It's the most wonderful time of the year!
We hear that over and over and see all of the commercials surrounding the happiest of families.
But what if you're alone this holiday season? What if the ones that you love have passed on or for other reasons you find yourself alone? Seeing others gather with their families and enjoying the holidays can be tough. You are reminded of the love and connection that you do not have during this holiday season.
I get it. I see you. I empathize with you. There is no substitute for that loved one. There is no cure for missing them. But, you do not have to be alone this holiday season.
There are so many ways to give back. And giving back doesn't nessicarily mean financially. Try a few of the following ways to get into the Christmas Spirit!
1. Get involved in helping feed those in need in your area.
No matter where you live, I am quite certain that somewhere there is an organization that helps feed those that are in need. Not necessarily just the homeless. It has been my experience that there are families, with homes that are also in need. I get it, it can be very uncomfortable going to some of those areas for many people. A lot of cities feed outside of the city center if that is what you are concerned about. Many places also have security precautions in place for keeping their volunteers, as well as those that they serve safe.
2. Participate in a toy drive.
When I say participate, I don't mean go and haphazardly select a toy and drop it in the box. I mean go and participate in the collection, and even the distribution of those toys if possible. You get to see firsthand the gratitude of the parents on the receiving end instead of fulfilling what could be seen as an obligatory task to complete this time of year.
3. Visit a nursing home.
So this is my all-time favorite out of anything on this list. When I was younger, once a month our church would take the kids to a local nursing home. We would sing songs for them and just hang out and talk after the service was over. Week after week you could tell who had family coming to visit and who did not. Even at a young age, my heart broke for those that seemed forgotten. Even during the holiday season a lot of these people are forgotten because either they have no family left or everyone is too busy, Spending some time with them will not only brighten up your holiday but theirs as well.
4. Volunteer to mentor a child.
There are so many misguided youths today. Some lack a caring adult in their life. Look into some organizations in your area that work with children. Perhaps volunteer at an after-school program. This will not only fill some of the space in your schedule, but it may also help a young man or woman in need of some guidance.
5. Find a connected church and help give back.
So many churches have their hands full around the holiday season with people in need of assistance during the holiday season. Be it food, clothing, or even assistance with utilities, there is a greater need during the holiday season than at any other time of year. Try giving your time to help in the collection of the donations as well as the distribution. I'm sure there is somewhere that you will fit in.
The holiday season is not the most wonderful time of the year for everyone. It can bring out feelings of loneliness and cause depression. Take some time to count your blessings. Yes, it sounds extremely cliche, but it's something that can help pull you out of that slump.
I hope that you find comfort this holiday season!