Ways We Can Enjoy a Happy Christmas, even without family!

Feels Cold

Feels cold
Feels cold | Source

Christmas Without The Family

You bought the cards, the wrapping paper; you've been making stockings and wreaths and cross stitched reindeer pillow cases all through the year.

You've practiced how to make Jamie Oliver's roast potatoes many, many times.

You haven't ordered the turkey, just yet. Good.

You won't be needing it now.

The kids (and grand kids) won't be coming home for Christmas after all.

"Just can't afford to drive down it this year Mom and anyway it isn't worth it because we have to work on the 27th!".

Amen to tradition. Amen to family - this Christmas.

It is sad.

But you can turn it into a different sort of Christmas time that you might not regret!

Here are some suggestions how;

  • Help others at Christmas
  • Be glad you don't have to do all that preparing work like shopping and cooking this year
  • Do things you haven't done since you were a child
  • Spoil yourselves
  • Be happy!

A White Christmas

nice and cold.  A white, icy Christmas?
nice and cold. A white, icy Christmas? | Source

Give Money To Charity


Thinking of the unfortunate families in the world isn't always the first thought to cross our minds as a busy Mom, though perhaps the Christmas carol music went to Oxfam, we supported orangutangs in extinction with our Christmas cards, or we didn't buy cards - to save the forests. But somehow shelving the desire to really help all those millions of starving people and infants out there who have nothing - except flies hatching eggs in their eyes - has been our usual Christmas modus operandi. (Speaking personally).

Now's the chance to do something about it. With all the new time on your hands you can get on the phone (or onto your lap top) to search for charities - and you can really help.

Below are links for charities for the troops fighting round the world and their families.

No Roast Turkey this Year

The usual roaster turkey half killed you to make!
The usual roaster turkey half killed you to make! | Source

No Christmas Turkey


Remember all those early Christmas mornings? In the kitchen, hoisting a roasting 20lb turkey in and out of an oven whilst everyone else was screeching with laughter round the new whatever present? The goodwill smile plastered on your exhausted face along with some inappropriate lipstick fumbled upon in the dawn light? The panic, the stress, the work! Lots of all of it.

Well, suddenly this Christmas, there's none of it. There is a clear horizon on 24th 25th and 26th December and there are ways we can enjoy a happy Christmas, even without the family!


Galaxy Tablet

Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 (7-Inch, White)
Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 (7-Inch, White)

Perfect for playing games, reading, browsing the web or watching movies on a 7 inch screen

 

Preparing for a Different Christmas

You don't have to do ANY Christmas food shopping Mom! Try to look on the upside of this. It isn't that hard:

  • You will be in-hand a small fortune.
  • You might not even get into debt this year.
  • You don't have to struggle with crowds of people in the stores feeling wretched (because it really isn't supposed to feel like this).
  • Nor lug home tons of stuff and stuff and stuff!

You can think of what to do with the money you save (perhaps after you have done what you'd like to do for others).

  • You can buy a gift for yourself (like that super iPad you only ever dream about or a GPS Navigator for your good husband)

You can think of doing the things you haven't done since before you had a family.

More than that. You can do them! Here's a silly, fun list of alternate things you could do:

  • Build a snowman and stick the carrot in his nose!
  • Invite your neighbors in for a glass of sherry, or yourselves to their home.
  • Go to the Christmas services.
  • Oh! Make an appointment for beauty treatments at a spa and look beautiful for a few days, with manicured nails.


Alternative Xmas Plans

Instead of buying and decorating a tree, as you have always done with your family, you could decorate any kind of tree branch! You could go out for a walk in the country to look for one. It is so beautiful in winter.

Life is beginning again deep in the heart of it, deep underground where the seeds are only just cracking open. There is an invigorating sense of purity in the stripped-backness of the countryside. The natural world is a series of simpler, profounder, starker lines. The air is sharp and pure. There's time to stroll, to meditate and listen to the robins twitter in the somberness. It is divine. You might find some mistletoe or a tree branch you like and bring it home - as you did when you were a child. Why not?

  • Paint it white,
  • Hang some aniseed seeds or red carnations, or tangerines or chocolates angles on it
  • Play music you love that reminds you of your other Christmases with the family
  • Call the family up and say that you are happy (because by now you probably are)

Since you aren't going to be cooking up a banquet you can ask Grandpa, or is it Dad? to reserve at a restaurant you love, or make a simple but luxurious meal at home for just yourselves - making it romantic too.

Alternatively, you might prefer to invite some friends to celebrate with you in your home. There are always folk around who are stuck for a family over Christmas! They could come for an evening. You could serve cocktails and finger foods and play sophisticated music you love (as opposed to heavy metal your son loves). You could make a fondue!

Have a very happy Christmas!

You Could Make a Fondue!

Make a fondue!
Make a fondue! | Source

© 2011 Penelope Hart

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Comments 35 comments

JT Walters profile image

JT Walters 5 years ago from Florida

I think in Europe it is easier to mingle then in the USA. Everyone is so cornered off. We too are looking at having a very different Christmas this year. Wish I was in Italy to celebrate it but since that will not do. We will have to appreciate the little things.

Good take on turning a frown upside down.

JT


GoodLady profile image

GoodLady 5 years ago from Rome, Italy Author

Appreciating the little things, yes. It's all in the little things. In Italy, everyone is also blocked off; in order to mingle you have to really put out. But I live in the countryside, in the heart of a warm farming community They are a different breed, they are humane and sincere, they do care about their neighbor. I love them! And they are fond of me. Thanks for your comment. Wish you were in Italy too! Bless P


JT Walters profile image

JT Walters 5 years ago from Florida

Thanks I will have to savor that thought for the Holidays!!

JT


Gwyn 5 years ago

I would love to spend christmas with you. !!!!!


Millionaire Tips profile image

Millionaire Tips 5 years ago from USA

When plans change like that, it is difficult. You are expecting one thing, and get something completely different. It is a great attitude you realize that you are free to do whatever you want, and really enjoy the day in a special way, filled with things that are special to you. Great hub.


GoodLady profile image

GoodLady 5 years ago from Rome, Italy Author

Thanks Millionaire Tips. Really appreciate your friendly support. P


toobee 10 5 years ago

I like the fact That Christmas can be fun with or without family. I live alone and buy what I want, put my feet up and I really really enjoy the day. Thank you for your writings very enjoyable reading.


GoodLady profile image

GoodLady 5 years ago from Rome, Italy Author

Thanks toobee 10. Really happy to know you'll really really enjoy Christmas Day.


Lady_E profile image

Lady_E 5 years ago from London, UK

Thanks - Very practical. I particularly enjoyed reading how to decorate our Christmas thoughts.

Have a nice festive season.


GoodLady profile image

GoodLady 5 years ago from Rome, Italy Author

Good of you to stop by and comment Lady_E.

You have a festive season too - 'with silver bells on'!


RedElf profile image

RedElf 4 years ago from Canada

Lovely hub - I have spent years making Christmas for everyone at my home, and this year, am traveling to my sister's home - no decorating here, no frantic baking and spending - I love making Christmas, but am looking forward to embracing Christmas without elsewhere - how lovely!


GoodLady profile image

GoodLady 4 years ago from Rome, Italy Author

It's just so nice of you to stop bye here.

Feels Christmassy.

I'm enjoying the fellowship of Hub Pages, thanks to you and some nice others.

Have a lovely lovely lovely Christmas with your sister and her family!


cclitgirl profile image

cclitgirl 4 years ago from Western NC

Awww...you could come to the US and spend Christmas with my family. I know it's a long way from Tuscany, but you could. Hehehe. It'll be "green" and fraught with festivities, not too many presents (I mean...who needs rampant consumerism??) and gingerbread houses. :D


GoodLady profile image

GoodLady 4 years ago from Rome, Italy Author

kind of you cclitgirl!!! in spirit then...

gingerbread houses not this year...hmmm, wait a minute....

unless my 20 month old grand daugher and i get into them when i visit early Jan...

then who knows what we'll pull out of the oven...

yup, yup, it's a gingerbread house!!!


cclitgirl profile image

cclitgirl 4 years ago from Western NC

Or gingerbread cookies. :D


RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 4 years ago from the short journey

Do make the most of your time with your granddaughter--make up for that lonely Christmas by enjoying building your relationship with her!

Your writing style/voice is interesting! Looking forward to reading more of your work.


GoodLady profile image

GoodLady 4 years ago from Rome, Italy Author

Hi RTalloni. I certainly will enjoy my granddaughter when I see her, which will be soon now.

So encouraged you find my writing voice interesting. I'm going to be writing a book in the new year!

Nice to be in touch.


wilderness profile image

wilderness 4 years ago from Boise, Idaho

My wife and I have only had one Christmas without family - it was a sad year with both sons overseas in the military.

If it ever happens again, I know where to come for some encouragement. You're right - these things happen but we CAN make the best of it anyway. There really is no reason to lose that wonderful season because it will be different this year.


GoodLady profile image

GoodLady 4 years ago from Rome, Italy Author

Yes, we make the best of it anyway! And we do survive don't we? Thanks for reading this in May! See you around and all the best.


Magdaleine profile image

Magdaleine 4 years ago

GoodLady, your writing reminds me of my mom, unfortunately I can not visit her every Christmas as we live in different country. Wish you all the best for next Christmas...


GoodLady profile image

GoodLady 4 years ago from Rome, Italy Author

We wish you a good Christmas too - even though you could be separated from your mom. so tough when the distances are great! Thanks for your comment.


wilderness profile image

wilderness 4 years ago from Boise, Idaho

Yay - I won't need your hub this Christmas - both of our kids and all their family will be with us.

I still like some of your suggestions, though, and may share them with grandkids. Simple decorations, for example, or charity - the little ones always like adding to the Salvation Army kettles that time of year.


GoodLady profile image

GoodLady 4 years ago from Rome, Italy Author

That's the spirit. It's important to share with the needy at Christmas, in fact it should be the first thing everyone does. Kids love doing good. I think we all do.

Thanks so much for your comment. I do appreciate it.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

I loved how you pointed out CharityNavigator.org because people can find out by checking with them the charities that truly spend most of any incoming money on the causes instead of top heavy in house costs. Since we don't have children and our parents and older relatives are long gone or live far away, we have often done many of the things that you suggested in this hub. One Thanksgiving we went down to our Houston convention center and served food to the needy. We are thinking of doing something similar this year. Retired President George H.W. Bush and his wife Barbara were doing the same thing that year...at least for a couple of hours. Nice! Loved that photo of your white, icy Christmas. Up votes and sharing.


GoodLady profile image

GoodLady 4 years ago from Rome, Italy Author

Yes, it's essential to know that your charity money hits the spot! That CharityNavigator.org is helpful in this.

I'm sure you got as much out of helping people as the people who needed helping did, bless. Enjoy your Thanksgiving and Christmas, no matter what you decide to do. ( Sounds as though you'll be doing something you'll enjoy!)

Appreciate your share and thank you for voting too.


Janis Goad profile image

Janis Goad 4 years ago

I enjoy a quiet Christmas, with some downtime. I agree with you, the cooking turkeys and the meal is a huge stress and pile of work. I would rather go out for dinner. We have been going to fall craft fairs, teas and bazaars this month and continue for next month, so there is a taste of Christmas baking and festive atmosphere all November and December.


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

I'd love a break from cooking one year for Christmas but I know I would miss my family terribly. One of these years soon though I'd like to volunteer at a soup kitchen and cook and serve.


Natashalh profile image

Natashalh 4 years ago from Hawaii

Just as great this year as last!

I really like your positives, like not going in to debt! It's amazing to me how much people spend of the holidays because they feel obligated to. For years, I've mostly made presents for people because my family all knows I 1) like making things and 2) never have any money to spare. But I digress.


Judi Bee profile image

Judi Bee 4 years ago from UK

I've only ever faced one Christmas alone, a long time ago, but in the end spent it with friends. Great ideas for a solo Merry Christmas .


GoodLady profile image

GoodLady 4 years ago from Rome, Italy Author

Nice to hear about all those craft fairs which I like a lot too Janis. Thank you for commenting and hope you enjoy your Christmas.

Susan, thank you and all the best with the year you spend your Christmas helping at a soup kitchen, perhaps the year your family is not with you?

Natasha. Admire you so much for making gifts. Hope your Christmas is a happy one.

Judi. Thanks for commenting.

Appreciated everyone's comments.


beverleejb profile image

beverleejb 4 years ago from New York

Natashalh

How lucky is anybody who receives a handmade gift from you:)

It shows you care

Keep doing that :)


Audrey Baker profile image

Audrey Baker 4 years ago from Arizona

This is a relevant article, I'm sure there are many people who find themselves in this situation.

This article could also apply to the ones who have moved away. There are many people who have moved to my metro area who don't have any family around. I often hear about Christmas gatherings where people who don't have nearby family get together with others in the same situation. Not to mention, it's always a nice gesture to invite someone over if you know they'd be alone otherwise.


GoodLady profile image

GoodLady 4 years ago from Rome, Italy Author

Lots of us could have a dismal lonely Christmas if the more fortunate didn't turn it round and be generous in the real Christmas spirit - agreed.

Many thanks for your comments.


Janis Goad profile image

Janis Goad 4 years ago

I love the frozen fig. What a metaphor.


GoodLady profile image

GoodLady 4 years ago from Rome, Italy Author

It's so painful!

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