Saturday, 10 December 2011

Christmas Away From Home

There is no lonelier time of the year than Christmas for someone away from home and alone. It seems that the rest of the world is composed of couples or family groups. Restaurants are filled with party revelers, shoppers in happy clutches hurry from store to store chatting and laughing, their arms filled with bags and boxes. Recorded carols spill out onto the sidewalk adding to the joyous cacophony.  You weave your way through all this.  Isolated.  Unseen.  You think this is what it must be like to be invisible. This is what it is to be alone and far from home at Christmas.

The reasons for your aloneness could be one of many. You may have chosen to take a job in a distant city. Perhaps there has been a recent divorce, or even a death in your family that has left you alone. You survive. That’s all anyone can do. The rest of the year, being alone is bearable.  At times even pleasant.  But at Christmas time survival somehow is much harder. At Christmas, aloneness is almost intolerable. No one to laugh with. No one to trim a tree or share an eggnog with. One feels a bit like the proverbial boy with his face pressed against the window of the candy shop.

What to do? Go back to the lonely apartment and eat a dinner of scrambled eggs? Stop in a restaurant and sit at a table for one, watching other tables of twos, fours and sixes eating and laughing together?

I remember one Christmas like that in my life. In my case it wasn’t because friends didn’t invite me to join them. It was because in the depth of despair over my husband’s death I didn’t want to be around happy people celebrating new beginnings. I didn’t want anything to intrude on my misery.

Looking back, I realize that wasn’t a very healthy or productive way to handle things. 

Last Christmas, when I had long ago shaken off the shackles of grief and rejoined the human race, I started thinking about how a young woman might cope with being alone on Christmas Eve in a city far from friends and family. What would she do instead of isolating herself from the human race as I had?  I started writing. The result was the short story, Abigail’s Christmas. Abigail was much smarter than I was. She knew that it was important in life to keep going. And to accept the unexpected as a gift.

 Abigail's Christmas was awarded Four Hearts by Sizzling Book Reviews!
"Abigail’s Christmas is a sweet and special story that honors both love and the holidays." 
Read the full review...... 

Buy Blair's books at The Memory of Roses Web Page, and Abigail's Christmas Web Page.

Watch for Blair’s newest book, Delighting in Your Company and Sonata, to be released by Rebel Ink Press in 2012.

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Blair McDowell