7 Ways To Spend Christmas Without Your Family

I know, I know… 

You’re reading that headline and cringing. How could anyone be so insensitive to suggest spending a holiday without their family? Who would write this!?

I did. Here is why.

Holly Kasinak Photography

Before I begin, let me declare that this isn’t a campaign to intentionally spend Christmas (or any holiday) without your family. This isn’t suggesting that your family sucks and you should isolate yourself. Everyone has a different family dynamic, and it truly is up to you as to how to navigate that.

My family dynamic is this: we’re divorced, and we’re scattered all over the country. It is really hard to see each other throughout the year.  For my husband and I, catching up with family means traveling to one of three states. Two of those three states require visits to more than one location within those areas. An example: anytime we head back to our native Pittsburgh, we’re usually splitting our time between three homes and sometimes that’s hard to do if you have little time allotted to be there, to begin with.

I’m sharing my story because I’m hoping that it will inspire others with similar situations to share theirs.

TV commercials, radio ads, and posts on social media almost force us to see smiling and happy families in matching holiday pajamas. It almost suggests that this image is the way (and only way) to have the “perfect” holiday. It can be overwhelming and make anyone a little blue if they are away from their loved ones.

Not every family situation allows for that perfect image, and that’s okay.

Since I’m spending the holidays with my husband and some friends this year, I figured I’d share my list of how I’m getting through this period without actually spending time with our immediate family.

  1. Binge Netflix: I recommend Mowgli, but choose anything that you (and whoever you’re sharing your time with) are interested in.
  2. Invite friends over: It might be a long shot since so many are traveling this time of year, but why not give it a try? It’s always better than being alone.
  3. Create your own holiday feast: I’m not talking about the turkey and stuffing. I’m talking about whatever snack or meal sets your soul on fire. Indulge!
  4. Head to the movies: One word; Aquaman.
  5. People-watch at Target or Walmart: Why not have some fun seeing everyone else go nuts while you’re straight chillin’?
  6. Take in a local show: I guarantee some local band is playing in your area. Don’t know them? Check them out!
  7. Go for a walk: This can be a hike or a walk around your block. Enjoy the peace and solitude while your neighborhood is a little less busy.

Which ideas do you like best? Would you add anything else to the list?

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