Home Alone, or Lonely This Christmas?

I’d been considering the idea of marking my first Christmas Day as a blogger by posting some words, but was a bit unsure. I thought about saying how much better I am than last Christmas, which is true but hardly of major interest. I also thought it might seem pretentious – after all, I’m not famous, millions don’t retweet me on Twitter when I say ‘Hi’ and I haven’t leapt out of a helicopter with James Bond. Well, not this year, anyway. But yesterday Twitter, as it often does, gave me a little inspiration for something that might actually make some sense – never too late to start! So here it is.

I saw several messages along the lines of ‘Will you be alone on Christmas Day? I’ll be here for you, we’re all your friends here.’ These messages all had two things in common: none of them was from anyone I’d consider to be a friend and they all seemed to assume that ‘Alone’ is the same as ‘Lonely.’

This got me thinking, as I am alone today, but I don’t feel in the least bit lonely. I looked both words up in the dictionary and, to be fair to the kind people offering their care in the community services, both definitions included the other word in at least one sense. So does that mean I am now required to feel lonely because there is no other living creature with me? I’ve always thought of ‘alone’ as having just a physical meaning, simply the fact that there is no one with you, whereas ‘lonely’ for me means something with an emotional aspect, a sense of loss or longing. So I’m going to disagree with the dictionary! I’ve already had a lot of modern-style human intercourse – tweets, texts, Kik –  and will be talking to my Dad shortly on that telephone thingy. And then I can always turn to Twitter if I feel the need of a wider range of contacts: there are some very good people on there who I’m proud to call friends. I’m comfortable with all means of communication, and don’t have the need to be with someone all the time to feel as though I’m in contact with the world – that is true the other 364 days of the year, so why not today?

But that’s just me. Others may be different. Everyone’s first thought at this time is to look out for elderly neighbours, family or friends who are on their own, and they may very well be feeling lonely – not everyone will see it like I do, I’m aware of that. The old lady who lives in the flat opposite mine is away with her family, so that leaves me as the oldest in the block – the youngsters can look after me, then! But it isn’t just the elderly who may be feeling lonely and would welcome some support and love today: a very dear friend lost her father two weeks ago and I can’t begin to imagine how awful that must be for her. So please, think about the people you know, love and care about, and just make sure that if they are alone today, they aren’t feeling lonely.

Thanks for reading. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas Day and recover in time to enjoy Boxing Day too.