15 Dec

On Your Own At Christmas? Tips For New Traditions

I remember my first Christmas after separating.  Jennifer and I had moved into a duplex apartment in the same neighbourhood as my parents. It would have been easy to spend Christmas morning opening presents with them but I knew it was important to celebrate Christmas in our own home and create our own traditions.

If you are on your own over the Christmas and New Year holidays, why not create your own traditions and special memories.

Ask yourself:  “What is important to me for a memorable Christmas?”

Not sure?  The following are suggestions for new traditions for the holidays :

  • Invite family and friends to a tree trimming party. Keep it simple – tea and cookies in the afternoon or wine and snacks in the evening.
  • When entertaining, say “yes” to help in the kitchen.
  • Plan a Potluck get-together. It’s a great way to celebrate with friends and limits the work for you. One of my favourites is a Potluck of appetizers and desserts.
  • Don’t want to cook? Buy a prepared dinner. There are many catering companies and hotel restaurants that offer a complete “take-home” Christmas dinner.
  • Volunteer at a community Christmas dinner e.g. Ottawa Mission, Shepherds of Good Hope. Giving to others warms the heart.
  • Buy yourself a special gift, wrap it and put it under the tree for Christmas morning.
  • Take time to nurture your spirit – a walk in the snow on a crisp winter morning or an evening stroll through your neighbourhood enjoying the Christmas lights.
  • Include quiet time for yourself and take time to reflect on the blessings of life.
  • Attend a Christmas Eve service. Carol singing is good for the soul.
  • Have an “Indulging Me” day and include your favourite treats and activities (or non-activities such as sleeping in, no electronics or computers).

That first Christmas with Jennifer in our new home holds special memories.  We were on our own in the morning and started a tradition of Christmas brunch – French toast, bacon, sausages, Maple Syrup.  It’s a tradition we still keep (although sausages have been replaced with sausage rolls).

Wishing you a blessed and memorable Christmas and a Happy New Year.