Today is the shortest day of the year and as we move towards Christmas for so many who are separated, divorcing or on their own through loss, even on this shortest of days, it can feel so very, very long.  


I felt this very recently, having taken myself off to a local supermarket with a cheery smile and thoughts of the days becoming longer, lighter and with a new year looming.  When I suddenly found myself at the droning mercy of dear Elvis and his Lonely This Christmas permeating my happy thoughts as I bought my Christmas fare.  

It got me, it hit me hard and I swallowed and fought back leaky tears – aaaaaahhhhhh why this song is still being played I have no idea!  It is not a cheery song, it is a bloody miserable, self indulgent song and serves nothing more than to remind those of us on our own that it is lonely at Christmas. Opening up that Christmas stocking full of emotional wobbles to the goose fat display, the teary eyedness to the chocolate yule log stack and the so fully conscious of what their personal situation is to the lines of bottles of champagne!!

No, no and no it is not a good song to play at this time of year – for all you good folk around the country arranging white noise that includes this song whilst we purchase our parsnips please stop it!  If nothing else I suddenly wanted to escape said supermarket, I didn’t feel the slightest bit cheery anymore, I felt small, alone and I left without buying the milk I had originally come for.  

So this time of year is really hard, for those divorced, separated or on their own through loss of a partner, loneliness pervades.  

And what can you do to avoid the deep and unseen wells of human emotions…. happily, with a smile on my face and a cup of tea beside me it is …. SHOPPING ONLINE.  I have thankfully found this not only avoids the frenetic, energetic, mad purchasing power of the masses, but it has the smugness of lack of overspending with a single ‘click’ of a button. Plus the benefit of listening to maybe BBC Radio 6 Music in your own home.   Easy, calm and less draining … it works for me. 

And it is during these challenging times I am reminded of this wonderful piece written by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross… 

“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths.  These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern.  Beautiful people do not just happen.”

…when I am caught in the emotional headlights I try very hard to remember the many, many people who are not only on their own, but who are dealing with the most saddest of situations, losses, fears and in many parts of the world, with a lack of pretty much everything.  And it is the beauty, compassion and kindness that we can all feel in our hearts, that we can hold, no matter what our personal life challenges are during this festive period. And do we feel loneliness, sadness and dread simply just because we care…? 

So look ridiculous and SMILE at everyone, GREET those you only know a little well, tell those you love – tell them, email them, tweet FB them, tell them you LOVE them… we can all do it… and it feels good when it happens, our hearts burst with feel good emotions, happiness tickles our bodies and lights up our brains like a decorated Christmas tree… and how good can that feel?

With love and few festive Ho Ho Ho’s …….x