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Woman on couch with petChristmas on TV: We watch commercials of a family at Christmas. Mom and dad are there with the kids, everyone is laughing and enjoying themselves, there’s lots of presents and good food to eat amidst a beautifully decorated house.  But what do those commercials do to you when you don’t have a family¸ you’re estranged from them, can’t afford to visit them, or they live too far away? How do you make the day meaningful for one? Do you connect with others or spend the day solo?

Creating connections: I have a friend who moved here years ago. She decided to spend Christmas celebrating with other “orphans” by hosting a potluck dinner party. She’s hosted the party for 20 years now and the list of orphans keeps growing. Her “family” has become this hodgepodge of men and women she’s created close connections with.

I have yet another friend who spends most of the Christmas season volunteering. She helps in whatever way she can–often with our local Santa’s Anonymous¸ a program that delivers Christmas hampers and toys to single adults and families that need some extra help. She creates connections with other like-minded people that want to give back.

Is connecting with others important to you at Christmas? If so, what can you do to plan to celebrate with others? Would you like to spend the day with others you know, by volunteering, by attending church, doing something online, or by doing something within your community? Suppose you decided to create your own Christmas tradition or celebration. What would you like to do?

Spending the day alone: I have a friend whose parents died some time ago. She has never been married and doesn’t have any children. She views Christmas as a holiday to endure, to get through as easily and painlessly as possible. She tries to do this by living in the moment and doing exactly what she feels like doing all day.

What is a way you could connect with yourself on Christmas Day? Would you enjoy planning a number of things you could do, or would you rather spontaneously decide? Would you prefer doing things to relax, or to be active? Would this be a time to feed your soul, a time to get that task list done, or the time to undertake a project? Suppose this Christmas Day was going to go exactly the way you wanted it to be, what would you be doing? What would you do to joyously live in the moment?

We have a choice to spend the day with others or by ourselves. Even when it doesn’t seem like much of a choice, there are things we can do to make the day special for ourselves. What will you do? I’d appreciate your comments and feedback!

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