Are you spending Christmas alone this year because of COVID-19? Just because you can’t get together with family doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the holiday season. We’ll give you tips on how to make this festive season a wonderful one!
We aren’t exactly sure how the pandemic will affect Christmas. What is clear, however, is that Christmas will definitely look different this year. Many will probably still celebrate with their families — but some will spend Christmas alone.
This is nothing new. Every year, many Americans choose to spend Christmas alone. This year, however, even people who normally celebrate with family and/or friends will probably be on their own — maybe even for the first time. The thought of spending this important holiday alone can be scary at first. However, there are many ways you can have a great Christmas alone.
#1. Rethink Expectations for Your Christmas Alone
For most, Christmas is associated with traditions: set routines, a typical Christmas dinner, the church service, the Christmas tree… This is often associated with high expectations for Christmas.
These expectations and the many traditions can lead to stress. In that sense, Christmas alone can also have a positive side. You can think about what you consider important at Christmas, regardless of the expectations of others.
#2. Treat Yourself
Spending Christmas alone doesn’t have to be boring — try doing something good for yourself.
- Cook that recipe you’ve been meaning to try or prepare your favorite meal.
- Read that exciting-sounding book you haven’t had time for.
- Do an extended yoga session.
- Go for a walk and warm up with a hot chocolate afterwards.
- Take a deeper look at the Christmas story to know what Christmas is all about, listen to sermons or attend (online) Mass or Service. The same goes for other religious festivals like Hanukkah.
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#3. Spending Christmas Alone: Video Calls
Just because you’re physically alone on Christmas doesn’t mean you have to miss out on your loved ones. You can talk on the phone or, better yet, video call your friends and family.
When the pandemic first hit and we had to learn new ways of interacting with friends and family, video conferencing became incredibly popular. Because of this, there are now so many more ways to enjoy each other’s company virtually.
- Send each other gifts in advance and unwrap them in front of the camera.
- Cook the same meal together over video so you can feel like you’re eating dinner together
- Watch a movie! There are so many apps and extensions for this, like “Watch Party” (Facebook), “NetflixParty” or “Watch2gether” (YouTube).
- Organize a game night. Just like with watching a movie, there are plenty of apps and websites that will allow you to play games virtually together.
#4. Alone at Christmas? Volunteer!
There are many reasons why volunteering is good for you. You can
- strengthen your self-esteem
- do things you enjoy and experience
- find a sense of purpose
- connect with your community
- improve mental and physical health
If you celebrate Christmas alone but you’re not quarantined, volunteering may also help you combat loneliness. Do you already volunteer somewhere? See if there’s a need to come up with special Christmas activities.
Otherwise, you can look for volunteer opportunities in your community. Consider volunteer activities like calling senior citizens or doing Meals on Wheels. You can do this volunteer work without much physical proximity, which is beneficial during this pandemic.
#5. Sustainable Options
To get back to tip one: this Christmas is also a good opportunity to think about being more sustainable. If you’re spending Christmas alone, you may be able to get by without a Christmas tree (or get a potted one instead). Rather than a huge pile of presents, consider small and more personalized packages. And maybe you’re not in the mood for traditional Christmas dinner at all, but would rather cook a simple (perhaps even vegan) meal?
When you celebrate with your loved ones again next year, you can incorporate your experiences from this year.
This article has been translated from German by Karen Stankiewicz. You can find the original here: Weihnachten allein: 5 Tipps für schöne Feiertage** Links to retailers are partially affiliate links: If you buy here, you actively support Utopia.org because we get a small portion of the proceeds.
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