It Doesn't Have to be the Season to be Lonely
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I’ve heard singles compared to the lonesome, solitary sock that seems to show up in the basket on laundry day. Supposedly, we’re doomed to spend eternity useless without our perfect mates.

I don’t know about you, but I hate that sock!

We are not socks. But if we were, some of us would be saddened by the reality that the mate we misplaced may be forever lost.

If you have lost someone to death, divorce, or a break up, be prepared for the Christmas season because it will understandably magnify your feelings of loss. You may find yourself grieving instead of celebrating.

There’s nothing more emotionally draining than watching couples being jolly when you’re alone and melancholy.

For me, Christmas was once a joyous gathering of family. My parents, my siblings and their spouses, and my guy and I all shared in the spirit of the season by snuggling in to watch my niece and nephews open their presents. It was all so cozy and perfect.

My more recent Christmases, however, have not been as cheery as I would have liked. Having lost my father to a heart attack, then breaking up with a man whom I loved dearly, I was not exactly the first one to deck the halls or wave the mistletoe.

Feeling lonely and isolated, I found myself unconsciously dwelling on my losses.

But that was Christmas past.

My plan for this year (Christmas present) is to celebrate and embrace the happy memories and joy of my past. I will, as always, spend the holidays with my best friend -- my mom. I’m suggesting, as an act of symbolism, we each hang one of our unmatched socks on the mantle to use as stockings to be filled with new memories.

At Christmas time, with Mom and I both single now, we are each other’s dates.

Mom and I agree that it’s a good idea to make a to-do list to ensure a fulfilling holiday. Here’s the beginning of my list of family things to do to keep my spirits up over the holidays:
  1. Make a long-distance phone call to my sisters, Bonnie and Connie, and tell them my favourite dirty Santa joke.
  2. Seek out a local family who is less fortunate financially and provide them with Christmas gifts.
  3. Drink beer with my 24-year-old nephew, Adam and sing along with country music as loud as we can.
Last year, in the middle of one of our mind-crushingly loud renditions of “Forever and Ever, Amen”, Adam commented, “Wow, Randy Travis is way out of tune! (Hiccup.)”

Yes, you’re reading this right. My nephew’s name is Adam. Adam West. Bet you didn’t know you were reading a column written by Batman’s aunt.

Clearly, not everyone has sisters a mere phone call away or Batman to sing with, but we can all find ways to cheer ourselves up. I suggest counting your blessings and then getting back to the true spirit of the season by giving your time or financial assistance to the less fortunate. The feeling you get by simply knowing you’ve done something for someone else can be immensely fulfilling.

My unprofessional advice: do away with those mismatched socks, or place them in the back of your sock drawer for Auld Lang Syne. Then, as a Christmas gift to yourself, go to the mall and purchase new socks to wear as you step forward into your confident new life.

Have a question, a thought, or a story to share (anonymity guaranteed)? E-mail Christine at:

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