10 ways to spend Christmas (if you’re alone)


Life’s challenges strike in the most unexpected moments. And one of the most difficult times to handle is to spend Christmas or New Year’s night by ourselves. However, this doesn’t have to be an episode filled with sorrow, if we can look at it in a positive light. Therefore, (if you are alone) for Christmas this year, then this is what you should try! As an individual going through the same as yourself, I bundled up a list with 10 ways to spend Christmas if you are alone, based on my life lessons and previous year’s experience.

Back-story

Let me share my story with you and give you a bit of an insight on how to successfully get over this time of year, if you have to spend it on your own.

I have 2 kids and they bring me loads of joy, yet parenting involves more than that, right? Raising kids can be very challenging, especially if you’re a single parent. And I’ve experienced this with plenitude in the last years.

This Christmas will be the 2nd one in a row, spent on by myself, as the kids love the atmosphere at their grandparents’ place. I won’t go into details, but – as much as it made my heart bleed – I want my kids to have the best times for Christmas. And if their choice is to go there, I’m no-one to prevent that from happening. And I will never do that.

Now, both myself and you – the one reading this article and most probably being in a similar situation – have at least 2 options to spend these Christmas days:

1. We can be sad and cry out our misery for being alone, like I did last year

Or

2. We can find the benefits of spending quality time on our own.

Since I tried the first option last year (and it was one of the toughest of times, doing myself no service), this year I decided to give a shot to the second option and learn the difference.

What’s on my activities list and you should try

1. Take a walk

Right after my kids left, I got up, “fixed myself” (to feel comfortable in my own skin – nothing fancy, just casual) and, as tired as I felt, I went for a stroll, with my headsets on. And my camera, to give into one of my other passions besides writing – photography. A walk is always a great way to connect with nature and the best cure for an agitated or sad mind.

Andrada Anitei dressed casually
Dress-up to feel comfortable in your own skin
Explore the outdoors
Smile at life! It’s worth living no matter what!

You can avoid shopping malls if it’s too hard for you to face all those decorations and see other’s people run for late supplies. However, if you can go there (as I did), you will get out of there even stronger. Be proud of yourself!

Tip: If you are a music lover and will go out taking your listening device, please consider listening to something DIFFERENT than Christmas carols. Just put on some random play-list and go with the flow. It’s enough to see decorations and season stuff everywhere. Don’t torment yourself! Remember that your attempt is to lift up your spirit, not drown yourself into that atmosphere.


2. Read. A lot !

I am a personal development advocate, therefore some reading will be about how to improve my own self, enhance my mindset or upscale my business.

However, as we also need to give ourselves a break from learning, from time to time, I gifted myself a package of 100 classic stories (e-books) I never had a chance to read. And this is the perfect opportunity to start that collection.

Again, avoid Christmas stories, unless you know they are funny and/ or can amplify your belief in magic and kindness. For instance, I have a series of articles that can be found on my website, containing the “flavor of kindness” keywords.


3. Write

To me, writing is part of the personal healing process. And this process is what drove my steps from an amateur writer to a published author.

No-one knows your thoughts better than you do; better yet, you are the only one that can heal your soul while writing down those thoughts. Don’t judge or refrain yourself – you don’t have to publish anything. Just do it for yourself and witness the result. My firm belief is that once we put down our thoughts, we take them out of our minds, clearing some useless clutter that prevents new, better thoughts to rent our minds for a while.

4. Shoot a video

It’s fun! You can fool around or be serious, you can tell a joke or read one of your favorite paragraphs from a book or blog. You can literally do whatever you please in a video. Again, the choice of keeping it to yourself or publish it on social media is all yours. If you choose to share it, however, who knows where this action may take you? It may open doors you never thought possible. Just because you took your alone time and turned it into your favor and had a bit of fun.

Additionally, consider the fact that you can inspire others, by keeping them company while they are rowing in the same boat as you are. I’m telling you from experience that social media is one of the places I spend time the most when I’m alone, trying to find something to uplift my spirit, as well giving my best shots to encourage others to acknowledge self-worth.

Bottom-line: you can make a good deed and bring a smile to someone, while having some fun.

5. Watch a comedy (not a season-fit one)

Really now, who doesn’t like a good comedy?

So what if you’re by yourself? You can still enjoy yourself, by laughing while watching a good movie. Just by running a simple Google search you will find tons of material to keep you company on Christmas day. Grab some (healthy) snack and a coffee or tea and, again, go with the flow. Don’t think, just enjoy!


6. Watch TEDx talks

Why?

Because they are made to be inspirational and uplifting. Just think about the fact that all the people on those stages are giving that talk being by themselves on the stage. Picture yourself giving one such speech. What would you tell the world? For sure there is a story you would like to share and can help the others learn something.

Can this be one of your future goals?


7. Sleep (the “Do nothing technique”)

Well… Yes ! You read that well.

All year long, sleep is one thing we don’t consider often. Whether we think  “no sleep for the wicked” or we are simply too busy with our endeavors to give ourselves a break, Christmas is one amazing chance for us to charge up our batteries.

But you may be asking “How can I fall asleep if I’m sad?”

Let me tell you about a technique I found and tried (and it works big time). It’s called “The do nothing technique”. As weird as it sounds, it refers to the attempt we all give to controlling our thoughts. We always try to push away the thoughts rushing into our minds, but that’s exactly what prevents us from having a good sleep. So, instead of trying to fight them, just let the thoughts be. Imagine yourself in front of a huge screen where your thoughts roll, one by one. Don’t interfere, let them show. Don’t stress upon any of them. Just observe. You will soon fall asleep and have a restful recharging time.

Give it a try and let me know in comments how it went.


8. Take pictures

You will be looked at like that weirdo that has nothing better to do. But does that mean you should care? Not the slightest bit! They secretly admire you, because you have the time to do that, while they’re running around for stuff. So, you’re enjoying yourself. What is not to look up to?

Candy Christmas tree - by Andrada Anitei
Genius!
Gingerbread man and candy cane in Christmas tree - by Andrada Anitei
This gingerbread man is alone and happy!
Thomas the train - by Andrada Anitei
Meet Thomas – he always rides alone, yet he’s strong!
Cupcakes and candy - by Andrada Anitei
Decorations in a shopping mall
Owls on a gift box - by Andrada Anitei
Owls on a gift box
Have a break - by Andrada Anitei

Tip: However, as I just experienced during my stroll and been bashed away, make sure you don’t interfere with the rules of shopping areas (if that’s where you’re heading to). I wasn’t aware of the fact that I was not allowed to take pictures with a professional camera in that space. Luckily, I still got plenty of cool pics before I had to put my camera back in its place.


9. Play Santa for someone else

Even if there’s no-one offering you presents, that doesn’t mean you can’t do that for someone you love. A surprise will only enhance Christmas magic. Let your imagination flow and find your own way to offer that gift.

For example, I like to allow my inner child play around and do it like this: I drop the gift at the door, ring the bell and hide. This is fun both for you and the receiver. Think about a friend you love to the core. If they are at home and open the door quickly, they may even catch you there. And this is how your alone time can turn into an unexpected invitation to join your friend for the festive dinner. And, voilà, you are no longer alone.

Me and my secret Santa present to deliver
Ready to deliver the present! Shhhh! Don’t tell!
Present at the door - by Andrada Anitei
My friend’s secret Santa gift

Nevertheless, if they are not home by the time you leave the present but they know you very well, rest assured that you will receive a joyful call. Your friend will thank you for your kindness and playful manner of surprising them and, again, they may invite you over.

Tip: Don’t do it for an invitation. Do it because you feel it and don’t expect anything in return.


10. Treat yourself

There must be something you enjoy and won’t spare the money or time on, on any other occasion. Consequently, this is your chance to do it. It doesn’t have to be expensive (it could even be free), it has to bring you joy, regardless of its price.

For instance, I treated myself with a few red tree decorations which I then used to trim the tree just like I wanted. My kids decorated theirs as they pleased, now it’s my turn.

Christmas tree decorations - by Andrada Anitei
My turn to decorate my own tree
My tree is ready - by Andrada Anitei
And the little tree is ready for pajama party


Bonus:


11. Congratulate yourself !

Look at yourself from the outside and give yourself a pat on the back for all the challenges you went through and all the accomplishments you managed to achieve in the last 12 months. Stop being so harsh on yourself and start realizing that you’re as worthy as everybody else! Moreover, you are special. Because no-one has what you have and that is YOURSELF! You have traits or a bundle of qualities/ skills/ mindset that no-one else does. And that makes you UNIQUE!

I know it’s easier to say than to do. Nevertheless, you can list those challenges and accomplishment, giving yourself the proper chance to see how amazing you are.


Have a Christmas to remember even if you are alone!

Me and my little Christmas tree - holidays companion
My companion this year

You see, being alone on Christmas day may or may not be our choice. Because it all comes to choices, in the end. So it is also a great time to understand why you are alone, without criticizing yourself for it. Just like on the above mentioned point #7, just bring that reason up to your conscious mind. But don’t dwell on it. Acknowledge and accept that reason. That’s all you have to do!

I do hope this article has helped you become aware of all the quality time you can spend by yourself on Christmas day. And, if you feel like talking to someone who is ready to listen without judging, use the contact form and let’s chat. There’s nothing more beautiful than creating new bonds!


Merry Christmas 🎀 and I wish you a fabulous and abundant New Year! 🎊🥂

Remember: YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL AND YOU ARE STRONG!

Love,
A.


How I met Santa


They say Santa Claus shares presents only on Christmas day. And that he’s a myth, in fact. But I believe completely the opposite: he’s definitely not a myth and he can spread that energy of kindness all year long. If only we would be more receptive to that!

Let me tell you how I met the real santa and who he is. Maybe you can even read this to your kids too. I promise I won’t ruin the magic of Christmas. Better yet, I want to amplify it.

I  lived in a studio apartment, for 12 years. And 5 of them while raising my 2 little girls. Being on my own, for some reason neighbors liked me. Or respected, at least, the fact that I was always doing my best to bring up my kids in a polite manner. So, they would always greet them and behave nicely. I taught my girls that greeting the others is, first and foremost, a sign of self-respect. It doesn’t matter if people answer in a rude manner or if they don’t answer the greeting at all. By doing their part, they show respect for themselves and this is a gesture that can be transferred, if there is openness.

One of our neighbors was a simple man. No glamor about him besides his shiny golden heart, which would send a warm vibration with every encounter. What made him, however, more special than all the other neighbors was the way he always greeted people, regardless of age, race or social status. His simple words “May you be loved” always resonate. With anyone. As we all search for that love to keep us warm, don’t we?

Except for the nice exchange of greetings, we barely spoke about anything else for many years. Until that evening. 19th of December 2017 – the Christmas celebration at the kindergarten my girls attended. A beautiful evening, with some shy kids and others more daring, but totally wrapped in the magic of carols and poems honoring the occasion.


We went home, really happy with the way the event went and, of course, with the presents received as reward of kids’ effort. After settling in my girls, I realised we were missing some basic stuff around the house, necessary for that evening’s activities. So, I rushed outside to quickly buy everything and return to my kids in a blink of an eye.

And that’s when I met him. The warm-hearted neighbor that greeted “May you be loved”. He asked about the kids and I recounted him how happy they were at the celebration. It was then when the most magical of conversations ignited. He told me how he drove the truck for the Coca-Cola Christmas commercial, how he goes from place to place to have kids sitting in his lap and tell him poems during Christmas season and how he shared gifts with them. He also told me how he goes to unfortunate people and shares priceless moments with them, bringing them hope for a better tomorrow and putting smiles on the face of the very ill ones. He also visits the wealthy ones, as everyone deserves to feel the magic of kindness, and he usually receives nice recognitions.


In a material world, anyone would think that he gets paid for this. But no, not for everything he does. There are things he does simply out of the kindness his golden heart carries. And one of the gestures was to offer my kids and the kid of another neighbor an unforgettable Christmas eve. All he asked for was a glass of milk and some cookies. And my girls prepared that thoroughly for Santa, in hopes they would get to see him that very night.

He dropped by right before midnight, when all the kids should have been asleep. But for some reason, that evening’s schedule prolonged for them. Of course, they were unaware of the fact that they were going to meet Santa, for the first time in their lives.

A three-times knock at the door! The slight sound of bells! And a happy “Ho-ho-ho”! Plus the amazed, big eyes of the kids at hearing this.

“Who could it be at the door at this late hour?” the 3 kids asked.

I lifted up my shoulders, silently telling them that I had no idea. But when we opened the door… It was HIM! It was Santaaaaaaa! Holding a golden bell and a huge red silky bag.

“Mommy, mommy, it’s Santa!” my girls emotionally said and started jumping with joy and tremendous happiness showing all over their beautiful faces.

Santa stepped in and my girls offered him the milk and cookies they knew he loved. He took a cookie and then called all the 3 children to sit in his lap. The children rushed to do this and he majestically hold them all. He then started telling them the story of his reindeers, about the magic sleigh and how he travels the world in one night (from sunset to the break of dawn), so that each kid in the world finds a present under the tree the next morning. The three children were captured by his story and would lose themselves in the magic of his words. He probably delayed in getting to other children that evening, as he spent about a half an hour with my girls and their friend. The children told him poems and sang carols, pulled his beard and hugged him while taking pictures. And he warmly allowed all of them to show their happiness while holding his hand and putting their small arms around his neck, for kissing his old cheeks.

He then handed each child their gifts and the kids were in awe!

“Santa, how did you know this was exactly what I wished for this year?” all the kids asked. And Santa explained:

“Do you know that Santa is watching from the skies during the entire year? And do you know that Santa hears every little thought you have, especially regarding your wishes?”

“You do??” the kids said in a voice, not managing to hide their amazement.

“Yes, I do. And for the kids who are nice, I start crafting the presents early. So that, by the time my elves are due to wrap them in magic paper, everything is already prepared.”

You should have seen the adoration in the children’s eyes! They promised to behave nicely, they kissed and hugged Santa one more time and they waved goodbye as he announced his departure towards other children’s houses.

The evening was magical indeed and it was then and there where my belief in Santa Claus reinstalled for me. I am stubborn to keep my inner child alive, so that I can feel the magic of every day. And this is one value I want to instil in my children as well, as this magic can be taken with each of us throughout our lives, regardless of the time of the year.

This year, for my kids’ kindergarten Christmas celebration, Santa stopped by, in his beautiful red suit with fluffy gloves. He listened to the songs and patiently hold each kid on his knees and offered them presents.

“If you behave well, I promise to come visit each of you at home as well, on Christmas night” Santa caressed each kid and warmly made his statement.


So be nice to the others, greet and respect everyone, regardless of their age, skin color or social status. You never know when and how much kindness exponentially returns. Small gestures, like putting a smile on someone’s lips, can be the magic they need in a certain moment of their lives.

“May you be loved!”

Santa is real! And so is kindness!