Here’s What You’ll Need to Do
According to YouGov, one in nine Americans (11%) will spend Christmas alone. Whether they don’t have family or friends, are estranged from family, or are single, for many individuals, Christmas is a very lonely time.
Sound familiar? If feelings of loneliness threaten to steal away the joy of Christ, here are some things to do to feel loved and connected with God and others.
1. Lean into the loneliness.
Ignoring the pain? Hoping it will go away? Trying to numb away the loneliness? No one will heal until they allow themselves to feel. So, it’s important to lean into the feelings of being lonely. Start by putting a name to the emotion by saying or writing, “I feel lonely, abandoned, rejected…” Putting feelings into words allows the brain to begin to process them, making the loneliness a little less intense.
2. Start and end each day with gratitude.
Be prepared to get up each day and do a regular morning routine—even if there’s nothing on the schedule to look forward to. Begin each day by finding three to five things to thank God for that day. Then, get fully dressed, and get ready for the day. Don’t forget to spend a few minutes in prayer and reading Scripture. Before going to sleep, find at least three things that went well that day and write them down in a journal. By having a routine every morning and evening that focuses on gratitude, it will start and end each day on a positive note.
3. Consider Christ—He knows what it’s like to be alone.
If anyone can identify with loneliness, it was Christ. He was born in a stable, possibly a stable that was inside a cave. When the prophet Isaiah foretold Christ’s coming, he said in Isaiah 7:14 (NLT), “they will call him Immanuel, which means ‘God is with us.’” No one who knows Christ is ever alone. God is with them. Always. And He is available to all who call on Him.
4. Do something solo on Christmas Day.
If being alone on Christmas Day is unavoidable, plan a day to do things solo. Go on a trip alone, cook (or buy) delicious foods, have a home spa day, or read a new book. Want to go out and meet people so that Christmas Day isn’t spent all alone? Go to a Christmas dinner that a local church, community center, or non-profit organization has provided for the community.
5. Be kind.
The world is full of kind people. But if there seem to be no kind people around, be a kind person to others. Mentor a child or teen in the inner city. Prepare meals and bring them to those who are sick and unable to leave their home. Visit a nursing home. Help animals at an animal shelter. Or serve Christmas dinner at a church or homeless shelter. Showing kindness to those who are lonely will make a dramatic difference in someone’s life—and Christmas won’t seem so lonely.
6. Talk to someone.
Smile and start a conversation with someone. Connect with friends and family through a video call, watch sports, or have a movie marathon. Talk to the barista, grocery clerk, support group online, or your next-door neighbor. It can be as simple as giving a compliment to a stranger, making a comment about the weather, asking how their day is going, or any number of topics. For more help, it may help to talk with a licensed counselor in the New Life Counselor Network or join a Life Recovery Group.
Connecting with God and others is the best way to lessen the sadness of loneliness and experience the joy of Christ coming into the world. For prayer and help, call 800-NEW-LIFE.
by Kimberlee Bousman