No matter how you look at it, Christmas is a magical time of year. It’s all about the giving and spreading of love. The lead up is full of excitement and anticipation. And, the day itself is one of the few where you can guarantee that everything stops. Shops still close, and a trip out on Christmas day is like walking into another, much quieter land. As a whole, the festive season is a beautiful thing.
But, even if you’re filled with holiday cheer this year, remember that it isn’t the same for everyone. In fact, the very things that most of us love about Christmas can make it difficult for others. We’ve all heard the ‘suicide at Christmas myth’. While figures suggest that suicide rates don’t actually spike at this time, it’s easy to see why people would assume they do. With everyone coming together, those who are on their own are sure to feel that loneliness more severely.
Which is why it’s worth reaching out to all your loved ones this holiday season. If you have grandparents, or friends who live alone, make a specific effort to ensure their well being. Nobody deserves to be alone at Christmas, and here are a few of the ways you can ensure they aren’t.
KNOW EVERYONE’S PLANS
Most importantly, remember that Christmas is a time for coming together. Even if you fancy a quiet one this year, you should reach out and invite loved ones who don’t already have plans. Asking them into your home will ensure you can surround them with love and happiness. It’s certainly better than thinking of them all alone.
Of course, you don’t want to be presumptuous. Most of the time, even those who live alone get a multitude of offers. So, instead of jumping in and demanding people come to you, check everyone has somewhere to be. If they do, then you can stop worrying. If not, it’s worth inviting them around to you.
Bear in mind that, if someone’s struggling with festivities, they may be reluctant to join you. Without putting too much pressure on, make your invite sound appealing. Instead of coming for the whole day, urge them to simply join you for Christmas dinner. That way, you can ensure they see someone, while also giving them the space they need to deal with everything.
Something as simple as a phone call can make a massive difference to someone who’s feeling alone. Just asking how they are can help show that you care and that in itself can abate loneliness. This is perfect for lonely loved ones who live further afield. You may not be able to host for them, but you can at least reach out. You never know, a long phone call with you on Christmas morning could make their day. You can also take this time to check up on their mentality. Try, if you can, to keep conversation happy. Bring the festive cheer from your home to the phone line. It may even be worth getting the whole family to take it in turns having a chat. Throughout, though, make sure to note if the person on the other end sounds despondent or upset. If you notice either of these things, do your best to get someone closer to them to pay a physical visit. If that isn’t possible, call around other family members, or mutual friends, who can also take some time out to make a phone call. The more you rally around the person in question, the less time they’ll have to dwell on their situation.
THE GIFT YOU GIVE
Naturally, Christmas gifts play a significant role on the big day. And, this gives you another fantastic way to ease the loneliness of your loved ones. You could take this literally, by investing in something which makes communication easier for them. For grandparents and elderly parents, using the phone can become difficult. So, why not invest in something like the Snapfon cell phone, specially designed for seniors? You can find out detailed specs here, but the large buttons and enhanced volume will ensure the challenges of age don’t get in the way of communication. Equally, a laptop for those who don’t already have one could ensure connectivity thanks to social media platforms, and programs like Skype. As well as cheering your loved ones up for the day, gifts like these will ensure they’re less lonely going forward.
If neither of these would be suitable, why not ease their loneliness with a gift which shows how much you care? Something like a care package could make a difference to their day. Include their favorite foods, scents, and so on. You could place pampering bits in there for the bath, or candles you know they’ll love. All of which is sure to remind them that you’re always there.
DON’T BE AFRAID TO TALK ABOUT THE DIFFICULT STUFF
Often, the reason Christmas is so difficult is because of the people who aren’t able to join us. If someone’s lost a spouse, or anyone for that matter, it’s not unusual for sadness to hit harder on Christmas day. For the most part, this is because we all want those we love most around us on occasions like these. And, it becomes all too apparent when someone who should be there, isn’t.
The way to get around this issue is not to ignore the matter. Don’t force joviality at all moments of the day. Instead, notice if someone seems down, and talk to them about it. Take a moment out to commemorate your loved ones. Have a cry together if it helps. Airing feelings like this is a fantastic way to show the person in question that they aren’t alone in their grief. After all, most of us spare at least some thoughts to our lost ones at Christmas. It also means that they can move on with the day without the weight of loss quite as heavy on their shoulders.