The holidays are the worst time of year for a single, at least for me (my birthday is a close second), and from what I’ve gathered just about every other single on the planet would agree.
I wouldn’t say that they’ve been easy this year, but certainly easier (so far), not sure if it’s because I’ve been so busy, or if I just have a different perspective this year, or maybe some of both, so I just wanted to focus on the positive here publicly.
1) I thought this was a great article, over on Boundless – Alone for the Holidays – single or not, go read it. I love how it hits the nail right on the head with all of the emotional thoughts that are going on in me – it doesn’t ignore them, but I also like how it brings it around. “A lot of the coping mechanisms for singleness seem to fall to pieces during the holidays. … Perhaps Christmas is a gift in this way. It offers a season when many of our self-sufficiencies are stripped away and we are forced to refocus on where our hope lies — our eternal salvation through Jesus and the joy and anticipation of what the Father will do for us, and more importantly in us, in this life. Longings for good things we do not yet possess can push us closer to the Savior.”
2) I may not have a family of my own, but I am grateful that I am as close as I am with my brothers. I’m grateful that my older brother and his family, not only let me be a part of their family, but genuinely want me to be. The other night I was at their house watching a kid’s movie with them, and working on finishing my Christmas cards. My sister-in-law commented that she was looking forward to the day when they got a new couch, saying, I can’t wait until we have a couch we can all fit on. I looked at her and said, well, if I wasn’t here, you could all fit on here, and without missing a beat she reiterated, that it would be nice to have a couch we ALL could fit on. It meant a lot to me. And let me tell you, hearing the kids behind the front door trying to open it, exclaiming with excitement “Krissie’s here” never gets old, even though it happens weekly. I’m privileged to have kids to love on and care for.
3) I’m grateful that being single means, that Christmas is less complicated. I don’t have to orchestrate lots of Christmas plans, or do tons of shopping, and this year that has been a tangible blessing. Both financially in trying to pay for my trip to India, and in time involved. I have on more than one occasion come home to an empty house and been so excited to have a moment of peace to myself – realizing the moment exists because I’m single. Now I’d trade that for a family in a heartbeat, but I’ll fully enjoy the moment right now while I can, knowing that I have lots of mom friends, that would LOVE to have that moment.
So, even though I’m single, I’m still blessed, and I hope that if you are single that, you will also be feeling blessed in some way this Christmas – it may not be the blessing we want most, but it is blessing none the less, and it should be cherished and celebrated none the less.
And if you are not single, I’d just encourage you to think about the singles in your life, is there a way that you can help remind them that they are blessed even though they are single, not with words of exhortation, but with gestures and action – an invitation to participate in a Christmas tradition your family has, a special gift, some meaningful words anything that could communicate to them that they are wanted this time of year and always.
* FYI, particularly the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day is the hardest for a lot of singles, everyone is having “family” time. A lot of times we get the “big day” covered, we have extended family, parents, etc. that we spend Christmas day with, but then all of those days in between when most everyone is off work, or working a laid back schedule, and enjoying the extra time with their families to be lazy, enjoy a late breakfast, return gifts or whatever – consider asking a single person you know to join you. We don’t want to take away from your family time – we want to be a part of it with you!