I’m in my first year at University and many miles away from my home. Therefore, I will not be able to afford to fly home for Christmas this year. This will be very difficult since this is the first Christmas I have not been with my family. Is there anything I can do so I won’t feel so lonely this holiday season? Thanks ahead of time.
John in Quebec
Hi John, It’s unfortunate that you will not be able to be home for Christmas.
For most people Christmas is a time to get together with family and friends sharing gifts, meals and special times. Consequently, for those of us who are not able to get home, like yourself, Christmas can be a very difficult time.
Perhaps, John, you could start by going to the University’s Student Union Office and see what services they provide for students who will be staying at school for Christmas. They may offer a Christmas dinner, gift exchange or just a place where students can get together. If you are not interested in participating in these activities, at least you will be able to connect with other students who are in a similar situation. Maybe you could work out something where some of you get together as a group and prepare Christmas dinner or exchange small gifts. Each person can prepare part of the dinner so everyone will feel they are contributing to the festivities. After dinner, possibly you could all go for a drive or a walk to a nearby park to enjoy the Christmas lights or, do some ice skating or skiing.
If preparing a meal is not something you enjoy doing, you can find out which organizations are offering Christmas dinner for people who are alone. Usually there is no charge, or they ask for a small donation to the local Food Bank. You will get a hot meal and again have the opportunity to meet others in a similar situation.
Another option is to do something to help the less fortunate. Again try to find out what organizations are providing Christmas dinner. These may be listed in the local newspaper or through a community bulletin board. Most homeless shelters or missions provide Christmas dinner for the needy and sometimes even provide a small gift to each person. It’s always nice to have a gift to open on Christmas day. You may be able to lend a hand serving or preparing the meal. As a result, you will have the pleasure of knowing that you have also been able to help others enjoy their Christmas.
With a little bit of investigating, I’m confident you will be able to find many ways to enjoy your Christmas day and perhaps help others as well.
Merry Christmas John and remember the true spirit of Christmas can only be felt through giving and sharing with others.
E-mail your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Some submissions may be edited for length or to protect confidentiality: your real name and location will never be printed. This column is for entertainment only. The author is not a professional counsellor and this column is not intended to take the place of professional advice.