The title of this post will baffle some folks who wonder how anyone could not have things to do on Christmas Day. There are many others who may be spending the holidays alone and need to find things to do to keep busy. Perhaps you are a single parent and this year, your ex gets the kids. What do you do now? How do you “survive” Christmas?
I remember my first Christmas alone without the children. Luckily, I had many friends and some relatives who lived close by. I spent most of my day visiting them that first year. It was hard though to be positive and happy, especially when I began to realize that every other year of my life would be this way. Here are some things that got me through those rough first few years alone during the holidays.
Spend Time with Your Friends
Perhaps you have other single friends in a similar situation who could get together for a Christmas Day event. When I was a single parent, all of my friends were married. Many of them offered to have me spend the holidays with their families, which was wonderful. Other single parents feel extremely depressed spending the holidays with an “intact family”. Do what works for you.
You can volunteer your time at a soup kitchen or spread some Christmas cheer at a local nursing home. One year, I took my golden retriever with me to visit the residents of a local nursing home. The staff and the residents loved having happy visitors and I felt good because I’d helped to make the holidays special for a wonderful group of people.
Visit Your Family
If your family lives far away, this may be a great time to visit them as you’ll only have to pay for traveling costs for one. If your family is close by, you can spend time visiting different relatives throughout the day.
See A Movie or Two!
My grandmother first told me about this idea. She lived several states away for many years and so it wasn’t always possible for her to spend the holiday with the family. After my grandfather died, she and several other widows would spend Christmas at the movies. They’d go to different theaters and see the different movies all day. It was fun, and it kept them busy.
You could also rent movies at the store and have an in home movie party if that sounds more appealing.
Work on Home Repair Projects
For some people, this doesn’t sound fun at all. I found that the best time to work on major projects was when my children were visiting with my ex. That way, they didn’t trip over the paint can or touch the freshly painted wall before the paint had dried. I also found that I could accomplish a lot because I could work without interruptions!
The key to “surviving” is to keep busy and keep your perspective positive. I finally came to the conclusion that although my kids were going to be “gone” every other year, I still got to be with them most of the year. That was a blessing. I also realized that Christmas doesn’t have to happen on December 25th. I started celebrating with them either before or after their visitation with my ex. That way, I spent “Christmas” with them every year.