10 ways to survive Christmas

14th December 2016

Avoid the myth that everybody else is happy and you are unique.   40% of adults are single, many will spend Christmas alone or uncomfortably with family or others.  Remember that break-ups and divorces are more common after the stresses of Christmas.  So while other people's struggles don't make you feel better - it is important to recognise that you struggle in common with others.

Plan your Christmas in advance if possible. There are plenty of choices (see below), look through and think about what is best for you. 

Think about other friends who may be in the same situation and might want share your choices.

  1. Go to church. The people there might be different from the usual church family - chat to them as this may their first church service for a long time.  Help with the service if they need you, Or try another service - like a big Cathedral or different tradition.  It can make Christmas special.

  2. Not all services are jolly. Some services do 'Blue' Christmas for those for whom Christmas is difficult and definitely not "jolly".

  3. Volunteer at Crisis or other organisations and local community facilities where they need people at Christmas.  People say they have good fun at these with other volunteers. They don't just operate on Christmas Day but around the whole period. You need to plan in advance.

  4. House parties or retreats.  Some Christian organisations do Christmas house parties - for example the Iona Community and Lee Abbey. These Christmases can be really special.

  5. Invite other people around or meet up in a pub. Even if it is just two or three of you it can be memorable.

  6. Do something healthy - like go for a planned walk or organise your own walk.  It healthy and social.  Or just go for a walk in the park - you might be surprised how many people are out.

  7. House sitting. People are looking for sitters to look after their pets or just their houses.  Websites like trustedhousesitters.com  advertise plenty of vacancies.  There is a huge demand from people who need sitters.  It is a change of scene and a chance to be in a lovely house with nice pets.

  8. Be proactive. Mention to people that you will be on your own at Christmas and it would be nice to see them.

  9. If you are lucky enough to be with family or friends at Christmas, suggest that others who would otherwise be on their own be invited.

  10. Remember to laugh. A good companion might be your favourite Christmas comedy shows or films - try the Rev 2011 Christmas Special on iTunes. Invite others to join you in laughing.

Let us know what you have enjoyed doing by contacting us at info@singlefriendlychurch.com!

Jackie Elton and David Pullinger 14 December 2016