- Holidays and Celebrations
Enjoying Holidays...Single and Beautiful
Preparations for Christmas have begun. With Black Friday just behind us, the race is on to get things together for that one special day. There's shopping to be done, toys to purchase and hide away from the children.
Sales are in abundance and the husband wife is feverishly looking for the gift that will leave one another speechless. Or, perhaps there's been so much hinting that the gasp, squeal, teary-eyed performance will not go un-noticed.
In any case, the twelve days of Christmas countdown is on and the world is excited!
It is understandable that those who do not have much immediate family, are single with no little ones looking for Santa or a special one to buy for, might feel left out and alone. After all, Christmas is such a joyous time. The women folk and even some men are cooking their special delights.
The decorations will come down from the attic or that corner in the closet and the house will look like a winter wonderland. Gingerbread cookies and sugar cookies will be prepared for the midnight visitor and windows will be lit 24-7. For many singles, this is not true.
Holidays can be depressing if you have no special some one. Your apartment is not filled with the chatter and excitement of this holiday. There are no little ones exclaiming "mommy, I want Santa to bring me that!"
If your children are adults, they might be busy with shopping of their own, office parties or dates with their own "friend." Every commercial has something to do with reminding you that there is no one in your life to share any of the potential joy.
There are many seniors who are widowed or divorced. Some families are too separated by great distances. There are seniors who are just plain single. Many use their neighborhood senior center for networking and keeping busy. During the holidays however, a void can still be left when there is no family near. Yes,being single can be lonely for the Christmas Holidays.
Here's My Remedy
Every year for the past three years, I have said to myself "I am not celebrating Christmas." Already, the commercials are getting on my nerves and when I see the family with dad, mom, children, husbands, grands all sitting around the dining room table laden with food, I get a huge lump in my throat. My parents are gone and my daughter is in her own adult world. My siblings either have families of their own or are in other states. I could visit, but what is the answer when you want to celebrate something in your own home?
GO ALL OUT! I have had some beautiful Christmases when I go ahead and celebrate just for me! I find, too, that my daughter hangs around to enjoy what I've done.
It does not have to be expensive. First, I pull out my decorations and tree. I have a separate room in my apartment which I use to put up my tree, since my living room is not large enough. If you want to set-up a table top tree that is fine. One year, I decorated the living room and put up no tree. It was just as festive.
Hanukkah is another wonderful holiday celebrated during this time of year. This year it is celebrated from December 20 to December 28. At sundown of the 20th, the first of eight candles will be lit on the Menorah. There are several fun activities for the children and it is also a time for worship, family and special meals. You don't have to be alone. There are tight-knit communities that will embrace you and help celebrate this wonderful holiday with you.
Almost every community has something to offer during these holidays. Churches and Synagogues have programs and so many areas offer plays and concerts that can be attended. In New York City, there's the lighting of the Christmas Tree and Rockefeller Center offers ice skating with that tradition of hot chocolate and iced cookies before going home. The area is festive with people shopping and greeting one another which is very rare during other times of the year.
I still remember my daughter at the age of around 10 singing the Twelve Days of Christmas all the way down Fifth Avenue. She wasn't very quiet about it, but people looked and smiled or laughed. Yes, it's that time of year!
The Fun is Beginning
I leisurely purchase, wrap and put the gifts under the tree, concentrating on the great-nieces and nephews, rather than all of the adults. It is more enjoyable to shop when I'm rested and ready, then force myself to enter the crowds.
Also, on-line shopping is really the move. Most times it's less expensive and many offer no shipping charges. A great idea when gifts are not plentiful, is to add a few pseudo gifts to give the tree a nice full effect. In the center is an American Girl doll with a Christmas outfit. My daughter received it as a gift when she was about 12 years old. Once decorations start going up, I begin to enjoy myself.
We always looked forward to receiving special gifts from one of my sisters who was living in China. She sent unusual items such as hand embroidered tree ornaments with the year and Merry Christmas stitched in the Chinese language. Each year my daughter and I put those on the tree.
Christmas songs play as I do cookies. No, not the scratch cookies. That's one of my sister's departments. I just buy the cookie dough, add sprinkles, sparkles, icing, etc. It's just as much fun. Next, I prepare my menu. Now, I love to cook, so this is the really fun part for me. I select my menu.
Try Something Different
Sometimes we can get stuck in what we traditionally do for the holidays. Mom's recipe has been handed down, so eliminating it on our menu would cause a war! But, I dare you to add something new this year. I understand that in the Italian Family, Christmas Eve is the big holiday and is celebrated with all types of seafood dishes.
I would talk with my co-worker and my mouth would water when she described the sumptuous fare. Well, I always did like a challenge and I have, over the years, prepared several ethnic dishes which came out, if I do say so myself, rather excellent.
So, this year on Christmas Eve, I am preparing a special seafood meal for my daughter and two of her friends. Calamari, shrimp, clams, all on a huge platter of pasta, along with broiled salmon and a lovely tossed salad. Oh, and garlic and olive oil Italian bread! Sounds great, huh? I am sooo excited.
Look up different recipes or share with others from your office. Everyone loves to brag on their best!
Connect With Others Near and Far
Also, don't forget to call someone...you know, reach out and touch? Don't wait for Christmas day but start a few days earlier, wish people a safe and happy trip. It really does means a lot and will warm their hearts to hear from friends and family.
Remember those who have lost loved ones and are spending their first holiday without them. If they are alone, certainly these are the people we should think about and invite into our single homes!
Our beloved men and women in the armed forces, many so far away from home, will be waiting for that call or that connection on IPad and the other technology equipment that will allow them to share a smile, a laugh, a tear..a look at the baby that came while they were away. Oh, don't get me to crying. Please, please, remember them, pray with them, connect with them!
Love packages and gifts sent overseas need to be in the mail by December 1, so if you haven't begun shopping, you'll have to get right on it!
What a Wonderful TIme of Year!
Menu for who? Whether it's just my daughter and me or I invite a few people over, I go all out. My daughter will be hanging around this year. She has volunteered to make the roast turkey and her macaroni and cheese is awesome!
I usually invite someone who, like myself, have little or no family. There's no better feeling than seeing the face of someone who has received a holiday invitation. Since Christmas falls on a Sunday this year, people will be coming directly from church services. What excitement!
So, the eggnog will be ready when guests arrive and dinner is not long after. I absolutely do not make my guest(s) wait!
Well that's about it - carols, dinner, friends, desserts and coffee, warm thank yous and the fond memories. Yes, they can belong to the single person. Don't stay home and invite depression. Invite a friend instead. Pull out your best recipes, pin up some holly and get into the swing of the holiday. Take loads of photos and bring some cookies back into the office to share.
Single never means "left out or alone". Don't wait for someone to challenge you, challenge yourself!
Enjoy the holiday and of course, I always like to remember the real reason for the season!
To my Hubpages Family, may you all have a safe and wonderful holiday season.
Felize Navidad! Buon Natale! Joyeaux Noel! Frohe Weihnachten! Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas!