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Home Alone at Christmas-by Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: December 13, 2020

The movie “Home Alone” is a hilarious Christmas classic. But with the unwelcome guest of Covid, being alone at Christmas is not funny; it’s a harsh and ugly reality.   Some of you might be rolling your eyes right now. You’re stuck in a house filled with people finding ways to pass the days, and would welcome a dose of being alone. And it’s true, aloneness can be a gift when we seek it and find contentment.  But loneliness is different. This topic is no longer idle conversation; it’s become an emerging epidemic. People everywhere, especially singles and people in care homes, are suffering with loneliness.

Loneliness is a reality.

Many people are so busy at Christmas that they forget those who are grieving, depressed or simply don’t have any community or a loving tribe. I know…the world assaults us with too much information and we want to protect ourselves from the onslaught of more demands. I get it. But as Christians we’re called to love the world and we have to develop a different mind-set. So what’s a person to do?

We’re called to love the world.

The Christmas Season is a startling reminder of our aloneness and it exasperates grief and anxiety. We live in a dominant couples world and single and elderly people are often forgotten.  With the reality of Covid Christmas lockdowns in many places in North America, people will be not be singing,  “I’ll be home for Christmas.” When I think about this it wrecks me, because we are created for loving human connection. And Christmas is the culmination of family traditions, shared love and laughter. If you watch Hallmark movies you’ll be reminded that Christmas is that one time of the year where people go to all lengths to be together. As we navigate through this dark time of history, what’s a person to do?

So what’s a person to do?

 We can’t invite people to the next Christmas concert or include them in a family meal. But there are ways. When waiting in line-ups look people in the eye or pay for their coffee at Tim Hortons or Starbucks. Go crazy, momentarily pull down your mask and smile, and make a hug or heart gesture.  Tell someone you’ re going to show up in his or her driveway with a small gift or a cup of coffee. Ask them to show up in their doorway so that you can wave and make eye contact. I’ve had two friends do this and it’s wonderful beyond what you can imagine. Share a meal with some one by using Zoom. Take them for a walk through your local Candy Cane Lane. Do whatever you can to let them know they are not forgotten.  Those small gestures will mean the world to them and can take way the Christmas sting.

“Go hug someone. “

Yup I really just said that. Until you’ve lived alone and not received hugs you won’t understand this. So don’t judge. With proper masking there are ways to hug. I won’t be alone this Christmas, but many people are not so fortunate. I facilitate a Grief Share group and I know that not everyone has loving tribes or people who will reach out to them. So they linger alone in their grief. Those of you who have been happily married forever and surrounded in love, open the window of your hearts to invite those who aren’t as blessed.

Lonely people aren’t misfits. They’ve probably had misfortunes.

I know we’re all looking for the magic of Christmas. How about making some magic for someone who will be alone. It’s a topic we would rather tuck away, but let’s open it up, gift wrap it and give it away.

What is one thing you can do this Christmas?










Posted in: all alone, alone, alone at Christmas, Christmas joy, Covid Christmas, Covid-19, disappointments, God's love, Hope, hugs, joy, loneliness epidemic, single, singleness, singleness at Christmas

4 responses to “Home Alone at Christmas-by Heidi McLaughlin”

  1. Heather Walker says:

    The one thing I did this Christmas was to deliver to each of the neighbors on my floor a Christmas card and a box of chocolate – I wasn’t really in the Christmas mood but I came home one day to a tiny bag of homemade treats from a neighbor whose husband has gone through cancer and for whom I prayed and she inspired me to bless others, so I did. Her name is Carol.

    • hmclaughlin says:

      Thank you for your comment. I LOVE what you did, thank you for your generous and loving heart. We all need some kindness, especially during this difficult season.
      Blessings, Heidi

  2. Charles Eggli says:

    You have such a beautiful way with word’s, gifted I would say. Loosing Kathy the way I did, has really challenged me in PTSD from my navy and my RCMPOLICE day’s, and have become one of those singles you talk about, it is very lonely out here these day’’s.
    WishingYou A Very Happy Holidays and a COVID-19 free 2021.
    Cheer’s 🍾🥂🍺🍻🥃🍹🍷🍸
    Chuck 🎅🏻🙋🏼‍♂️👮🏻‍♂️🥰💖🤗🎄

    • hmclaughlin says:

      Thank you Chuck for your comments, I do understand what you’re saying. It’s hard but I’ve learned that I have to be the one reaching out to others because sometimes people forget that we’re alone.May unexpected love and surprises come your way this Christmas season. God be with you. Blessings, Heidi

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