What does family really mean at Christmas?

Christmas is often a time to spend with family, but what does family mean to those who are unable to spend time with family?

 

For some, family members may have passed or are not reachable throughout the holidays, and for others, a day with family is just too stressful. Whatever the reason, there are certainly ways to spend the holidays without family members.

 

Families come in all shapes and sizes.

Remember that unlike the movies have taught us, family doesn’t always mean a Mum, Dad, son and daughter. Family can be loved ones, friends, your community. Maybe you are part of your local church, or community group. The people you choose to spend your time with, those who you love dearly, this is your family, and a darn good one at that!

 

Remember loved ones.

Even though we may have family members that have passed, Christmas can still be a time to remember loved ones who are no longer with us. Light a candle or have their favourite dish at one of your meals, do something special to remember them at this time of year.

 

No matter what, make plans.

Many of us may be spending the holidays on our own. No matter what, plan to do something. And that something can be nothing! Make plans to go out and enjoy the festivities, or to hang at home in your PJs with a Christmas movie and chocolate. Whatever the plan, just take the time to do something that you enjoy. After all, it’s Christmas!

 

Create your own community.

Christmas can also be a great time to create our own community. The holidays can be a difficult time for many, and having support of those around you can make all of the difference. Do something for others, and this doesn’t have to mean volunteering. Maybe your next door neighbour is spending the holidays alone. Bake a casserole, and take it over. You might just make someone’s day!

 

Enjoy the stillness.

Christmas can be very hectic and stressful, especially when you are getting pulled in all directions. Spending the holidays with yourself can be a great opportunity to just enjoy being still. Take the time to soak up the festivities without the pressure.

 

You’re not alone.

No matter how lonely the holidays may be feeling, we are never truly alone. There is always help available, just remember to reach out.

 

If you or someone you know needs support this holiday season, call LETSS on 1800 013 755,

or visit the Mental Health Service Directory for more services open over Christmas

https://mhsd.com.au/Search/Christmas

 

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