Friday 25 December 2015

Christmas 2015 Alone: A Time of Reflection

This represents my new holiday tradition: my sixth year in a row spending the 25th of December by myself. No family dinner, no visits, and no visitors. In fact, my company shuts down over the holidays, so from December 24th at noon until January 4th at 9am, I’m all by myself. In re-reading what I’ve just written, I’m sure the majority of people will find that strange. Heck, maybe it is strange. However, I’m looking forward to the time to catch up on things, to catch up on my me time.

A few years ago, I looked out of my apartment window on the morning of December 25th to discover a rent-a-moving van parked outside my building. It suddenly occurred to me, the majority of the world isn’t Christian and don’t celebrate Christmas. In other words, the Earth continues to rotate on its axis and life continues to get on with its existence. It’s just another day. And to me, that’s what it is, just another day: a cup of coffee, peruse the headlines, a little house cleaning, catch up on my paperwork, some exercise, and attempt some of the things I procrastinate about during my normal working schedule. And that’s a good thing.

I’ve been through the hubbub of many a family Christmas: a celebratory maelstrom of food, drink, and gifts. I’ve participated in many a conversation with people, even members of my family; I don’t know all that well discussing matters I wasn’t necessarily interested in. Now, I get up the morning of December 25th and it’s silent. It’s just me. There’s nobody else here except, perhaps, God. And I find He or She is pretty quiet. I think we both like to be quiet in the morning during that first cup of coffee.

Out of curiosity, I did a Google search “number of people alone at Christmas” and turned up various articles listing what to do when you’re alone, enjoying being alone, and the people who choose to be alone at Christmas. Considering the turmoil I’ve experienced firsthand of planning and executing a family Christmas dealing with young children, in-laws and outlaws, large meals, and an endless stream of visitors delivering an endless supply of goodies, I had to chuckle in reading in the last article from the BBC: "When I've told friends and family that I'll be spending Christmas alone, a couple of them have even been quite jealous." Been there, done that, bought the t-shirt.

I’m sure at some point in the future, I will again participate in a full-blown Christmas. However, it will be as a visitor, not as an organiser. In the meantime, as I sit here on Christmas morning typing these words while sipping a second cup of coffee, I will savour this moment of solitude. I will be thankful for past times and I will look forward to future adventures. But for the moment, I will be grateful for my me time.


my blog: Christmas 2014: What’s next? - Dec 24/2014
Being alone may seem undesirable if not sad. Oddly enough, I’ve been looking forward to it. I have a little more than a week off and I have all this time for myself, to do whatever I please. Eat, sleep, think, and watch YouTube videos: the possibilities are endless. And therein lies the question to be answered. What’s next?

my blog: Christmas 2013: I have options - Dec 25/2013
The area gets hit by an ice storm and I go without power for now, going on four days. My office is a few blocks from where I live and the building has never been without power. I sleep at my apartment but I spend my time at the office with a frig of my food, a micro-wave, and Internet access. I can shower at the gym around the corner. I am without power but I have options.

my blog: Christmas 2012: Home Alone 3 - Dec 25/2012
Traditions change: death and divorce. ... Christmas number three represents my new tradition: another day devoted to me... Sound sad? It's not. As odd as it seems, I am enjoying the peace and quiet. I have at times enjoyed the holiday hubbub but right now I'm enjoying the freedom from tradition. Yes, I sometimes get nostalgic but one has to come back to that Zen master stuff (or is it bulls**t?) and move on. You have to enjoy life right now as it is, for what it is. After all, what else exists? Is the glass half full or is it half empty? Heck, it's the only glass I got!


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