Enjoying the festive period

Feelings of loneliness can be amplified at this time of year, along with the pressure to have a great time (especially after recent years).

Enjoying the festive period


We all say it: Christmas festivities seem to get earlier every year. Which is great if you’re looking forward to the big day – but what if you’re not?

Feelings of loneliness can be seriously amplified at this time of year, and the pressure (especially after recent years) to have a great time leaves a lot of us wishing we could fast-forward to the New Year. But don’t despair: if you’re not looking forward to Christmas this year, there are loads of things you can do to up the festive spirit!


Spend Christmas your way


As the build-up to Christmas intensifies, a lot of us begin to dwell on the things we’re not so happy about. For some, not being able to spend the holidays with their nearest and dearest can weigh heavy on the heart at this time of year. For others, the very idea of spending Christmas with family can be the source of stress – because, no matter what the Christmas cards would have us believe, not every family sees eye to eye. There are also those who want to be alone at Christmas, for no other reason than they’ve earned the right to spend the festive period however they please.

Whatever your situation, deciding what it is that YOU want out of Christmas can make the preceding weeks much more manageable – and hopefully, far more enjoyable.

If you’re worried about being lonely and someone extends an invite, snap it up; people wouldn’t ask if they didn’t want to spend the time with you. They might even be eager for a little extra company themselves! If you don’t have family or friends to make plans with, you might have neighbours in a similar situation who’d love to come round for a mince pie during December, or join you for dinner on the day itself.

If family politics are weighing heavy on your mind, why not try to build a few bridges before Christmas comes around? And if that’s not possible, give yourself some peace of mind by remembering that a lot of people act out of insecurity. Worried about warring with competitive grandparents? They must see how much the grandkids love you – so don’t rise to it. You get the picture.

If you want a peaceful Christmas alone, it’s best to manage expectations. Explain how you’re feeling about the holidays to family and friends well in advance of the day; accept that people may naturally worry about you, but stick to your guns if you’re sure you want to be by yourself.

Festive fillers

Filling your time in the run-up to Christmas can make the December days a lot more fun. Enjoying some (or all) of the festivities your local community may have to offer is a great way to beat the winter blues.

If you’re an Abbeyfield South Downs tenant, our house events could help put you in the mood. From putting the decorations up to mulled wine and mince pies, or a scrummy lunch – we’ll help to spark your holiday spirit. And there is a slap-up Christmas lunch and presents to look forward to!

If that’s not enough to keep you busy, you could try one of the following:

  • Get into the spirit: Attending church services at this time of year can provide comfort, company, support and hope – even if you’re not religious.
  • Learn something new: Whether you live in a city, a village, or you’re part of a care community, there are usually festive classes taking place throughout December – from wreath and candle making, to bread baking and cake making.
  • Volunteer: Nothing puts our struggles into perspective like volunteering at Christmas time. Helping out in a soup kitchen, visiting those without relatives at a local hospital, or even just donating to charity can have a big impact.
  • Reach out: If you are struggling with loneliness this season (or any other), there will be other people in your community who feel the same. Take a look at the Reengage website to apply for a call companion, a free service for older people who are lonely or in need of companionship and feel they would enjoy a friendly phone call every week or two. 

Whatever your Christmas has in store, there’s always someone at Abbeyfield to help you have the best time possible.