This article was published on December 16th, 2020
The holidays can be one of the most festive times of the year for many people, but there is also a significant swath of the queer community that have to fend for themselves during the holidays because of estrangement from family, divorce, or being widowed. The emphasis on family during this time can be a lonely and stressful time, but these potentially dark moments don’t have to be with a little planning and execution. HomoCulture runs down some ways to get through the holidays in stride.
The holiday season is filled with images of cheer and goodwill, which can be unsettling and stressful for people that may be struggling from issues that relate to family, self-esteem, anxiety, and a host of others. The truth is never as pretty as all the packages and it is a time of year that many may question themselves for not having a more traditional family.
Research has shown that the majority of people actually do not come from a traditional household, so every day we are reconfiguring and reshaping what family looks like. Remember that the way you live and love during this time is integral to changing perspectives.
Calling and Connecting
Take the initiative and connect with the people that mean something to your life. Call friends and adopted family to include them and find out what they are doing for the holiday season. Ask to be included in whatever festivities they are participating in for the Christmas. They would probably be elated to add you into their celebrations and catch up with you. The more, the merrier!
The Proactive Approach
It’s up to you to create that alternative family that you want and it can be even more rewarding to have the power to decide who enters such a treasured position in your life. During the holiday season, you can invite those special someones into your home and cook with or for them, drink with them, and have those close conversations that only family members take part in. Getting together with the people you really cherish and admire can be a lot of fun and a healthy way to get through the holiday season.
There’s a difference between being lonely and being alone. If you know the holidays are going to mean less time with the people close to you, this is an ideal time to take yourself out, with so many options on the table from hiking, going to a (drive-in) movie, spending some time at a nearby park, or a local museum. If there are a few friends still in the city, invite them as well and spend some quality time together.
Somewhere in the city, there’s a spa with your name on it! Make an appointment, get a massage and hours-long beauty treatment and treat yourself to the luxury you deserve.
Just because you cannot be with loved ones personally, that doesn’t mean you cannot make some kind of connection. Reach out to friends and family in your life through personalized letters and emails that express how much they mean to you.
During the holiday season, there are always plenty of homeless shelters and donation centers that need helpers to get out food and clothing to those in need. This type of holiday volunteering can be for any time of the year and doing so gives you a healthy perspective on your own blessings.
If you have the budget – and if you can do so safely – plan a trip somewhere for a few days. Whether it is a staycation or a trip to a tropical island alone, finding a site to spend the holidays in a non-traditional setting can be a great time to reflect and unwind.
Find Your Holigay Happiness
These are just a few suggestions on how you can fill any voids during the holidays and making them as celebratory as possible.