Being alone for the holidays is a major challenge for many people. Holidays often conjure images of family, of warmth and the sharing of special time. Loneliness can be overwhelming when you have no one with whom to share holiday time.
Many people, however, miss the point of what holidays are really about and what makes them special. Holidays are not about what you GET - they are about what you GIVE. Many people are under the misconception that the joy of holidays is about what you receive rather than about what you share. Our hearts get filled with love when we give and share love, rather than from getting love.
This may seem like a paradox. Many people spend their time with others attempting to get love, attention and approval, thinking that this is what makes them feel happy and worthy. But getting attention from others to fill ourselves is like eating chocolate when you are lonely - it works for the moment but then you need more and more of it. Eventually it becomes an addiction.
What really fills the emptiness is the giving of love. If you are alone over the holidays, the question becomes, "How can I give love in ways that will bring me joy?"
Below are some suggestions for sharing your love and caring over the holidays:
Gather toys from friends and store donations and bring them to children who would not otherwise have toys. You can find these children through schools, churches and various other organizations.
Find a battered women's shelter in your area and help to create the holiday there - preparing food, decorating the tree, and just spending time with them. Last year a friend of mine organized a number of her local markets to donate food over Christmas to the local shelter that housed mothers and their children who had left abusive husbands. She got to know the mothers and children and received great fulfillment in providing them with an abundant Christmas.
Spend time with old people in nursing homes, especially those who have no family. Spending time caring about another lonely person will go a long way toward taking away your loneliness!
Volunteer to help with serving food to the needy over Thanksgiving and Christmas. Many churches and other charitable organizations welcome volunteers to help in food lines over the holidays.
Locate a retreat center near you that has a special event over the holidays and share your time with other people who are also alone for the holidays. Last year a friend of mine, who had just left her husband and was alone for the first time with no family around her, went to a beautiful retreat center on the East Coast. Twenty people gathered there to share Thanksgiving together. There was a wonderful ceremony of gratitude that she said filled her heart, and she enjoyed sharing time with new people.
Find a church, temple or 12-step group in your area that has special events for singles over the holidays. Go to these events with the intention of sharing your caring with others, which you can do just by being interested in listening to another person. We all love being listened to and understood, and all of us have the capacity to give this to another.
One of my all-time favorite movies is "A Christmas Carol," - the one starring Alistair Sim. I just love the scene on Christmas morning when Scrooge realizes that no time has passed and he has the opportunity to give. He feels such joy at the prospect of giving, that he can hardly stand it! He dances around and stands on his head and laughs and laughs with the joy of giving! In one night he went from being a miserable old man concerned only with getting, to a man now focused only on giving, and he became a joyful person.
While you might not have money to give, we all have caring to give. You have no idea how much you might enrich your own life as well as another person's life just by giving your time, your attention, your interest, your smile, your understanding. Whatever your life circumstances, you always have the opportunity to give your caring. You will discover that giving your caring to others, especially over the holidays, is a profound way of caring about yourself.
About The Author
Margaret Paul, Ph.D. is the best-selling author and co-author of eight books, including "Do I Have To Give Up Me To Be Loved By You?" She is the co-creator of the powerful Inner Bonding healing process. Learn Inner Bonding now! Visit her web site for a FREE Inner Bonding course: http://www.innerbonding.com or mailto:email@example.com. Phone sessions available.
RELATED ARTICLESThats the Christmas Spirit
Last Christmas, Uncle Albert promised his neighbor, Wilson, to find a way to keep the Christmas spirit alive all year. You know, just like Wilson and everybody else wishes people each year.
10 Holiday Sober Savers 2004
1.) BEGIN NOW !!!Don't save your shopping, decorating, cooking, wrapping, and cleaning for the last minute.
Christmas Holidays: 5 Ways To Make This Holiday Your Best Ever
For many people the end of a year is a time of increased stress.Instead of relaxing and unwinding from a busy year, the pressures of buyinggifts, travelling or spending time with long lost relatives makes it adifficult time.
Maybe This Christmas Will Be Different....
Have you always dreamed of a Norman Rockwell Christmas - where everyone is singing Christmas carols and there is joy in the house? Alas, your Christmas memories are often filled with Uncle Joe getting drunk and your parents ending up in a fight. By the end of Christmas day family members are mad and no one is talking to one another.
Christmas Gift Guide
Christmas is a magical time of year, both for kids and adults. They say that the joy of Christmas is the giving, not the receiving of gifts and the look of happiness on someones face once they've opened their perfect Christmas gift is indeed a wonderful sight.
Birthday Gift Guide
A birthday gift is the opportunity to show your loved one precisely how much they mean to you and how special you think they are.A little thought into your friend or loved one's personality will help you to understand what kind of gift they would really love for their birthday.
This Mothers Day -- Give The Gift Of Fitness
Do you know a Mom that deserves a special gift this year for Mother's Day? I'm sure you know at least one, if not more. Sure, flowers can always brighten a Mom's day and a dinner out is always appreciated.
Keeping it Simple this Season
It's back. The holiday season and all the challenges that come with it! This is the time when we are most tempted to overdo things - shopping, partying, spending.
Why July 4th ?
On July 4th 1776 the Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence. On this day they formally declared that these colonies were free and independent states, not subject to the government of Great Britain.
Incredibles Kid Birthday Party Idea
Mr. Incredible and Elastiwoman to the Rescue.
What Causes Holiday Stress?
The holidays are supposed to be a time of celebration when friends and families get together to share food, fun, gifts, and love. They are supposed to be a time of giving, caring and connection when we celebrate important and meaningful events.
Nine Questions To Ask Yourself Before You Head To The Office Party
One thing you can count on during the holiday season is the obligatory office party. No matter what the size of the organization, there is always an effort to bring coworkers together for one more moment of merriment.
Texas Exotic Hunting
Texas Exotic Hunting is a popular sport in this state. Hog hunting in Texas and dove hunting in Texas are both considered exotic.
A Mothers Day Prayer! Mamma Whispered Softly!
Patty Lovelace Country MusicVerse #1Through the back window of a 59 wagonI watched my best friend Jannie slippin awayI kept on waving, til I couldn't see herAnd through my tears I asked again Why we couldn't stayChorusMamma whispered softly, time will ease your painLife's about changing nothing stays the sameAnd she said, how can I help you say goodbye?It's ok to hurt and it's ok to cryCome let me hold you and I will tryHow can I help you say goodbye?Verse #2I sit on our bed, he packed his suitcaseI held a picture of our wedding dayHis hands were trembling, we both were cryingHe kissed me gently and he quickly walked awayChorusI called up mamma she said time will ease yourpainLife's about changing nothing stays the sameShe said, how can I help you say goodbye?It's ok to hurt its ok to cryCome let me hold you and I will tryHow can I help you say good-bye?Verse #3Sittin with Mamma alone in her bedroomShe opened her eyes and then squeezed my handShe said, I have to go now, my time is over And with her final words she tried to help meunderstandChorusMamma whispered softly, time will ease your painLife's about changing nothing stays the sameAnd she said, how can I help you say goodbye? It's ok to hurt; it's ok to cryCome let me hold you and I will tryHow can I help you say goodbye?Today we are recognizing Mother's Day. Let usremind ourselves that nothing can be morestrengthening than a mother's love for herchild.
Christmas Gifts For Bird Lovers
Choosing gifts for any animal lovers can be quite a pleasure, as it is often a gift that is shared by the recipient with her animal friends or pets. This is especially so with bird lover gifts.
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas - How to Tap in to the Holiday Publicity Bonanza
If your product or service can be given as a gift, a publicitywindfall awaits at the end of the year - but you need to startworking in June. Each December, media outlets cover the newest,the hottest and the most unusual Holiday gifts.
30th Birthday Gift Ideas
Choosing a birthday gift for a friend about to turn thirty years old can be a challenging task. You want to honor the special day with a unique gift, but not necessarily draw attention to their age.
Gift of the Month Clubs: The Lazy Mans Guide to Gift Giving
If you are like me and are a very lousy shopper and always end up getting everyone the wrong gift at Christmas time, think about a Gift-of-the-Month Club. G.
Easter is Sunday, March 27th! Don't forget the flowers! Your spring celebration is the perfect setting for beautiful flowers! You can also have a lovely floral gift delivered to your loved ones for Easter!A popular choice for Easter is the Easter lily. The Easter lily's true name is Bermuda lily.
Legends of the Christmas Tree
The Christmas tree is a much loved symbol iinstantly calling up images of gifts and family jollity. There are many beautiful connections to ancient traditions.