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Many Canadians Celebrate Holidays Solo

Written by Posted On Tuesday, 19 December 2000 00:00

Are you or someone you know going solo over the December holiday season?

Many Canadians live alone, including about one million over age 65, according to Statistics Canada. While many Canadians will celebrate the last Christmas or Chanukah of this century with family and friends, a significant number will spend the holidays alone. Although celebrating by yourself can be fun, too many people suffer the holiday blues in the absence of loved ones or when tormented by Hollywood's version of "Christmas closeness."

If you want to include solo friends or neighbours in your celebrations, don't say, "We don't want you to be alone for the holiday." Instead, stress something about their personality, talents or your relationship that makes it clear the festivities will be enhanced by their presence.

Here are a few suggestions for going solo and enjoying it:

  • Count your blessings. If you are reading this, you have access to an online world that will help you connect to friends and those that share similar interests anywhere in Canada or around the globe. You also have a roof over your head, which in Canada's wintery climes is definitely something to celebrate. While you're at it, make a list of other things you are thankful for and read it before you go to bed each night.

  • Your attitude will dictate your success at making December, not merely something to get through, but a time to enjoy. Don't aim for a laugh-riot each minute of every day but do expect more highs than lows and you won't be disappointed. Tackle December one day at a time. Just concern yourself with making today the best day you can.

  • One of the best antidotes to depression is exercise. Activity will make you feel better, help you sleep at night, keep unwanted holiday pounds at bay and, if you use your energy to do things for others, will make you feel good inside as well.

  • Set ground rules with friends and family. Tell them how you'd like to be treated and what support you'd appreciate. Don't put up with anything that upsets you unnecessarily. Sometimes you may be better off away from those that know you best since they may find it hard to help you let go of the past.

  • Occasionally, let yourself be sad. Celebrate the lives of those who are no longer with you. Watch a few "tear-jerker" movies and have a good cry. Get it out of your system.

  • Open your home. Invite neighbours -- those you know and those you don't -- and friends to drop by for a short holiday visit. Instead of one big bash, try a few small evenings or afternoons. Visit those that are house-bound or far away from their home for the holidays. By cheering them up, you'll do the same for yourself.

  • Indulge your tastebuds. Make a great gourmet meal or a simple buffet of all your favourites. Use all the trimmings – good china, table cloth and crystal if you have it. Or perhaps, you'll splurge on something wickedly expensive – it's only one setting, after all.

  • Experiment with new experiences. Change the patterns of past years. Make the most of Canada's multicultural mix and embrace the celebrations of other faiths and cultures to give yourself a lesson in the joy of diversity.

Remember, you may be solo, but you won't be alone. You will spend the holidays with one of the best people you know and with one of the people you know best – yourself.

Happy Holidays to everyone!

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PJ Wade

Futurist and Achievement Strategist PJ WADE is “The Catalyst”—intent on Challenging The Best to Become Even Better. A dynamic speaker and author of 8 books and more than 1800 published articles, PJ concentrates on the knowledge, insight, communication prowess, and special decision-making skills essential for professionals and their clients who are determined to thrive in the 21st-Century vortex of change.

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