Many people are facing Christmas alone this year for the first time. I predicted that the pandemic would serve as a magnifying glass for problems that already existed, but hadn’t been addressed. If you had a weight problem before you would likely have a bigger one now. If you were lonely before, you would likely be lonelier now. Sadly, if your marriage was in trouble before, it would likely get worse during the pressure cooked called lockdown.
It may sound pessimistic, but if you don’t change anything, i.e. make a decision to commit to doing things differently, you will almost certainly get more of the same. Lockdown just sped it up. To quote Kieron from this BBC article: “lockdown fast-tracked the expiry date”. He was talking about his marriage.
Facing Christmas alone?
This predicament has left many people, me included, contemplating what Christmas for One might look like. I started researching my options back in June when I realised this was a possibility. I even tried to source information from “experts” about creative approaches to doing Christmas differently. I was sorely disappointed by their ideas.
As a Coach I already have a pretty strong awareness of what brings me joy, I regularly romance myself with quality me time, treat myself to whatever I want, stay in my nightwear when I feel like it, and show myself compassion. I have a day a week where I spend it in bed (mostly) reading books and envisioning my bigger future. I spend another day a week where I dress up, just because. So like a poker game, I can’t just “see” those things I need to “raise” them for Christmas, surely? Something needs to stand out; be different.
Why did no-one see this coming?
It seems no-one is really catering for the person spending Christmas alone. Still! Even though there are going to be people in Tier 3 who will not be able to socialise at all. There are no Christmas meals for one in the supermarkets. There are no meal boxes for one from all the creative foodie places. And I don’t fancy securing a soggy cranberry and turkey sandwich on Christmas eve from Pret! In short, I don’t see why I should have to compromise at all!
Thankfully, I have spent 6 months coming to terms with spending Christmas alone. Now, I am now quite looking forward to it. I have let go of the fixedness about turkey and trimmings. No longer lamenting about what shoulda, woulda, coulda been. Instead I am going to have my favourite fish curry and peshwari naan from a posh supermarket. Plus an outrageously expensive bottle of wine. Mum will still make trifle; I will go and collect my portion (3/4 of it) from the doorstep. If you had asked me about this in July, you would have gotten a very different perspective! At that point I was choosing sadness and loss . Here’s what I changed:
Alone at Christmas action list
Starting to think positively early.
I didn’t second guess what my daughter’s wishes were, I simply asked her. This meant I could focus on creating the Christmas that we will all be happy with. And I have cleared the in between energy I was feeling about this time of year. I don’t feel like I have compromised at all. I also don’t feel under pressure how to create something that feels like an anti climax only hours later.
Letting go of things that were keeping me hemmed in…
…like turkey. I can still consume pigs in blankets, but why must I have them on that day of the year?! They could be eaten any time. I choose to eat what I want to eat and when. If that looks like fruit and fibre at 7pm in front of James Bond, so be it!
Choosing to see the freedom.
It’s easy to fall into victim mode at times like this. When you realise that you can focus all your attention on you, and rebel against how things have always been, it’s quite uplifting. New traditions or anti traditions can be created any time you decide to.
Put you first
So if you are spending Christmas alone, I hope this inspires you. And sets off a new line of thinking for how 2021 could be for you. And if you are spending it with an extended bubble, be careful. To look back on this time and wish you hadn’t played that shouty game; or hugged quite so many times may take a while to forgive yourself for… Above all connect to what brings you joy!
Wishing you a wonderful December, Christmas, and an epic 2021.
If you would like my support, please book a call here: www.susieramroop.com/booking.
I’ll try to take a break from my mince pie consumption at some point…