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Old 01-03-2018, 12:31 PM
 
Location: SWFL
21,483 posts, read 18,184,307 times
Reputation: 18865

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I have chosen not to get caught up in the commercialism of Christmas. I stopped believing in December 25th as the birth date of Jesus back in the '80's anyway. I did go along with the commercialism when I had family but with none now, I just view it as another day. I did buy my friend a few kitchen gadgets she needed. It made her happy, therefore I was happy.

I spent the day and the eve before watching shows on Netflix, Amazon and tv. Even watched an old Perry Como special. It was nice to hear that smooth voice again!

I used to make myself depressed about holidays, especially THE holidays, until TIME worked its magic on me. Now I just wish everyone a Happy whatever and feel okay about it.
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Old 01-05-2018, 07:29 PM
 
4,753 posts, read 2,185,706 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harry chickpea View Post
It can be helpful to "depotentiate" the actual days of the holidays. Shift anything you might want to do that is an observation of the time to a different day or week, and intentionally plan the holiday itself as a low key quiet day. By taking the pressure of expectation of a particular day having all the meaning tied up within it, and spreading that out over time, there can be less stress. That is something I had to learn long before I had even met my wife. It has served me in good stead since her death.
Going forward, Christmas and New Years will always be a reminder of a time of loss. I have received so many emails over the last week saying "hey, how were your holidays, hoping you're well rested and relaxed from the break". I just look at those and think ... nope, that didn't happen, I didn't have a break, I didn't have a rest, I didn't rejuvenate like you think.

Next year at this time I will be on a beach in some foreign land during the Christmas/New Year holiday season. I will convince myself that it is a different time of year and that all that family celebration stuff is happening at some other time. I'm sure that over time it will be better, but I know I won't shake if off the next time these happy holidays return.
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Old 01-06-2018, 12:02 PM
 
Location: SWFL
21,483 posts, read 18,184,307 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lieneke View Post
Going forward, Christmas and New Years will always be a reminder of a time of loss. I have received so many emails over the last week saying "hey, how were your holidays, hoping you're well rested and relaxed from the break". I just look at those and think ... nope, that didn't happen, I didn't have a break, I didn't have a rest, I didn't rejuvenate like you think.

Next year at this time I will be on a beach in some foreign land during the Christmas/New Year holiday season. I will convince myself that it is a different time of year and that all that family celebration stuff is happening at some other time. I'm sure that over time it will be better, but I know I won't shake if off the next time these happy holidays return.
I don't think they are disregarding your situation, just saying "the usual stuff" that really isn't quite appropriate anymore. Even being on the other end now and knowing I shouldn't say stuff like that to a person recently bereaved, my first reaction is to do it! I have to stop and think before opening mouth or typing.

Sounds like a nice plan for next year. You are at last feeling and excepting the emotions.
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Old 01-06-2018, 01:55 PM
 
4,140 posts, read 3,466,216 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kyle19125 View Post
I lost both parents 4-5 years ago and as stated am the only child, single and lacking any close relatives. The holidays seem to be getting lonelier and wonder how those like me have coped. I have friends who invite me to their celebrations, but quite frankly it's all so hollow and feel more like the charity case than someone they really want present. How does one cope year after year?
Do you like being solo the rest of the year? It sounds like you might be lonely & the holiday season emphasizes that.

You're just going to have to start your own traditions to fill any voids. Whether that is traveling, volunteering, hosting a Christmas doings-- at home, restaurant, formal or informal like an ugly sweater contest or board game lalapoopoza or fondue night, or buying gifts for needy kids as a secret Santa.
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Old 01-06-2018, 04:39 PM
 
Location: Columbia SC
7,986 posts, read 6,739,855 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kyle19125 View Post
I lost both parents 4-5 years ago and as stated am the only child, single and lacking any close relatives. The holidays seem to be getting lonelier and wonder how those like me have coped. I have friends who invite me to their celebrations, but quite frankly it's all so hollow and feel more like the charity case than someone they really want present. How does one cope year after year?
Any port in a storm works. Take it for what it is worth.
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Old 01-06-2018, 08:55 PM
 
Location: Sydney Australia
597 posts, read 303,790 times
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I do know how it is quite different for a couple than someone who is quite alone. Nevertheless I had thought that perhaps I should extend a Christmas invitation to a cousin and her husband who have moved recently to a location two hours away. Their son and daughter are both 600 miles away in different directions and I knew they were not going to be seeing them. I did not invite them as we really did not have room. When I spoke to her and described our celebration, with the four grandsons six and under, the "gift mat" that I had insisted on, the obligatory relatives with whom we have little in common, I extended an apology that I had not been able to invite them to join us. She was so effusive in her claim that it was completely unnecessary that I am sure that even the thought of it would have been her worst nightmare.
I think if we invite others we should leave it up to them and not be too insistent. But keep in mind who might actually be happy to join in.
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Old 01-10-2018, 03:33 PM
 
Location: PA
839 posts, read 960,938 times
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OP - the holidays are tough, I feel for you! Having very little family, I spent days before with my sister but she was too busy on Christmas, I spent Christmas Eve at neighbors, and I had a nice fondue dinner with my husband and I on New Years (who also only family who uses him and basically no friends). I kept active going to the gym, and really tried to keep positive. I went through all the motions, decorated, shopped, cooked, etc. Yet, I broke down on Christmas, and was very sad. I had no texts, no calls...nothing! I was afraid to text others and get rejected or ignored when I am sad (I have a huge history of rejection or being ignored). I just can't feel comfortable reaching out to people when all I wanna do is cry. So I kinda sat in my bedroom most of the day and cried on Christmas with my Chihuahua (he didn't understand, but I was laying around all day and he loves an excuse to be lazy).

As January progresses on and on, I am feeling so much better! I wish I was mastering this whole Thanksgiving to New Years Eve time period, but it goes in cycles with me. Not sure why it was so severe this year, as it was actually the 2nd year without my Dad, and 5th without my Mom, and 6th without my sister, etc. I also suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder and miss being able to be outdoors/hike (I'm in the northeast so I am stuck in a florescence environment between home, work, and gym). This year was especially brutal with temperatures. As the days get longer, and the holidays are over, my moods seem to be improving. I have no idea what to do next year...I did however order a lamp for my seasonal affective disorder and plan on more light therapy from early November through January to see how that goes.

I plan on going to graduate school part time and work full time by next holiday season while still exercising an hour a day...so I suspect next year will be different and I will be prepping for my next semester of study. Plus I will use my light, so hopefully I get better results???
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Old 01-10-2018, 06:49 PM
 
Location: East of the Mississippi and South of Bluegrass
4,117 posts, read 3,400,480 times
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I feel for you that you don't have parents and siblings or close relatives that you can call your own but there is hope.

Friends are the family we choose and make for ourselves...no, I didn't coin that phrase and I don't know where it came from but it's the first thing I thought of when I read your post.

You don't have to be lonely kyle but in order to avoid this it seems to me that you may want to re-evaluate how you feel about this. Otherwise you may become depressed and find yourself not participating in celebrations of any kind because you've decided you're a 'charity case', an outsider.

It's not necessary, you have options. Be with people and friends who you really love well enough to join in other activities besides the holidays. These close relationships will allow you to feel connected and bonds are made this way.

Throughout my life I have not always been able to be with my family for events but I have friends from throughout my life and been involved in the lives of their friends and families. So much so that the families, their adult children, their friends would have various functions and have, over the years said invite Homeiswhere, she's great company.

In general the holidays are difficult for a variety of people, with or without families. It can and often does get better kyle but you may have to jump into the deep end of the pool and float first. Cheer up and good luck.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kyle19125 View Post
I lost both parents 4-5 years ago and as stated am the only child, single and lacking any close relatives. The holidays seem to be getting lonelier and wonder how those like me have coped. I have friends who invite me to their celebrations, but quite frankly it's all so hollow and feel more like the charity case than someone they really want present. How does one cope year after year?
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Old 01-18-2018, 11:32 PM
 
Location: San Bernardino County (previously L.A.)
4,485 posts, read 7,549,861 times
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I'm not exactly in your same shoes. I'm an only child too. My father passed away 2 yrs ago, so there's still my mother who I'm quite close to. We talk on the phone 1-3x's a day.

I'm not really close to any relatives, but close enough to where I can talk to one of them & for a year now, I've become closer w/ a cousin, so we talk monthly by phone. Her life is similarly as solitary as mine, so I'm glad we started building a relationship before it was too late. I'm in my early 40s & she's in her 50s, but better late than never.

I don't have any friends really nor any kids, but I have a fiance'. Life would be lonely w/o him.

My fear if I had no one is not having anyone to travel w/. I like traveling, but I haven't been able to do it much. I'd like to do more, so I hope someone's still around when I can travel more. I know there's travel groups, so I guess that may come in handy, but it's definitely NOT the same w/ people you just met.

I can't imagine how it feels to be all alone in this world without really having anyone to talk to on a regular basis. There are only 2 people I see or talk to regularly or daily.

Do you care for traveling alone? How about dining? There are only certain things I can do by myself. I can go to the shopping malls, the gym, & out & about to stores & everyday places (bank, grocery stores, etc.), but I've never gone to the movies or dined out alone, much less traveled.
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Old 01-19-2018, 10:13 PM
 
2,301 posts, read 1,119,547 times
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I'm now an orphan too. It's hard being alone especially on holiday and birthday. I need friends who are also orphans.
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