My little family lives out-of-state and I don't fly to be with them in the winter months…air travel delays and harsh weather make staying in my home much safer and more comfortable. So while I am very content knowing that they and I are well, I like to make an extra effort to send notes, make calls, and often share X-mas homemade cookies and candies with other "holiday alone" neighbors.
This year, due to Covid, instead of sharing homemade treats or birthday/X-mas gifts to be unwrapped with friends and neighbors, I am making donations to three of my favorite charities in honor and celebration of those other "loners". The charities send acknowledgements of the donations to the recipients and it cheers me to be offering more support to those who have less than I.
I learned years ago when tearfully watching my little girl board a flight to share a holiday with her dad that I could either be lonely and sad during that separation and my time alone or I could create a different approach to a holiday alone. Now, I plan ahead for my special meal, savor small indulgences and the lack of the hustle and bustle of preparations for company and treat myself in ways that couldn't happen otherwise. A day is whatever we choose to make it.
While I may resume sharing homemade treats with neighbors in the future, I plan to continue the charity donations in lieu of exchanging wrappable gifts with friends. Most of us have all we really need and there are so many who have so little. Whether celebrating the holidays with others or alone this year, I hope each person will find ways to add smiles to the coming days.