Lonely this Christmas

The festive season is upon us. Town lights shine, trees are adorned with trinkets and the shopping list keeps growing. I love this time of year even though it’s full of nostalgia. Reminding me that life hasn’t always been so kind.

Not everyone is fortunate to have a loving family to share in the good times. This time of year can be the loneliest of all, to those who have no one. Even though I have children and a husband to share this year with, I’m still aware that at any point that could change. For me Christmas is about showing the people you care about, how much they mean to you. Having the time to create memories that are built to last. Sharing, loving and enjoying.

I grew up in a dysfunctional and ‘off and on’ broken family. Christmas time was either ‘we will have a wonderful family time’ or mum over compensating for a single parent type of Christmas. To my two younger sisters, brother and I, all the holidays were magical. They still hold a special place in our hearts regardless of our circumstances.

When I was eighteen, mum died from a brain hemorrhage. It was 3 months before Christmas. I was numb, battered by grief and the constant changing environment. Dad moved back into the family home and the holidays crept up on us.

That Christmas Dad gave me Β£100 to buy my eleven year old sister gifts.

‘Like mum would have done because I didn’t know where to start,’ dad said.

The irony was, neither did I. Christmas went from thoughtful gifts, warms smiles and the pretense of Santa. To a bottle of wine and pack of cigarettes under the tree. I appreciated the gifts, at that point alcohol was a welcome distraction.

The next five Christmas passed in a state of equal disrepair to the half family that remained. Just my brother, youngest sister and me. Dad hated Christmas, choosing to spend it in the pub or at his new home.
Leaving the three of us to create new family traditions. I would pick small gifts, with the little money I had. Bought with the intention of showing I cared. I’d start buying food in November so I could budget for treats and a turkey. We would decorate tree with mums ornaments and be thankful we still had each other.

This year I’ll be thanking my lucky stars for my friends and family. They give my life great meaning and support.

What do you have to be grateful for this year? Maybe you know someone that might be lonely this Christmas?

23 thoughts on “Lonely this Christmas

  1. I’ve never spent a Christmas alone yet, but it does often cross my mind that maybe one Christmas it will happen. I’ve always loved Christmas time (and still do), yet when I’ve written fiction about it, it always turns out dark.
    For the past few years, I’ve donated towards the Crisis appeal so that somebody less fortunate gets Christmas dinner. It’s not a lot, but at least it goes some way to making somebodies Christmas a little happier.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for your comment Hugh, me and the kids choose a charity each year to donate to. I hope it does make a difference to someone.
      Writers are both blessed and cursed with empathy. We can imagine a dark Christmas but I hope all your are merry and bright.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I’m sure it will help, Lorraine. Just donated a lot of items, I no longer need, to a charity shop today. They were so grateful and it made me feel very happy as well.

        I’m somebody who likes bright lights and sparkle not just at Christmas, but all year long. 🌟

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Hi Lorraine,
    Great thought provoking post. I have a love hate relationship with Christmas. So many Christmas’s in the past bring back haunting memories. I’ll spare you the detail. I am now older, I hope wiser, and Christmas has taken on an entirely new meaning. Central for me is that Christmas is a religious holiday. I try to put my focus around my church and our activities. Yet I don’t forget my friends. Some, the holidays are the only time we communicate. Yet my true friends, I make sure I tell them how much their friendship means. So each Christmas, when those terrible Christmas’s of the past attempt to overpower, I turn to prayer and thank God for the many blessings. I turn my back on the past and enjoy the present. Thank you for sharing this post. God Bless.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh my gosh. I thought I was the only one having to bear a sad Christmas. Now sending my love and hugs to you, your sisters and brother. Your dad too! I hope you guys have fun this Christmas even if it is inevitably sad. Just know that someone like me, share your sentiments. ❀

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Emmy

    I’m glad you still try to make Christmas special even though it can feel hard. For me it really is a time of showing other people I care. I don’t much mind if I don’t have gifts so long as people appreciate the things I have chosen to buy or do for them. I am however blessed that Christmas is a big family thing for us and no matter how tight money is there are always ways to make the season feel festive for free – Christmas movies, going to see the coca cola truck if it comes near by, winter walks, crafts etc. I hope you have a lovely Christmas this year just enjoying the people around you and them enjoying your company too x

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Quite True. If a person has ‘just no one’ to call his own, this Festive Season can be the most saddest days. I would like to tell all those people Out There…If you are Alone, just walk up, to the nearest house, decorated with Christmas goodies, knock the door and say to the person who opens the door……………”Hello, I’m Jesus’s Friend, Can I spend Christmas Day with You.” ?

    Liked by 1 person

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