The song is about being single (or not in a romantic relationship) during the holidays. In our culture that’s synonymous with lonely. Believe me, being alone and being lonely are different. And, just like a romantic relationship is no cure for loneliness neither is being single the cause.
So let’s clear up some assumptions—people are not lonely just because they are: single, elderly, widowed, divorced, without children, homeless, couldn’t get home for the holidays…the list goes on.
But, what do the lonely do during the Christmas holidays? I don’t know. But if between today and the New Year each one of us would do one thing to make sure that community and the reason for the season is present, maybe there would be fewer lonely people.
Here are a few things I know I can do. You might have some other ideas.
1. Throw an impromptu party at church on New Year’s Eve with lots of party favors. Sing songs. Then make breakfast with everyone in the kitchen just like at home.
2. Visit. Many people have to work on New Year’s Day. Stop by a fire and police station, a shelter, convenient store to visit. Jesus did it a lot.
3. Pick someone up and take them with you to return gifts, hang out in the mall or go to the movies.
4. Text, Tweet. Phone. Use your favorite form of social media to offer prayers and hopes.
5. Send post-Christmas cards. The season is just beginning for us.
6. This is my favorite as a single person. I always save some holiday money to treat folks to a meal. This year I will pay for a date night for a couple with teen-age kids. The kids and I will hit the movies; the couple will go on a nice date.
What do the lonely do at Christmas time? I still don’t know. But when we are together, there is no room for loneliness.
Valora K Starr is director for discipleship for Women of the ELCA. Do you want a daily devotional sent directly to your email? Sign up for a little Daily Grace.
Photo: Christmas Carol-oke, Church by the Glades, used with permission