← Back to Blog

Home Alone At Christmas-by Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: December 10, 2019

The movie “Home Alone” is a hilarious Christmas classic. But being alone at Christmas is not funny; it’s a harsh and ugly reality.  Aloneness can be a gift when we seek it and find contentment. But loneliness is different. This topic is not just idle conversation; it’s becoming an emerging epidemic.

Loneliness is a reality.

 In January of 2019 the UK appointed Tracey Crouch[1] to take on the new role of Minister of Loneliness. Then last year, former U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy called loneliness a “growing health epidemic” in a Harvard Business Review essay.[2] Even more…I was shocked when I read the article on CNN stating: “Lonely Beijing citizens are helping create a billion-dollar industry around their pampered pets.” [3] People everywhere, including our churches, are suffering with loneliness.

Many of us are “so busy” at Christmas that we 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 people are often forgotten. Why not make a point of including at least one single person at your next event or meal at your home. Invite them to your next Christmas concert.  Take them out for a delicious Bliss bar (Yummy) and coffee at Starbucks or breakfast at a favourite restaurant. When waiting in line-ups look people in the eye or pay for their coffee at Tim Hortons. Go crazy and hug them and tell them you want to include them in the Christmas magic. Those small gestures will mean the world to them and can take way the Christmas sting.

Go hug someone.

I am alone but incredibly blessed with wonderful people and a loving family. 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 include them in their activities. Until we’ve been in a place of loneliness we don’t understand its crippling effect. For 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 misfortunates.

 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?










[1] https://time.com/5248016/tracey-crouch-uk-loneliness-minister/

[2] https://time.com/5248016/tracey-crouch-uk-loneliness-minister/

[3] https://www.cnn.com/2019/12/07/asia/beijing-pets-cat-dogs-intl-hnk/index.html.

Posted in: all alone, Christmas magic, loneliness is an epidemic, singleness

2 responses to “Home Alone At Christmas-by Heidi McLaughlin”

  1. Heidi, I’ve had you on my mind the last 2 or 3 days, and wondered, “Where will Heidi spend late Dec?” Glad to see this excellent blog post. Thank you so much. A woman alone reached out yesterday and said, “Let’s have coffee, I’m bored.” We are.
    Your prompt means I’ll look for more opportunities!
    Blessings, Susan

    • hmclaughlin says:

      My dear Susan, you have such a beautiful and kind heart. You are filled with such compassion. Thank you for taking an “alone woman” out for coffee, I know it will mean so much to her. May you have a blessed Christmas and God bless you and your family.
      Hugs, Heidi

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *