It’ll be lonely this Christmas

Too many people wake up in Christmas morning and ache for another person to talk to. For days the only human voice they hear will be in the TV or radio. The continuity announcers turn a sharp knife by the allegedly reassuring comments aimed at those who have to spend the day alone.

The sad fact is that this is pretty much like any day for too many people. Some of you will invite someone over in Xmas day. They’ll be warm and, hopefully, well fed in someone else’s home and then return to another year of endless aloneness.

I’m quite good at being alone, even at Christmas and I have been the extra guest at the table a couple of times. I’ve sat in the awkward silences and seen the sighs of relief when I’ve made the move to go home. Being transported into someone else’s family can increase the loneliness because the only reason you’re there is it’s a holiday. It’s painful.

Invite someone for Christmas by all means but become their friend throughout the year also. Say hello, ask them how they are and listen, tell them about your normal, ordinary life. Be a real link into reality and, if you invite them back for Christmas next year you’ll be reaching out to a friend not assuaging guilt at having much when others have less.

Who knows, you may even empower someone into reaching out themselves to someone within whom they recognise a need. Act kindly by all means but keep acting kindly; change the world for someone. Please.

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