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Christmas blues
Old 12-25-2018, 12:58 AM   #1
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Christmas blues

My partner and I do not have children and no longer have immediate family anywhere nearby. Holidays are now a difficult time for us as the days of celebrating with family are gone, realistically, for the rest of our lives. At least we have each other but if through sickness or death that changes, things will be rather bleak. We have friends, but that is not the same.

For those who have no children or younger family members, do you have similar feelings and anxieties about getting old alone? Does it get better or worse with time?

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Old 12-25-2018, 04:47 AM   #2
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My wife and I have no family nearby, but have many close friends we consider our family as they do to us. We're going to a friends today for Christmas dinner.
Joining a place of worship or an organization you can volunteer at can help you make friends. My wife makes friends very easily, for me it's more of a process. I hope you have a nice holiday.

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Old 12-25-2018, 05:12 AM   #3
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I'm single and no family remaining in my town. But I do have 2 nephews and a niece that are like children for me. Shortly I will be driving down to the Mobile, AL area to spend the day with them and other family members. And then on down to Orange Beach for a couple of days.

I can see how people could have Christmas blues with no family around. Nativenewenglander suggestions are good. A good friend invited me over to their house today if I didn't have plans. Wouldn't have been the same as being with family but would have been a nice day too.
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Old 12-25-2018, 05:27 AM   #4
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We had a brunch at mi casa on Sunday with friends, for Christmas eve we had a mozzarella and antipasta giant sandwich and beers and watched NF. Cheers and Happy Holidays to all.
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Old 12-25-2018, 05:37 AM   #5
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DH and I are childfree-by-choice and on our own for holidays.

I was forced to deal with Christmas blues 16 years ago when my mom (who adored Christmas!) died on Dec 25th. Since then it's been a tough day, so I send sincere sympathy to you today.

It has gotten less-horrible for me over time. I simply let holidays be what they are for others and enjoy the day as best I can. Focus on what you do enjoy today and hug your partner!
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Old 12-25-2018, 06:00 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by footenote View Post
DH and I are childfree-by-choice and on our own for holidays.
Us too, we had a nice Xmas Eve gathering with some friends who are also Child Free by choice. But we have always enjoyed our own company and prefer to be together during holiday season. We could go to family up in Canada but mostly choose not to.
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Old 12-25-2018, 06:13 AM   #7
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We’ve come to enjoy our quiet holidays, Thanksgiving and Christmas, alone together. We got together with family for decades, but now that all our parents are gone, and the five siblings and other relatives live in different states - it would be impossible to get together. We certainly don’t miss the hectic holiday travel, made unpredictable in winter. We get together with family a few at a time throughout the year, if anything we enjoy that more than we did at holidays when it could be overwhelming.

Every year a few neighbors or friends invite us to join them, but we always decline, they should be with family. If you want to spend Christmas with others, invite some friends or neighbors to join you?
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Old 12-25-2018, 06:19 AM   #8
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Well, my heart goes out to all that are alone or don't have someone close for the holidays.

I called an Aunt yesterday that has no one close either and is 91 and lives alone and does all her own work around the house and yard. She told me she has seen a Lawyer and got a will started.

She talked about being alone as she gets old and how hard it is.

No blues yet for holidays but can see it happen for us, because of so little family, it will be just a mater of time.
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Old 12-25-2018, 07:01 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Scratchy View Post
My partner and I do not have children and no longer have immediate family anywhere nearby.
Most folks in that situation travel to be with family. Can you afford to do that, or must you remain at home? It seems from some of your other posts that you allocate a fair amount of travel money.
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Old 12-25-2018, 07:43 AM   #10
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I've personally experienced and heard from others so many stories of excessive drama and stress triggered by extended family gatherings that DW and I are actually thankful that are holidays are very simple by comparison. And as others have mentioned, we have friends who are just like family. Yesterday we went for a long walk with a dear friend who needed to escape from in-laws for a while. It was the most enjoyable thing I've done in a long time.
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Old 12-25-2018, 07:49 AM   #11
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Some churches have begun conducting “Blue Christmas” programs during December for those who find the holiday season difficult. You might make a note to seek one out next year. I hope you find something that brings a smile to your face today.
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Old 12-25-2018, 08:13 AM   #12
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Our kids "alternate" and all come one year for Thanksgiving, and the other year for Christmas, spending time with the significant others' families when they aren't with us. The first year was a little tough, and we also were invited by friends to come to their house, but also felt like we were intruding.

We go to the movies on Christmas day. I have really mixed emotions about all of it, and also thought how horrible it will be when one of us is gone and we're really alone. The dog helps, but it's not the same. I imagine I would get involved with some organization that would let me come and serve those less fortunate on Christmas day. I'd probable come home so tired I wouldn't have time to be sad.

It's just not as much fun as when we had little people here who woke us up at 5:15 a.m., screaming about the bites taken out of the cookies. It's the circle of life, I guess.

Hang in there.
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Old 12-25-2018, 08:24 AM   #13
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It's just my DH and I also, and that's how we like it. We aren't very social (at all!) and much prefer our own company. But we always go out for a very special meal every holiday (that's our celebration) and today we are going to a big fancy hotel in Orlando that does this fabulous Christmas buffet with champagne. It's lovely and fun to see everyone all dressed up. We eat until we're sick, and then pledge to be good.....until the next holiday.

I do think about when one of us is gone, but I hope to be already living in a CCRC so there will be some ready-made distractions.
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Old 12-25-2018, 08:50 AM   #14
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My spouse and I spent a lonely Christmas together after the last of our parents died. Then we realized we have a lot of friends who also don't have family in the area so we started hosting dinner for them. It's a lot of work, but I really enjoy it. It puts giving into Christmas for me.
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Old 12-25-2018, 09:20 AM   #15
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Thanks everyone for the replies and wishes! Many good suggestions. As mentioned, it's the circle of life and for me I think it's a matter getting used to it and being a little proactive.

Best wishes to all for a good Holiday!!
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Old 12-25-2018, 09:40 AM   #16
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When I moved 22 years ago the first few years I flew home but overtime made friends and most of them didn’t live by family either. So we hosted everyone for dinner. We have 5 kids between us and every holiday is different depending on who is home. If kids are home we get together on Christmas Eve and if not we do a movie and dinner out. On Christmas Day I always host for friends and the kids come too if they are here. We are also now the oldest generation since all our parents have passed.
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Old 12-25-2018, 09:41 AM   #17
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We have a slightly different issue in that our two kids are in different parts of the country... we're a little more cognizant of DS who is single and would be alone for Christmas other than aunts and uncles about 1 1/2 away. This year we drove and DS flew to DDs so we are all together for Christmas this year but I'm sure it will be be a constant juggling act.
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Old 12-25-2018, 09:44 AM   #18
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We have no kids and no family within driving distance. We are always invited to spend the holidays with DH's sister and brother in law who live thousands of miles away but it makes no sense for us to deal with the nightmare of holiday travel when we are both retired and can easily travel when everyone else is back at work. So we usually spend the holidays with just each other, or maybe a friend or two will join us, and then we see family after the holidays when things go back to normal.

It does get me a little down to see others celebrating holidays with big family events, but it's our choice not to travel during the peak travel periods, so I accept it for what it is.
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Old 12-25-2018, 10:01 AM   #19
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Christmas blues...oh yeah. A time when everyone is supposed to be happy, but for years that really wasn't the case with me. I kept longing for the days of our families getting together at grandma and grandpa's house and having such a fun time.

But I finally realized how fortunate I was to be a part of it. Now, they are pleasant memories.

So....let's make some more memories...sing along and tap a toe with me...

There's no need to complicate, our time is short..
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Old 12-25-2018, 10:10 AM   #20
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DW and I moved last year cross country, to be near family. We don't have kids, so the siblings and nephews and nieces are there and we all get together on holidays.

For OP I think the idea to travel to visit family seems the best choice. If that's not possible, do what DW and I did for several years when working and away from any close family - have friends over or go the their house and enjoy the time with your friends in place of family.

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