How will you spend your holidays? Will you connect with family/friends, or will you celebrate in solitude?

Amanda Witman
By Amanda Witman on Mon, Dec 10, 2012 - 10:44am

The holidays are sometimes a lonely or painful time for people who are not partnered, depending on their situation.  At the very least, this time of year is quite family-focused for a lot of people, and for those without family nearby, it can feel difficult. 

How do you handle the holidays as an unpartnered person?  Do you connect with others locally, or travel to visit people, or do you enjoy a holiday in quiet solitude -- or some combination?  How do you get your emotional and perhaps celebratory needs met at this time of year?


herewego's picture
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Joined: Aug 11 2010
Posts: 157

I've been single most of my life so the holidays are not that bogey man they can be for newly single people.

Deep winter is a precious, short moment that can fly away without being noticed if I spend all my time with people.  This is the first solstice in decades that I have not been in the city.  All the madness of urban Christmas is missing here on my village homestead.  I have snow, beautiful winter-black lakes and rivers, a woodstove talking quietly all the time and excellent neighbors to connect with daily.  Yes, the roads are icy and there's wood to chop and the cabin's not finished and I NEED a job etc. but it's good.  I'll make a point of being outside and alone on the solstice so that the power and beauty of this planetary cycle can sink in.  Then it will be time to hit Christmas, with family and friends in the big city.  That will be fun too.  We go so far back and have been through so much together, and will go through so much more. 

In all of this my emotional needs will be met.  It's in the depth of the connections: with my self, my planet and my people.  Learning to be present to all this is deep work and deeply satisfying.  I'll still eat too much chocolate though.

I'm catching up with this group.  Thanks for all of your postings!  There are way more of us than I realized!


Wendy S. Delmater's picture
Wendy S. Delmater
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 13 2009
Posts: 1988
friends are family you make for yourself

I was abandoned in 1988, and remarried in 2009. Durnig all that time, friends sustained me. Making friends was hard; I had to make a real effort to meet people since I worked and was busy as a single parent. Shared interests were always the focus. I was involved with a face-to-face manuscript critique (writing) group and a church group.

20 years was a long stretch of time to be alone. I developed some straegies. I had relatives I could visit for much of that 20 years, first my parents in NH, then my sister and mother 45 minutes away (after my father died), but the hardest time of all was after my mother passed and my siblings moved 500 miles away and I had an empty nest. Then, groups with shared interests became a lifeline.

Online friendships helped me, too. People you meet in places like this are very real human contact. But around the holidays, it helped to be a part of a group of realtime, flesh-and-blood folks. Humans are social animals and can wilt without social contacts.

Arthur Robey's picture
Arthur Robey
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Joined: Feb 4 2010
Posts: 3936
Arthur Robey

The best I can hope for is quiet solitude. The Great Southern Ocean can get boistrous. Quiet is good. Peaceful even better.

Amanda Witman's picture
Amanda Witman
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Joined: Mar 17 2008
Posts: 409
I'll be home with my kids

Since the kids were very young, we've always made it a point to have Christmas be a quiet, casual day at home just for nuclear family.  This will be my second unpartnered Christmas and my first in our new house.  We're honoring old traditions and leaving some space in our expectations for it to be different, too.

We spent the Solstice at a wonderful gathering at a friend's house (now a neighbor, yippee!)  Potluck dinner, lighting real candles on the tree while we sang solstice-y songs, potluck dessert, and a music session (fiddles, banjos, mandolins, guitars, ukulele, pennywhistle).  The warmth, love, and sense of community as extended family was pervasive.  That is what I need most, and I got it.

Then the kids leave on 12/26 for extended time with their dad, and I will have some rare, welcome solitude.

Later, in January, my parents will "bring Christmas" to us and we'll celebrate with them as well.

We also have a big Thanksgiving gathering at our house.  There is no shortage of social opportunity here.  I am very thankful for those options -- as well as the quiet moments alone.  It's a good balance.

RJE's picture
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 31 2008
Posts: 1369
Amanda, Merry Christmas...

I will have an open door policy and expect the comings and goings of a family that is so large yet very intimate. Neighbors are welcome too. My priority will be to be a loving and attentive Crappa (grandfather name) to my grandson's and a tight lipped do as I'm told husband as this is more Grandma Angel's day (aka: as Granny) than anyone's. We will laugh, and kiss and hug with every entrance to our home, and the joy of it all will NOT go unnoticed. You be good and enjoy very much your beautiful family.

Happy Holidays


Arthur Robey's picture
Arthur Robey
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 4 2010
Posts: 3936
Cranky Christmas

Navigation lights failed. I am going nowhere, just getting cranky, waiting for the System to crank back up so that I can get on with my life. Imagin how psychologically unprepared I am for the complete collapse when this is the new normal

Debra B's picture
Debra B
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 18 2010
Posts: 12
Daughters Visiting

My two young adult daughters and one of their boyfriends are staying with me through the holidays -- the time will pass too quickly, as one daughter is at school 500 miles away and the other on the opposite side of the country, 2000+ miles away. And today, Christmas, I seem to be a bit ill! Harder for me still is not knowing where I will eventually land, as my community no longer suits me, but the thought of starting over somewhere else is unnerving. I have friends all over, I can make friends again somewhere new, but one gardening partner or a man who can fish or hunt or fix things sounds good about now. Still, we are alive and reasonably healthy and there are cookies to bake and presents to open so I can still muster up a heartfelt Merry Christmas!

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