Waking up on Christmas day on your own can actually be quite pleasant. Knowing there is no schedule for the day and that everyone else is taking it easy has the effect of making you feel more relaxed.
Lounging in bed, reading, watching a bit of TV with tea and more tea, is all very good, but about 11.00 am you start to get bored. Or at least I do.
Then you start to think of what everyone else is doing and realise you miss some people; a son or daughter or a girlfriend or boyfriend who for whatever reason you cannot be with that day. And so it was that I also realised how wonderful it was to spend time with friends, even with friends of friends on Christmas day.
I had been invited by my (absent) girlfriend’s friend to spend Christmas lunch with her, her mother and niece. I had barely met the friend and didn’t know the others but it turned into a very pleasant and enjoyable day and I returned home early evening, having not out-stayed my welcome, quite content to be in my own company again and looking forward to seeing my children the days ahead.
Spending Christmas day on your own, or at least a good part of it, is what a lot of people do. I am sure some people enjoy it for that reason and others treat Christmas just like any other day, but for many it is a day that highlights a lack of social contact and companionship.
Just experiencing once is enough to make you understand the amplified sense of loneliness knowing that others are gathering for a lunch or dinner together, or that to experience that heart-felt ‘Christmas spirit’ (read festive spirit if you’re not a Christian).
That’s why making a plan for Christmas day, even if it’s seeing someone for just a few hours, and even if you don’t know them that well, can be so beneficial.
It’s also why I try and be with mum own mother on Christmas day, not seeing my children or girlfriend, and why I suggest we go to the pub to be among people. I wouldn’t normally go to the pub with mu mum, but there’s Christmas spirit there too and both sorts!