Creating a Holiday Spirit Yourself

If you’re newly alone this year, the holidays may remind you of the joys and sorrows of past gatherings. But try to stay focused in the present. Let go of your expectations and instead create celebrations that are meaningful to you now. You’ll find your experience of these special days can create new memories to savor throughout the year.

Image: Stuart Miles /

Now that you’ve used Monday’s tips to get started, here are some more for coping with the holidays on your own:

Consider your finances. You’ll need to budget differently this year so consider what holiday expenses you can reduce. Perhaps you and your friends can agree to forgo your usual gift giving and instead exchange homemade treats or enjoy a potluck dinner together. With the continuing tough economy, it’s likely they’re also looking for ways to cut back on costs.

Create new rituals. Plan to do something different for the holidays this year. There’s really not one perfect way to celebrate so change your usual routine and enjoy the excitement of new experiences. Perhaps arrange to get away from home – visit a friend, volunteer in your community, go for a hike, travel nearby. Next year, you can choose to continue with the ones that worked the best for you.

Include others who are alone. You’re not the only one whose celebration may be bittersweet this year. Share your holiday by Inviting a single friend or relative into your home or volunteering at a community soup kitchen. When you’re making your own holiday preparations, set aside some time for those outside your circle. You can donate toys and books to needy children, cookies to a homeless shelter, music to a nursing home.

As you map out your new strategy for the holidays this year, are you also thinking about other changes you want to make? If you’re looking for practical tips that help you take the first steps toward a new goal – running a 5K, starting your own business, reconnecting with an old friend – download our complementary ebook, Courage and Lessons Learned: Reaching for Your Goals. You’ll find role models and suggestions there to help you prepare and execute your plans.

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