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Will this be your first Holiday Season alone?

Holidays are a season of high emotion.  From the outside looking in, everyone looks happy and joyous surrounded by family and friends and, most of all, love.  We have traditions that are near and dear to our hearts.

Photo Credit via Kevin Dooley

Photo Credit via Kevin Dooley

Many times our former mates have been an integral part of our traditions.  This can leave a huge, gaping hole in our holiday.  Our old traditions are too painful and we feel like we can’t make new traditions because we’re all alone.  If we’re not careful, this can become a very depressing time of year.  It is vitally important that we plan ahead, anticipate upcoming problems and takes steps now to help us through the season ahead.

There are some very good, practical tools for not just “surviving” but “thriving” this holiday season.

  1. Make new traditions.  If you could do anything you want this Holiday season, what would it be?  What makes you excited and feel all yummy inside?  Spend some time answering this question.  Let the sky be the limit.  Journal your wildest dreams.  If a trip to Paris is on the list but isn’t practical, start a fund to save for the future.  Then, find a place within driving distance that is a little more feasible.  Don’t think that you have to have someone to go with you.  A friend recently took the time to take that cross-country drive she’s always wanted to take.  It was clear from her pictures that it was very good for her soul.
  2. Just because your holiday isn’t traditional, doesn’t mean it isn’t good.  It can be tough decorating a tree with all the ornaments of years past.  Maybe this year you’ll you decide to do something funky, just for you.  Ever wanted a pink and black Christmas Tree?  Do it!  Ever wanted to flood the house with white lights?  Go for it!  Think outside the box.  There will always be time to pick up the old traditions later.  Who knows?  Maybe in the meantime you can make some even better new ones.
  3. Spend your money on you.  I know it’s better to give than receive.  And, it’s a great idea to give your time to the less fortunate this holiday season.  Nothing puts our pain in perspective quite like helping someone who has it infinitely worse.  But, as for your money, this is not the year to treat all your family and friends to the latest greatest wish list.   It may be a good idea to send out a Holiday card or e-card that has a quirky picture of you and your pet and says something like this

As my family and friends, you know this year has been full of challenges and painful memories.  Each of you have been extremely loving and kind as I walk through this process.  I appreciate you more than you realize.  Instead of exchanging gifts this year, I would like to give  you my time – a late night phone call, coffee on a Sunday morning, grocery shopping while we catch up.   This year, I give to you the gift of sharing life together.  You have done so much for me and it would be my honor to return a favor.

The beautiful thing about this approach is that is takes away the financial stress of the holidays, it gives you a head start to it gives you a head start to making plans and keeping you from isolating in the New Year and it expresses your gratitude.  Now if, in that darkest of days, it would feel good to your soul to get a massage or a pedicure, you’ll have the resources to take care of yourself.  This year, that is most important.

There are other ideas and helpful resources for the Holiday season available at the following:


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