Warning: include_once(/homepages/46/d695222166/htdocs/clickandbuilds/Idealinhope/wp-includes/header.php): failed to open stream: Permission denied in /homepages/46/d695222166/htdocs/clickandbuilds/Idealinhope/wp-config.php on line 81

Warning: include_once(): Failed opening '/homepages/46/d695222166/htdocs/clickandbuilds/Idealinhope/wp-includes/header.php' for inclusion (include_path='.:/usr/lib/php7.1') in /homepages/46/d695222166/htdocs/clickandbuilds/Idealinhope/wp-config.php on line 81
Reach out : I deal in hope

I deal in hope : Carolyn R Scheidies

Blog Don’t spend the holidays alone—reach out

Temperatures are cooling outside. Getting downright cold in the mornings. Fall has sneaked up on us. Winter is not far behind. With the change in seasons to fall and, soon, winter, we turn our thoughts to family gatherings.

The Scheidies family likes getting together, though that was much simpler when there were fewer of us. Now we have siblings—my husband Keith and his brothers and sister, kids, grandkids, and even great-grandkids. It makes for quite a household when we gather together at the family farm near Minden. Of course, on the farm, when it isn’t too cold, kids can play outside with uncles giving rides on the four-wheeler or even on a burro. We have found we have more room at the Mitzi Pavilion at Yanney Park. We do both—gather at the farm Saturday night. and gather someplace in Kearney, often the Pavilion, for Sunday morning brunch.

My family is much smaller, and we are more far-flung so don’t get together as often. Still, my sister-in-law lives a few blocks south of us in Kearney, and my sister, her kids, and grandkids live in Kansas. Other relatives live in Minnesota, California, and other places.

Even so, sometimes Keith and I find ourselves alone for some holidays as our kids have other relatives and plans. We often include my brother Paul’s widow. In fact, we sometimes invite friends over to play board games and offer snacks for supper.

I know Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve are difficult times to be alone. This may happen when someone has no family left or family too far away. Sometimes, in the case of our daughter, every other year it is her husband’s family year to have them for Thanksgiving or Christmas. Holidays can get lonely, and it is easy to slide into feeling bad and depressed.

But we don’t have to turn joyful holidays into times of sadness. One couple I know planned holidays around those who would otherwise spend holidays alone. They’d invite these individuals home and hold a regular feast.

We all have friends, acquaintances, and even family who might be alone. We can change that. We don’t have to be depressed and lonely. We can reach out to others who, for whatever reason, are spending a holiday alone. Might be a neighbor, someone from church, a family member or friend. Make an effort to reach out. Invite them to your house or make plans to meet at a restaurant. Is someone not in good health? Take them a meal and stay to visit for a while.

By looking beyond ourselves we find fulfillment and the very joy of the holiday as we reach out, deepen, or make new friendships. Thinking of others helps us take the focus off ourselves and helps us realize how blessed we truly are.

Don’t spend the holidays alone—reach out.

© 2022 Carolyn R Scheidies
Kearney Hub column published 11/16/22

See all posts »

Subscribe: rss | email | twitter | +