The Harsh Reality Of The Holidays: What It’s Like To Be Alone At Christmas

The Harsh Reality Of The Holidays: What It's Like To Be Alone At Christmas

Growing up, I remember Christmases spent hopping from house to house. We would go to both grandmother’s and sometimes even an aunt or two’s as well. It was exciting visiting my cousins that I didn’t often get to see, especially my cousin, Tammy, who was always like a sister to me. I always looked up to her and found her to be the criteria to which cool was measured, so Christmas morning meant carefully choosing an outfit that I felt would impress her and doing my 80’s hair “just right.” Can you say Aqua Net? Lots and lots of Aqua Net. Nothing says Christmas like walking into a house full of lights buzzing with electricity as a potential fire hazard, am I right?

The Harsh Reality Of The Holidays: What It’s Like To Be Alone At Christmas

We all have our fond memories of Christmas. But all jokes aside, for many people Christmas kind of stinks. A lot of people just don’t have family and friends to spend it with. I’ve always had a great group of people to spend the holidays with but, as a now empty nester also separated this year from a lengthy marriage, I have been facing the real possibility of spending my very first Christmas absolutely alone. Like sitting here at the house watching TV all alone. And I have to admit, it’s been very depressing. I generally have my tree up on Thanksgiving or sometimes even a few days before. I still don’t have mine up this year just because I, honestly, haven’t wanted the reminder.

I’m just not feeling it.

And, unfortunately, that is the reality for a lot of people at Christmas. I can’t imagine what it’s like to not have anyone. I do have people. Lots and lots of people. And for that, I am so very grateful. But, imagine what it’s like to be someone who has no family or close friends to speak of. Since I always have had people I have felt close to, I feel selfish in that I haven’t really thought much about that in my life.

There are also those who can’t spend Christmas with those they love because they have to work. Just like many other people, I have worked Christmas. On several occasions. I honestly hadn’t thought much about that, either, until I worked my first Christmas. Since my dad worked a typical Monday-Friday job, I always kind of took it for granted that that was the norm. I think that oftentimes certain things don’t occur to us until they actually happen to us. I have to say, when I worked at the radio station on Christmas, it was a lot of fun. I mean, I got to bring my daughter with me and play Christmas music all day! But I have also waitressed on Christmas and that kind of stunk, especially since it was at a truck stop and many truckers were not pleased they were working on Christmas and I often got the brunt of that resentment. Most were great, but the bad ones seem to linger on the brain, don’t they? Shout out to you guys. 😉

Anyway, I won’t be alone for Christmas after all. And I probably won’t be working, unless I choose to. I will be hanging out with my aunt Mary, and cousins Angela and Ashley and whoever else they have over. They are awesome people in that they always have an open invitation and I got mine last night. They are the kinds of people who think about others often. I spent Thanksgiving with them and Angela made a plate for a neighbor and had her son, Tyler, run it over. I just thought that was so very thoughtful. If we were all caring and kind to each other like that, no one would be alone for Christmas. Maybe there would also be less depression this time of year.

If you made it to the bottom of this post before nodding off, please try to remember to take care of your loved one or whoever you know who might be alone this Christmas. Go visit someone in a nursing home. Take a plate to a neighbor. Go pay for a trucker’s meal in a travel center restaurant. Take your local police officers or medical workers some coffee. Just do something caring for someone that you might not typically do something nice for. Most importantly, let’s all try to be kind to each other.

Have You Ever Been Alone At Christmas?

Have you ever spent Christmas alone? If you have ever been alone at Christmas, please share your experience below.

About Dawn McAlexander

Dawn is a full time travel and lifestyle blogger. Besides Cheap Is The New Classy, she also owns and writes for, an entertainment site. Her interests include traveling, home decor, DIY projects, organizing her home and enjoying a nice cup of coffee {or two}. She currently resides in North Carolina with her dog, Daisy.


  1. Desiree Lopez says:

    This is a really great reminder for everyone. I have to be honest and say with all the hustle and bustle of the holidays I’ve forgotten to consider some relatives and friends who might be spending Christmas alone.

  2. Yes, I have spent many Christmas days alone. I do it by choice though and I am okay with it. I co-parent so the kids have Christmas Eve with me, then I bring them to their Dads after they open presents here. It’s been how it is for 15 years since the oldest is now 15 so it was hard at first and sad, but as the years passed, I started to enjoy the alone time to recoup, clean and just relax 🙂 Growing up, we didn’t do any family gatherings for Christmas, so I had nothing major to compare it with memories wise so it just feels right to me.

  3. So easy to forget about those that are in a different boat than we are. Many are without and spend holidays and events without someone. I agree… do something extra. A great reminder.

  4. This is sad. I think I take it for granted having all my family close by and we spend the time together but it is a good reminder to open up our homes to those who do not have this.

  5. I am very grateful to have never had to spend a Christmas alone. I have been with my family every year, and although our family celebration has grown smaller with the loss of grandparents and my father, we are still so excited for Christmas this year. This year will be my son’s first Christmas! So exciting! Merry Christmas to you are your family Dawn!