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Completely alone for Christmas

  • 11-12-2020 5:13pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 166,026 ✭✭✭✭


    Hi,

    I'm facing a Christmas completely alone.
    I'm an only child, usually, I'd be able to go to my parents for Christmas or they could come to me.

    Due to covid19, this year, I will not be able to go to my parents house and they cannot come to my house.

    I am a frontline worker and one of my parents is in the high risk category. It won't be possible for me to get time off work to quarantine before Christmas day. Due to my work being on the frontline, I haven't seen my parents in months, we can't take the risk with the virus.

    All of my friends are married with kids, even before covid, they were very busy and my social outings had become almost non existent in recent years.

    In recent years, I did try to do something to change my situation. I tried online dating, I got involved in different clubs to try and get to know new friends etc. But no real success. I find it is very hard in your 30s to make new friends. With no partner, children etc. you drift out to the edges of society.

    This Christmas, I am wondering how I can get the strength to be completely alone for the holiday period, as I don't even have my parents to spend it with.

    Thanks for reading this and any advice would be greatly appreciated. I'm sure many people are in the same situation this year because of covid19.


Comments

  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 4,077 ✭✭✭Away With The Fairies


    You should treat Christmas like any other day. Buy yourself a few nice things and treats. Do hobbies, stick on netflix. Just a lazy day of doing nothing. As a frontline worker, I'm sure you'll enjoy the time off. It's not the worst thing to happen with all things covid.


  • Registered Users Posts: 938 ✭✭✭gauchesnell


    lots of people are in the same boat this year especially. As poster above its one day - treat it as a nice day off if you are not working. You are doing the right thing and protecting your family so be proud of yourself for that.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,192 ✭✭✭Tork


    Do either of your parents have a smartphone? You could try having a video call with them while you all have your dinner - get one of them to prop the phone against something on the table. It won't be the same as being there but at least you'd be able to talk to them and break up the day.


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,891 ✭✭✭✭Purple Mountain


    Would it be possible to go there for half an hour and let your parents sit inside and have the window slightly open? You could take a fold up chair and sit outside, well wrapped up at 2 metres and even wear a mask if it made you feel more comfortable?
    You could bring your own flask to avoid any cross contamination and do a toast to them and have a chat?
    If you go to the bathroom before you leave your own house, you don't need to go inside their house.
    If you felt that was appropriately safe, it might do you and them the world of good.

    To thine own self be true



  • Registered Users Posts: 3,192 ✭✭✭Tork


    Visiting them at a distance is a good idea if you can manage it. I think a lot of people, if they're being honest, will admit to having visited their parents during the various restrictions this year. That is my anecdotal experience. They sat in their parent's gardens during the summer, didn't come into the house or stayed in another room and chatted to them from there. Some wore masks indoors. Maybe some of these are options for you if you have your own car and you can travel?

    If this, or my earlier technology post aren't viable, then definitely go down the "duvet day" route. For all the hype, Christmas doesn't last that long. On the run up to the big day we're bombarded with TV ads, songs, Christmas movies and all the other old reliables that we associate with Christmas. But really, once you go past the 25th, it's all over. So you just have to deal with one day really. If it was me who was alone on the day, I'd take the advice given here and treat it like any other lazy day off. I think your biggest problem here is loneliness. Don't be afraid to make contact with people on the day. Even conversations with other people will help you here.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,054 ✭✭✭Fakediamond


    Could you meet up with other frontline worker colleagues for a meal together, or even for breakfast or something to break up the day? I’d say you’re not the only one is this situation.

    I spent Christmas Day alone a few years ago and I actually loved it. It was a sunny day so I went for a walk before lunch, the silence was wonderful, it was so peaceful. I then cooked a nice dinner, spoke to a few people by phone and settled with the fire and Telly for the evening - bliss.

    There’s a lot of hype and emotion attached to Christmas and according to marketing companies, one can only be happy if it’s done the way they portray it, which is simply not true.

    I also think the idea of setting up a laptop or smartphone to eat together with your parents is a good idea. My neighbour is doing that with her daughter in Germany, so that the family can all be together for dinner. I think she intends to do a dry run first, to iron out technical hitches!


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,013 ✭✭✭Rubberchikken


    Can you contact them online?
    Christmas day is one day very similar to a day off so treat it as such.
    Relax. Have a nice meal. Enjoy a bit of tv.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,374 ✭✭✭Airyfairy12


    Make a day of it, cook yourself a really nice meal, watch a load of movies, buy yourself some really things, id suggest really nice pajamas, fluffy socks, slippers and a really nice fluffy dressing grown. Eat as much sweets and rubbish as you like.
    Also, Christmas morning is always lovely for going for a walk.

    Just to add, not only will lots of people be going through similar, some people will have lost family members and loved ones because of Covid, its a strange year for everyone and Christmas wont be the same for anyone this year.

    You seem really focused on being single, childless with few friends.
    As you say, lots of people are in the same boat and yes its hard making friends in your 30's but youre not on the edge of society or being pushed out in anyway. There was a thread posted here a few days ago from someone in their 30's who said theyre single with no friends. The responses to the post where really helpful and positive. Id suggest reading through it.
    Youre still young and have so much life ahead of you.


  • Registered Users Posts: 728 ✭✭✭bertiebomber


    this is what i hate about the forced Xmas it forgets other people who are alone and dont have everything perfect as prescribed. I reject Xmas totally i refuse to turn my house into a whore house of lights and tinsel ..instead i buy something very nice for myself that i have wanted and I eat a very nice dinner one i like, not the forced Xmas dinner.

    The world is trying to make everyone the same and force them to all do the same things think the same way, being different is very nice and you should embrace this one year where you can be different and, by the way thank you for working on the front line.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,930 ✭✭✭spaceHopper


    Get tested, there is a drive in center in Leopardstown, 100 euros for a test. If you aren't in Dublin see if there is anywhere else to get tested.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,606 ✭✭✭DebDynamite


    Get tested, there is a drive in center in Leopardstown, 100 euros for a test. If you aren't in Dublin see if there is anywhere else to get tested.

    This. If your parents are so high risk, I’d Imagine they’re being extra careful themselves, so would imagine the only issue would you passing Covid to them, and not the other way around. Hopefully the PCR test would solve this problem.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,374 ✭✭✭Airyfairy12


    Get tested, there is a drive in center in Leopardstown, 100 euros for a test. If you aren't in Dublin see if there is anywhere else to get tested.

    Sometimes tests can be wrong. Close contacts who go for tests are still asked to restrict their movements for 10 days from date of contact.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,123 ✭✭✭Ellie2008


    Just treat it as 16 hours off work to spoil yourself. Stock up on nice treats - food, drink, sweets etc. Get the box sets, movies, books, magazine etc out.

    I do think it’s hard to be single in your 30s from a social point of view but don’t assume your friends with kids etc wouldn’t appreciate you getting in touch. I find spending long periods of time with small children can be lonely especially this year. I still value my friends as much as I ever did.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,964 ✭✭✭Hmm_Messiah


    the end of a year, and Christmas is not a good time to tackle - if I can word it correctly - the loneliness you feel or sense of missing out and missed opportunities


    you have made some effort as per your post ; so part that and " reboot" efforts to see can you change your circumstances change next year

    For this Christmas, try a range of things. While you may feel lonely, you can also balance that with the absence of stress many families have when their household is busier at Christmas time etc. Try see some plusses

    you are not working so you can relax - decide is it a day you'd like to mark by dressing up ( yes for yourself!0 or by having a lazy casual PJ day

    Plan what things you might like to watch on tv - no fights over the remote - try find programs that will break the day - eg an afternoon a tea, a late night

    I would recommend ( but depending on your own feelings ) a walk on the day - a walk in the morning to fill your lungs, and maybe one after your main meal, the lights in houses can give a sweet atmosphere - but I do know the pleasure you get from this day of all days is dependent on how much you can influence your own feelings

    I will spend xmas alone - I frequently do. ( last year I spent til 2 am in hospital with a relative - instead of being a bummer, I felt glad I could be there as the Eve became the Day and that my relative had some company)

    I also find all the mixing, and expending social circle difficult .

    I occasionally feel very bad about it. Mostly , I accept its my CURRENT lot, but not my Forever situation.... and I can feel this because in the past, totally out of the blue I have met people who changed my life .

    if there is a big amount of time , more than you are used to being at a loose end , read a book, set a goal to finish it - I'd recommend THE Christmas Carol - it is quite short!! and Christmassy but not modern life Christmassy so not a million reminders of what you might miss

    talk to your parents after breakfast, and again later in the evening - if you run out of things to say - talk about some stv show ( e.g. if your mum watched the soaps )

    and above all BE NICE TO YOURSELF, BE KIND TO YOURSELF

    And let me wish you good things, and small joys at Christmas time


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,964 ✭✭✭Hmm_Messiah


    Get tested, there is a drive in center in Leopardstown, 100 euros for a test. If you aren't in Dublin see if there is anywhere else to get tested.

    you already know this ( depending on what frontline work you do ) but do NOT depend on a test to visit your parents - it only means you do not have the virus at that moment in time , hence the need for isolation

    you would need to quarantine for 5+ days to be symptomatic, and test again a week or so later to ensure not symptomatic ( or asymptomatic but with the virus)

    so NO , do not do this .


  • Registered Users Posts: 19 pepefloyd


    I am a separated dad and since I separated I have spent every Christmas day alone, the fact I am not with my son (he is still a child) makes things even harder, I won't lie and tell you that didn't cause me to be extremely depressed. Opposed to what other people are advising you, I'd suggest that you do not treat the holiday as any other day, decorate a little bit, cook something special for yourself, get yourself a gift, make some phone calls to friends you haven't talked to in a long time, skype with your parents, watch a comedy, try to spend the time being busy, I guarantee you will feel better than if you focus on the fact you are alone and pretend is just any other day. Remember is not the same to be alone than to feel lonely.


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 15,409 Mod ✭✭✭✭woodchuck


    Could you meet up outdoors, at a safe distance, with masks on? Going for a walk together would be lovely, if they're physically up for that.

    You could do phone calls and/or video calls too. If you're doing presents, open them over video call together so you can see each others reactions. Maybe even try to organise some virtual games that you could do together! It doesn't have to be one long phone call either, a few shorter calls throughout the day could work well, so you feel you're properly part of each others day.


  • Registered Users Posts: 32,634 ✭✭✭✭Graces7


    It has been literally decades since I was with anyone at Christmas. No living family and friends scattered far and wide.. Health issues that meant and still mean I have no stamina.

    At first, yes a crushing loneliness that was though connected with loneliness and isolation anyway.

    Then a gradual acceptance. And then a love of the peace of it. Acceptance of my limitations and of my advanced age

    Christmas is deeply meaningful for me with my faith. As is Advent.

    And out here on a small offshore island there is freedom from the commercial hype. And yes I enjoy all the "Christmas" food and even decorations and LIGHTS!

    And I have grown into my situation and being alone. It no longer holds any fears for me. It is all as full as I need or seek.

    There are memories but " age and forgetfulness" lighten and sweeten those .

    But that takes time. A long time. And hopefully this covid year will be a landmark we can leave behind with no regrets. .

    And hopefully all here will find some solace and pleasure next weekend.

    And it is fine to be sad about things that are sad. Totally whole and healthy.

    Stay safe and enjoy what you can!


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,495 ✭✭✭✭eviltwin


    I’m spending Christmas alone. I’m at work but there will be no one around for most of the day. I’m going to spend the day with books, nice food and a box set. Maybe a walk in the afternoon. I’ll call my family a few times and we will do FaceTime for dinner so we can chat while we eat. It’s not ideal but it is what it is. It’s just one day, hopefully when you wake up on the 26th you will feel a bit better.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,294 ✭✭✭santana75


    I think its easy to fall into self pity at this time of the year, and Im not saying that this is what you're doing Op. Im just saying to be mindful and guard against comparing what you have with what others have and falling into a pit of despair or even resentment and bitterness. Dont let that happen, no matter what, because the truth is you're as happy as you decide to be. You have to be intentional at this time of the year in seeing the good and being thankful. Its not polly anna type thinking, but a practice that protects you and keeps your spirits up. Theres a proverb that says, "If you look for evil, evil will find you, but if you look for good, good will find you". Its a choice, you get to decide what kind of christmas you have.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 7,134 ✭✭✭Lux23


    My partner lost a close friend to suicide on Christmas Day a few years ago, and he just began to hate the day itself and couldn't stand trying to make merry with his relatives or my family. We were rowing about it constantly because I love Christmas and I didn't want to stay in grimy flat as that would depress me. Last year, he had a breakdown over Christmas, as on reflection I pushed him so much over it, so this year, we agreed that I am going to spend it with family and he is stocking up on a load of crap for the three days and he is quite happy to do that.

    Then we are off to the Merrion as long as it doesn't close for a night together and next year I said we might try going away.


  • Registered Users Posts: 32,634 ✭✭✭✭Graces7


    santana75 wrote: »
    I think its easy to fall into self pity at this time of the year, and Im not saying that this is what you're doing Op. Im just saying to be mindful and guard against comparing what you have with what others have and falling into a pit of despair or even resentment and bitterness. Dont let that happen, no matter what, because the truth is you're as happy as you decide to [/B]be. You have to be intentional at this time of the year in seeing the good and being thankful. Its not polly anna type thinking, but a practice that protects you and keeps your spirits up. Theres a proverb that says, "If you look for evil, evil will find you, but if you look for good, good will find you". Its a choice, you get to decide what kind of christmas you have.


    Hmmmm.. it can be impossible to do this. It really can. And not accepting a situation can lead to greater depression.

    I learned that the hard way too. Accepting how bad you feel is the first step. Denial is a deceit that will back fire.

    "yes this IS terrible. YEs I am dreading Christmas" is the starting pint. And being gentle and kind to YOU is the way forward.

    total honesty and facing truth .. then moving forward at YOUR pace. Which is different for everyone.

    There is no one way in this. For me it changed gradually as I faced my darkness at this season and understood why it was. And there will be a nostalgia even now..a metaphorical glass raised to the past and folk who are gone

    What helps me is .. treats! Being kind to myself about especially food and candles and decorations. Simple things that will heal slowly. Not forcing .

    This week one of my hyacinths that I have been nurturing for months, is showing colour and perfume and that has been a huge blessing and joy for me


  • Registered Users Posts: 166,026 ✭✭✭✭LegacyUser


    same boat exept my folks are dead. You will see yours again and can phone them


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