“WHAT DO THE LONELY DO AT CHRISTMAS?”
Guest Writer: R. L. Norman
It was so silent that we could hear every sound or movement in the house.
We sat there as still and as quietly as we could, even though we were half asleep. We had waited until we thought our parents were asleep before we went on our undercover mission.
It was about 2 a.m., and I and my two brothers, ages eight and four, snuck out of bed and took our places half-way down the steps–waiting. Being the oldest at 10, I led my brothers on our “grand” adventure. It was just supposed to be me and my middle brother; however, my little brother woke up while we were trying to leave the room, so we had to take him along.
From our vantage point, we had a good view of the fireplace, which by this time the fire had gone out. The only illumination in the room were the flashing Christmas tree lights. And so far, the only gifts under the tree were the gifts that we had brought for each other! I remember I’d bought a glove and scarf set for my mother, and a bottle of Brut and Soap-On-a-Rope for my father. Feeling quite proud, I couldn’t wait for them to open them!
And there we sat… waiting and waiting and waiting. It was Christmas Eve and we were waiting for Santa Claus.
It was 1965, and we were determined to see Santa come down the chimney! My youngest brother even had my mother leave “The Big Guy in Red” milk and cookies. We had decided—beyond a shadow of a doubt—that we’d catch him that year.
The next morning, we woke up back in out beds when our parents came into the room to tell us that Santa had come and gone. We didn’t remember going back to bed, but we didn’t care! Practically tripping over each other, we ran down the stairs to get to the Christmas tree that now had what seemed like a zillion gifts.
Fast forward to Christmas Day 2015. My daydreaming has ended. As I’m watching the kids open their gifts, I sit here thinking that at this moment, I am not lonely.
Earlier this morning, I was in my living room looking at my Christmas tree that didn’t have a lot of gifts under it like when I was a kid. It only had one.
The special gift I’d bought for myself.
I purchased it because I’m single, and don’t have a significant other to exchange presents with.
That’s one of the pitfalls of being lonely and alone.
There are many of us around the world that belong to that “Club of Loneliness.” And unfortunately—and sadly—Christmas can be one of the days to be extra lonely.
You see, there are 12 days of Christmas. Additionally, there are Six Days of Loneliness throughout the year. Six days each and every year that the Angel of Darkness comes knocking harder at our hearts and souls.
Six days that we lonely people feel the most alone–while others celebrate.
Six days that the emptiness in our hearts gets heavier.
Six days when we sit at home and the echoes of silence are so loud, that it rings in our ears—and can almost be deafening.
So, just what are those days? They are New Year’s Eve, when couples celebrate together to ring in the New Year with that first kiss. New Year’s Day, when couples go to brunch/dinner to celebrate.Valentine’s Day, when lovers come closer together to profess their love. Thanksgiving Day, when couples meet and greet each other’s families. Your birthday, your extra special time when friends and family just don’t seem to be enough to guarantee your happiness. And of course, Christmas Day.
It’s on these days that the fact that we are single weighs heavier on our minds–and in our hearts. These are the times when we wish we had a partner, girlfriend, boyfriend, and lover–or at least someone to dream about.
It’s on these days that life seems that more empty when we wake up with our back towards the empty space in our beds, and we feel that empty space in our hearts. The days when we want to sit in a lonely, bedimmed room, with the curtains drawn, dwelling on the darkness of our world–instead of the brightness of life.
Some of us think that we have to be in a relationship to “not be lonely.” But that’s not the case. Loneliness is a state of mind. It’s all about realizing that you are blessed and that God is good. Whether you celebrate the day with friends and family or with strangers.
But it’s those lonely days when we should realize that we are not really lonely. We should not forget that we are all loved by someone. And we should also remember that God loves us.
And on this Christmas day, I’m smiling as I watch the children having a good ole time opening their presents at the homeless shelter. Each year, I visit a different shelter, in large part to let the little ones know they are not alone. And as I observe them, I reminisce about my past Christmases, which were filled with life and love.
I realized that the joy of life and love filled the emptiness in my heart so much that it was overflowing! This enables me to ignore the fact that I was supposed to be lonely.
Not being in a relationship is not the end of the world! You shouldn’t need a man/woman to be happy. Happiness is what you make it. As well, the level of loneliness is what you make it.
So on those six days of loneliness, what do we do–particularly on Christmas?
The Number One thing is to try not to think about it. Make it through the day the best you can. Always put one foot in front of the other and keep going.
We have to think about our lives and what it means to us. We must realize that we can make a difference.
As we put a smile on someone’s face, we can put a smile in our hearts. Celebrate FRIENDSHIP… Celebrate FAMILY …Celebrate LIFE…Celebrate LOVE!
The bottom line: the moment we encourage ourselves to celebrate life, the loneliness will disappear. And believe me, that moment can feel like a lifetime.
R. L. Norman is a writer, performer and author of the popular series of novels entitled, “Honey Let Me Tell You.” The fourth and latest installment is “Love Is Complicated.” The sequel will be available soon. As well, he performs“Norman’s One Night Stand,” a one-man show he conceived and wrote, showcasing the main character of his series. R. L. also is writing a play based on “Honey Let Me Tell You.” All of these endeavors are part of the production company he’s forming. You may reach R. L. at his on line home, www.rlnorman1.wix.com/honeyletmetellyou; by email at: email@example.com; on Facebook at RL NORMAN; on Twitter, @rl_norman; and on Instagram:rlnorman1.