Alone on Christmas- 5 Things To Remember

As Christmas fast approaches, it brings significant changes seasonally as well as full schedules and gatherings.  I've always loved Christmas and couldn't wait to decorate, bake yummy goodies with my family, and celebrate the traditions.  Those memories and experiences are why I am still in love with Christmas.  They are why I longed to pass memories onto my son and give him something to cherish like I had. First to cherish the Christmas story.  Then to cherish memories that can be made this time of year.

This year will be quite different in my household. This will be the first Christmas without my son. The first Christmas I will spend alone. I will be transparent that this year I'm not feeling quite as festive. The story of Christ's birth is alive and very much well in my soul, but the presents, the tree, the memory-makers just don't seem all that important.

I struggle with this more than I'd like to admit and I'm figuring there are other single parents struggling also.  Parents who legally, willingly, or reluctantly spend Christmas without their children.  Waking up on Christmas morning alone, disregarding traditions because alone they would be heart-wrenching to do, or knowing that you are missing an important day...those are just a few reasons that my heart aches for the single parent enduring what I am this season. I'm not sure anyone can understand the depths of this feeling until they have gone through it.

It is because of this feeling and an inspiring conversation I had with a very close friend of mine that I have created the top 5 things to remember as you go this holiday alone.

1) Remember that you are not truly alone. God is there and is someone you can talk with, cry with, or simply just be with. Take heart in the reason for this Christmas celebration and concentrate on strengthening your relationship with Him.  Your children are okay.  They may not be with you, but they are making some of their own memories.

2) Christmas celebrations do not have to happen on a specific day. You can celebrate before they leave or after they return.

3) If you do have day specific traditions, it's okay to do them alone. You might be surprised at the satisfaction knowing that you kept them up.

4) It is okay to wallow. If you need to wallow and you want to stay in bed and just "get through" this day, that is okay! It is important to feel your feelings.  Really feel them. You begin to understand what causes them if you allow yourself to feel them. People who haven't gone through this feeling will not accept this easily so keep it private and don't announce it, but take the time for yourself as you need.

5) Stay off of social media. Do not use this as an opportunity to create a pity party and do not log in to watch all of the great memories your friends are making. Wait until your children are back home to look and see how everyone's holiday was.

Bottom line is that being without loved ones on Christmas is difficult but there are action steps you can take to survive and dare I say, even enjoy the season still.

Share your tips on my Facebook page!

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