By Liz Lampkin, Crosswalk.com
So here it is. We’ve been blessed to see another Christmas holiday season. This is the time of the year when people gather near and far to celebrate the birth of Christ and each other. During this season, many people consciously choose to spend this time with family, friends, and other deemed loved ones. However, the reality for some is that they may be estranged from family, have missed out on gatherings with friends, or just want to spend this Christmas in their own company. If you’ve intentionally or unintentionally planned to spend your Christmas holiday solo this year and don’t know what to do, look at the list below for a few ideas to get you started.
1. Plan a trip abroad to see how other cultures celebrate during this time of the year.
There’s nothing more fulfilling than seeing God’s creation. If you’re planning to spend the holiday solo, take a meaningful trip to a place unknown to you. Spend your solo holiday exploring new ground and learning something new. It will refresh your soul in more ways than you could imagine.
2. Volunteer your time.
Christmas is best known as the season of giving, so why not spend some time giving your time? Research a few shelters or food pantries in your neighborhood or beyond, and make some time to volunteer. You never know how this experience can impact you and those you serve.
3. Gather or find a friendly group to go caroling with.
Share your voice with others, or if you’re comfortable, go at it alone. If you plan to go solo caroling, map out a safe route for yourself. Gather a list of your favorite Christmas songs along with a friendly Christmas card or greeting and spread Christmas cheer through your chosen neighborhoods.
4. Begin mapping out your New Year.
Photo credit: ©GettyImages/nortonrsx
It’s never too early to plan ahead. Take some time during the Christmas holiday to set goals for the upcoming year. This is also prime time to reflect back on the current year and what goals you did or did not accomplish, regroup, and plan to go at it again differently. This is also a good time to buy a planner to help you map out your New Year.
5. Attend a Christmas service.
Take some time during this holiday to celebrate with others at a worship service to commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ. More often than not, believers get so caught up in family holiday traditions that they overlook the true meaning of the holiday. No matter what time, day or night, take some time out of your Christmas day to celebrate the reason for the season.
6. Prepare gifts for those who are lonely and deliver them.
If you want to spend your solo holiday not-so-solo, take some time to make or buy gifts for those who are deemed less fortunate. Once you have the gifts, drop them off secretly or make it known that you are the bearer of gifts. No matter what you decide to do, make sure the gifts are heartfelt and useful to those you’ve decided to bless.
7. Prepare gifts for family and friends.
Again, if you desire a not-so-solo Christmas, prepare gifts for loved ones near and dear to your heart. You can give them in advance or drop them off on Christmas Day. Whatever you decide to do, again, be sure the gesture is heartfelt and genuine.
8. Dash and dine with loved ones at different venues that are open on Christmas.
If you are looking forward to spending your holiday solo, take some time out of your day to stop by a few of your loved one’s homes to have a brief meal with them. You can also dine at your favorite restaurants; dine in or order your favorites to go to enjoy in the privacy of your home. Or, if you don’t want to engage in either of those dining activities, now would be the perfect time to test your gourmet cooking skills for yourself! Try cooking a new recipe to add to your repertoire for future gatherings.
9. Binge watch Christmas movies.
There’s nothing like a good holiday movie to remind you of what to be grateful for and what you can look forward to. If your desire is to spend this Christmas holiday completely solo, make a list of holiday movies or your favorite movies to take in. Prepare your favorite meal or snacks, relax, and enjoy your own personalized movie marathon.
10. Spend the day fasting, praying, and reflecting on the true meaning of Christmas.
If you want to engage in something new while celebrating the Christmas holiday, spend the day fasting, praying, and reflecting on everything the holiday represents. Christmas represents so many things: the birth of Christ, a time for family bonding, and a time of giving. So, in the spirit of birth and all things new, why not celebrate your solo holiday reconnecting with Christ by fasting, praying, and reflecting for the start of a fresh year? You can create a list of things to reflect on from the recent year, think about what you are grateful for, and pray and plan for the coming year. You can also write prayers for the New Year for yourself and others.
While the holidays are typically meant to be spent with loved ones, it’s okay that you desire to spend it alone. However, if your desire is to spend it with a special someone God has not sent you yet, it’s helpful to remember:
-You are worth waiting for. Don’t pressure yourself into finding love or settling for a relationship that is undeserving of you.
-It’s okay if you aren’t engaged, seriously dating, or married for the holidays. This season comes and goes each year, and it holds the same value whether or not you are single, dating, engaged, or married.
-Stand in your singleness with pride. If you are avoiding family or friends because you don’t want to be inundated with questions about your relationship status, take some time to think about the way you will respectfully respond to them. Be proud of your status and show others you are proud of it. It’s the only way to keep the questions at bay.
-You are free to spend Christmas however you want. Whether you’re jet-setting around the country, spending the day volunteering, or reconnecting with God and yourself, you are free to do what makes your heart sing.
-If you find that you are experiencing extreme loneliness and you can’t seem to pull yourself out of it, please seek the help of professionals who can see you through your feelings.
I pray that this holiday season, and any other season in your life, is filled with peace, the love you deserve, and infinite joy through Christ. It doesn’t matter how you spend your holiday or with whom you spend it as long as it is meaningful and fulfilling.
Author Liz Lampkin is an experienced writer, teacher, and speaker. She is an advocate for singles who encourages them to live their best life God’s way. Follow her on Instagram @Liz_Lampkin.