies, cookies, and cocoa. On Christmas Eve, we have adopted a tradition from my family. We give each other a new pair of pajamas for Christmas morning. We also buy a yearly ornament even though we have yet to put up a tree.
Try New Things
Take the opportunity to try new things. Is there a new hobby you want to learn? Start it! Last year I started sewing a quilt during my Thanksgiving break. This is something that isn’t even holiday related, but takes your mind off of being alone and allows you to grow as a person.
Is there a place near by that you haven’t visited, but would like to?
I’ve been eyeballing a trip down to a huge casino in southern Connecticut and I think that going while we have a couple days off work might be just the time. This is something I’m considering for next year depending on our situation at the time.
It’s Just Another Day
Overall though it is just another day and it will be over before you know it. I know how hard it is to be at work hearing everyone talk about their plans with their families. Seeing all of the commercials and shows. I feel it too. Take the day to relax, treat yourself, and catch up on whatever it is that you haven’t had time for.
You’re not alone.
Do you have anything special you like to do during the holiday season to combat loneliness?