On Holiday – Being Alone At Christmas

Christmas Traditions - forgoing the surprise

Christmas Traditions – forgoing the surprise

There’s one memory that returns to me every Christmas, giving me a strange kind of perspective on how much the holiday season really means to me.

Several years ago I was stuck in the UK after a snowstorm grounded planes for nearly 5 days during the holidays.  I was exhausted; I’d broken up with my boyfriend only days before and has just recovered from pneumonia (think about the awkward timing on that one). And then my flight home was cancelled.

I was devastated. I’d never missed a Christmas at home and I had no one in Scotland to spend the holiday with.

I called the airline to rebook – spending hours on hold only to have the line go dead. After two days of this, I finally got through to an operator and rebooked for a flight landing in my hometown on December 25th.

The wait for that flight was unbearable. The city was buried under ice and snow, which looked like nothing compared to a Canadian winter. At last, I boarded my flight and traveled well over 36 hours from Edinburgh to Fredericton – enjoying an overnight stay with my best friend in Toronto as an added bonus.

I arrived on Christmas day to Santa hats and hugs – I’ve never been happier to be home. The close encounter with a missed Christmas taught me many things, but none more important than the importance of family during the holidays.

I honestly can’t imagine a Christmas spent on my own in a little flat overseas… but people do this. Millions of people spend time alone or away from their families – and that’s hard.  It’s important to reach out to friends and family alike at this time of year. Keep in contact with your loved ones and enjoy the moments you have with those near and dear.


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