I’m Spending Christmas Alone Without Being Alone This Year - Finds.Life.Church

I’m Spending Christmas Alone Without Being Alone This Year

by Jillian Zavacky

There’s something about the holiday season that draws out feelings of loneliness that can be so easily ignored or tucked away during other seasons. Maybe it’s the whimsical feeling of Christmas lights or the traditions that bring back those feelings of nostalgia. Whatever it is, around this time of the year, all I want to do is be with the people I love, mainly family. But this year, Christmas will look a little different for a lot of people, and many of us, including me, will be spending Christmas alone. But what if God has something special for us this year? What if, even though we’re spending Christmas alone, we’re not really alone at all?

Let’s look at some of our favorite Christmas carols. According to these traditional holiday sing-alongs, the holiday season is best celebrated beside the people that we love and care about. Like: “Faithful friends who are dear to us, gather near to us once more” or “It’s the hap-happiest season of all … with those holiday greetings when friends come to call.” 

For years, Christmas has been about celebrating the birth of Christ while also gathered together with those close to us. And that’s just the thing—who would you invite to your birthday party? Family? Friends? Strangers? Enemies? I think we’d all agree that a celebration like this should be spent with people we have strong relationships with. People who have been a part of our lives, walking with us through the ups and downs. The question is, if spending Christmas with your family isn’t an option, then who are those people for you?

For me, 2020 will be remembered for more than just a global pandemic, growing awareness of racial injustice, and political disunity. It has also been a year where my family has begun to navigate a new season—beginning to walk through my dad’s two medical diagnoses together. But even in the midst of the loneliness of quarantine and the fear of what’s next for my dad’s health, God has shown up. 

Even though I can’t celebrate Christmas physically with my family, we’re still spending it together! This year, we’re shipping our gifts to each other so that on Christmas morning, we can open them together through FaceTime. Whether I’m with them in person or not, I still get to see their faces and hear their laughter as we share those moments. Sure, it might not feel the same, but I know it will mean just as much to spend that time together in whatever way we can!

For all of the relationships that God has cultivated through a year like this, I’m thankful. I’ll remember 2020 as the year God reminded me just how incredibly loved and cared for I am. He’s grown my relationships in ways I’ve only seen and heard about but had no clue could actually happen in my life. My capacity to love others has grown exponentially as my capacity to receive others’ support has grown. 

But it wasn’t easy. Growing real and honest relationships definitely didn’t happen overnight. It took a lot of effort on my part to take my relationships to this next level. I had to not only begin to notice the people around me, but I also had to learn how to open my heart to them and receive the love and support they offered. And, with God’s help, you can do it, too!

Here’s how you can start taking your relationships to the next level:

1. Recognize who matters. Pastor Craig Groeschel often says, “Show me your friends and I’ll show you your future.” There are some relationships in our lives we should invest in more than others. Proverbs 27:9 TPT puts it this way: “Sweet friendships refresh the soul and awaken our hearts with joy, for good friends are like the anointing oil that yields the fragrant incense of God’s presence.” Look around you. Who are those people who truly refresh your soul? Who in your life points you closer to God? Just remember that there is no mold for what friends can look like. Whether it’s someone in the same life stage as you, or someone 20 years older, identify those people in your life you’d like to invest more time with. Then, get out there and invite them to coffee!

2. Lower your guard. We all have defense mechanisms that we use to protect ourselves from the possibility of pain or sorrow. But sometimes raising our guard means we struggle to trust people or open our hearts to them. And if we don’t allow ourselves the capacity to feel pain or sorrow for another person, can we truly love them? Galatians 6:2 reminds us of our obligation to bear one another’s burdens. We can’t fully love people if we are unwilling to lower our guard and allow our true selves to show. Love requires the courage to take steps toward people—even when it’s scary! But how, you ask? Start with just sharing something personal. Share a memory from your past or something God is currently teaching you. Allow someone to help carry a piece of your life with you!

3. Ask for help. As followers of Christ, it’s true that we are called to let our light shine before others, and we can do this by serving them. But when we’re able to share our own needs with others, we’re allowing our friends to use their God-given gifts to serve us. Whether it’s a prayer request, asking for advice on a business decision, or looking for encouragement in a difficult situation, sharing a need is a way to invite people into our lives and allow them to practice shining their light. When we do this, it allows us and others to see good works being done that honor and glorify God!

The truth is, this holiday season will look different for many of us, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still have a special time! And when we take our relationships to this next level, that’s when our friends will cross the threshold into becoming our extended family. 

Whether you’re getting to see your family digitally, you’re spending the day with friends, or you’ll have that time to yourself, you won’t be spending Christmas alone. This time of year is always an incredible reminder that God is with us, and His presence is always available. As Matthew 28:20 reminds us, he is always with us—we’re never truly alone! 

Friends, there’s still time for you to start building an incredible support system in your life! If this season calls for you to be physically distant from your family during the holidays, just remember this: You can spend Christmas alone without really being alone at all!