That was the phrase that came to my mind as I wandered on my bicycle today past houses and flats, enjoying my Solo Christmas Day.
Some people tend to talk about Christmas as a time for getting together with friends and family, reaching out to loved ones with messages, gifts, good cheer and plenty of food. Yet, when one stands on the outside of it all, it appears very shut off.
The streets were all silent; doors & windows shut out the cold; some bare windows revealed silent movie clips of a family gathering. For the first time I felt the strangeness of it all. From a distance, it felt very isolated – families and friends shut away, each gathering doing their festive celebrations on a mini scale.
This is not a judgement, just an observation. I have the opportunity to do a lot of observation and reflection whilst living on my own these past few months. Choosing to spend this day on my own (a decision i made about 4 months ago), was a decision that was based on unhappy childhood Christmases that then led to me refusing to acknowledge the event at all in my adult life until about 18 years ago. This is the first year i have decided to unhook myself completely from these usual Christmas activities. I had no visitors today, and only exchanged a few messages with close friends and family. I have my lights up and selected a simple meal of a warm salad with smoked salmon and a few snacks and Prosecco. Having just my own company, my cycle ride around a nearby lake and a few online films to fill the day. This has been a very calming, sobering and refreshing experience. I look forward to having many more different and interesting 25th Decembers.
However you spent you day today, I hope it was an enjoyable one. If you could choose to do things differently, how would you spend your ideal Christmas?
2 responses to “People getting together, apart…..”
It’s always a bit of a challenge to know what to do with a holiday when we decide to opt out of it. I am not crazy about Christmas and would like to avoid it as much as possible; I really detest the overconsumption and overcommercialization. I do think it can be fun (but isn’t always) when family members get together for a meal and catching up on their lives. But even family gatherings can become very stressful in certain families. Good that you chose to do what served you best today…
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Thank you. This year, in making this decision to be alone during Christmas and stay away from celebrations and commercial hype, I realised for the first time that I can actually make a choice about what I do during this holiday. It is very easy to get swept along with tradition, habits and other people’s expectations. This has been a very refreshing experience. I’d encourage everyone to try it.