Holidays just for the two of us...dreading this lonely time of year


#1

How do other married couples w/out children or with grown children enjoy the holidays? How do you make them special? All the holidays we had growing up were swarming with family and friends. They were joyous, full of laughter, good times and full bellies.

But it's just the two of us. No children. We don't have any friends that don't do something with their families. We have the added issue in that our families live eight hours away and it's not possible for us to visit them but every other year and only for Christmas, and due to my leg we might have to miss this one. :(

I tried to make it special in years past by making a good meal, but it really is pointless to go to hours of work for just two, all the time hubby sits alone. So we have started eating out. :shrug:

Any other suggestions to make our holidays more meaningful, happy, joyous? It's really lonely sometimes. We try to cuddle each other and make the best of it, but it doesn't take away the hurt of being by ourselves so far away from those we love, and having no children of our own to focus the holidays on. :(


#2

[quote="Convert_in_99, post:1, topic:177439"]
How do other married couples w/out children or with grown children enjoy the holidays? How do you make them special? All the holidays we had growing up were swarming with family and friends. They were joyous, full of laughter, good times and full bellies.

But it's just the two of us. No children. We don't have any friends that don't do something with their families. We have the added issue in that our families live eight hours away and it's not possible for us to visit them but every other year and only for Christmas, and due to my leg we might have to miss this one. :(

I tried to make it special in years past by making a good meal, but it really is pointless to go to hours of work for just two, all the time hubby sits alone. So we have started eating out. :shrug:

Any other suggestions to make our holidays more meaningful, happy, joyous? It's really lonely sometimes. We try to cuddle each other and make the best of it, but it doesn't take away the hurt of being by ourselves so far away from those we love, and having no children of our own to focus the holidays on. :(

[/quote]

I have a big family, so perhaps I shouldn't speak. But if I didn't, I know what I would do, and I'm pretty sure my wife would too. I would single out at least one person in the parish that I know is alone and highly unlikely to be having any kind of Thanksgiving at all, and invite him or her to our house for Thanksgiving dinner. Sure would.


#3

How about focusing on the fact you have someone to cuddle with? I’m sorry, but I do not understand the problem. There’s no “just” in “just the two of us”. There are 2 of you. Not one. You are not by yourself.

It is not pointless to cook for “just two”. There doesn’t need to be children to focus the holidays on. Christmas is just as much the birth of the savior for me, a single adult, as it is for children. My brother pulled out of the gift giving name pull awhile back because he says “Christmas gifts are really for the kids”. ugh.

I am single, and sometimes all of my siblings decide to go to their in-laws for holidays and I have absolutely no one. I went to denny’s on thanksgiving awhile ago…by myself. Please remember the lonely and invite the holdiay orphans (college students, etc) to your home.


#4

Maybe post a notice in the Church bulletin for others in your same boat. Then divide the
chores up and have a meal at someone's home. Maybe plan some games and the winning
team gets a gag gift?
Or get a meal together to take to someone's home, someone who can't afford a fancy meal.
Or volunteer somewhere together to help at a homeless shelter, or a soup kitchen.
You can probably think of some other ideas.....


#5

Let me mention another one. Every year, at a residence for the developmentally disabled, they have a Thanksgiving Dinner for the residents. They put on skits (amazingly) and the families of the residents are there, or such as have families who care.

The dinner isn't all that great, (or even close, really) but the residents enjoy it, and they obviously enjoy having an audience too. People praise them and all. It's pretty nice.

They do the same thing at Christmas, and families bring modest presents. The residence provides some very modest little presents too. Those without families only get the residence presents unless others bring some as well for those without families, and some do. Again, we have our kids and grandkids, but we have been at those. A person could do a lot worse.

If we didn't have our kids and grandkids, I think my wife and I would, at least at times, go to that thanksgiving dinner and (because the food isn't too good...you know, that pressed turkey loaf stuff) go out afterward to a restaurant, maybe. I could live with that.


#6

[quote="Convert_in_99, post:1, topic:177439"]
How do other married couples w/out children or with grown children enjoy the holidays? How do you make them special? All the holidays we had growing up were swarming with family and friends. They were joyous, full of laughter, good times and full bellies.

But it's just the two of us. No children. We don't have any friends that don't do something with their families. We have the added issue in that our families live eight hours away and it's not possible for us to visit them but every other year and only for Christmas, and due to my leg we might have to miss this one. :(

I tried to make it special in years past by making a good meal, but it really is pointless to go to hours of work for just two, all the time hubby sits alone. So we have started eating out. :shrug:

Any other suggestions to make our holidays more meaningful, happy, joyous? It's really lonely sometimes. We try to cuddle each other and make the best of it, but it doesn't take away the hurt of being by ourselves so far away from those we love, and having no children of our own to focus the holidays on. :(

[/quote]

There is just my Mom and myself. Our husbands passed away. I am so thankful to share this Thanksgiving with my Mom. My children live in another state as does my siblings. I think perhaps there might be others just like you that could use a little company for Thanksgiving. Getting involved with the Senior Center and meals on wheels might be an idea. Volunteering at a soup kitchen that makes Thanksgiving dinner. I did that last year. Oh and if you don't want to cook...you could go out to eat! I always loved to do that with my husband.


#7

For years, my husband and our two children spent holidays with friends. they had kids our kids ages, we all had fun. Then we moved. this is our fourth year just being “us” – usually ended up just like every other weekend with “us” Sounds selfish but it can be depressing. So, here are my suggestions. Most important: do something, *anything *different than you normally do together on a weekend. Doesn’t matter what. Whether making a special dinner for two, going on a hike or walk, watching a special movie, etc. It is a little late to volunteer somewhere (my husband and I tried to do that at the last minute when we were just us but didn’t work out).

Anyway, DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT AND SPECIAL then it won’t be “same ole, same ole” There will still be a tinge of missing the large family and friends thing but distract your mind from the past with what you are doing in the present and then remind yourself that you will be looking back on this time in the future. Make it a good memory!


#8

I agree - call the Parish (it may be too late for T-giving, but Christmas planning can begin now!) - find others in the same boat.

Go to the nursing home and visit the lonely there on Thanksgiving day.


#9

[quote="Ridgerunner, post:2, topic:177439"]
I have a big family, so perhaps I shouldn't speak. But if I didn't, I know what I would do, and I'm pretty sure my wife would too. I would single out at least one person in the parish that I know is alone and highly unlikely to be having any kind of Thanksgiving at all, and invite him or her to our house for Thanksgiving dinner. Sure would.

[/quote]

*That's a wonderful idea. *


#10

[quote="Convert_in_99, post:1, topic:177439"]
How do other married couples w/out children or with grown children enjoy the holidays? How do you make them special? All the holidays we had growing up were swarming with family and friends. They were joyous, full of laughter, good times and full bellies.

But it's just the two of us. No children. We don't have any friends that don't do something with their families. We have the added issue in that our families live eight hours away and it's not possible for us to visit them but every other year and only for Christmas, and due to my leg we might have to miss this one. :(

I tried to make it special in years past by making a good meal, but it really is pointless to go to hours of work for just two, all the time hubby sits alone. So we have started eating out. :shrug:

Any other suggestions to make our holidays more meaningful, happy, joyous? It's really lonely sometimes. We try to cuddle each other and make the best of it, but it doesn't take away the hurt of being by ourselves so far away from those we love, and having no children of our own to focus the holidays on. :(

[/quote]

You can always make a fancy meal together if you would enjoy that more than eating out.

Maybe try not to focus on a lack of children, it's not something that can be helped and dwelling on it will only hurt you.

Focus on living the way a newlywed couple or a dating couple might live. You can go on plenty of dates, go to movies, go to restaurants, go to museums, go to the opera, go ice skating, watch movies at home, read to each other, play a computer game together, go out dancing, go for a walk in a park. The list is endless.

Try to focus on the positives, you might not have children but that gives you more time to devote to each other and other pursuits. There are many couples who have children but miss the free time and the together time they had when they didn't, or had fewer. All ways to live have their downsides. Focus on the positives in your life! You have a great husband who loves you, you're not lonely !


#11

It’s just me and my husband here, too. My sister lives only two hours away but they (she & her husband & two kids) don’t visit us for reasons of their own I’ll never understand, so we usually hide out on Thanksgiving.

This year I’m going to Mass on Thanksgiving and I’m in the process of making a huge bunch of bread sticks for our parish Thanksgiving dinner. I also prefer to make our little Thanksgiving feast at home while my husband supervises and pre-tests each dish.

It may be different for us though, because both my husband and I are very introverted and it’s draining for us to be sociable. If it’s not too rainy we’ll bring our doggie to the dog park though.

Perhaps this time you and your spouse can make a gratitude list together and also a list of goals you want to accomplish within the next five years, then within the next six months, and ones before you die. You can do this while you’re at your restaurant, if you like. It’ll certainly get your mind off of the sad feelings and point you more in the direction of positive, constructive action.

It’d be nice too to say the rosary together.

Another fun thing to do would be to be an elf for a little while. At least I think it’s what the elves do. What you do to be an elf is do some little anonymous good deed then run away so no one sees you then laugh all the way home.

Another idea is to plan what you’ll do next Thanksgiving so you won’t have another less-than Thanksgiving.

Thanks for the topic; please take or leave as you see fit.

Many blessings.


#12

Does your parish have a community meal? (ours does!) Maybe you could participate by helping to cook and serve others! Or maybe contact a nursing home or assisted living facility and see if you can help others in some way…

Also, ask around to other single or married couples in your area that are in the same boat! I know in years past, several of my co-workers got together as couples to share Thanksgiving together because they were all in similar situations - they made it a beautiful tradition of friends coming together - they always had a fabulous time!

I’m sorry it’s a difficult time of year to be lonely. Do your best to GET OUT OF THE HOUSE and go be with others. Family isn’t limited to genetics! :wink:


#13

I lost my parents and my only sister over three years ago. I too grew up in a family that had large holiday get-togethers.

We don't have children nor do we have any neices or nephews. So, we spend the Thanksgiving and Christmas with each other (and our beagle!).

Is it at times lonely? You bet. It is also a time, for me, for regrets, so I can get really down.

Hubby and I have established some new traditions. Fortunately, we are quiet folk. I try to just enjoy the time together and the time off from work.

Sorry, but I don't have any easy answers but I just know I'll survive as I always have.

I've also learned that despite what other say, things aren't always as they appear. I sometimes wonder that those who have plenty of friends and family around don't sometimes wish they could have less hectic and noisy holidays. The family gathers aren't always all their cracked up to be.


#14

It's just us this year. (Next year this baby will be born and it will be more exciting!) So at first I was going to roast a Cornish hen and have mashed potatoes, and call that good. But then I found that someone in our choir who is going through a separation didn't have plans ... and an older man we knew doesn't have any family living to visit ... so we're having them over. I'm kind of pulling out all the stops because it's my first solo Thanksgiving -- I hope it goes well!

But in any event, I think it is way more fun this way. When I was in college, a professor used to host the "orphan students" at Thanksgiving, and my grandma has always had the custom of having an elderly neighbor over for Easter. I think these holidays are great reminders to step outside of our little boxes and come together with those around us. Even someone you don't know well can be great fun to have over -- because you get to know them so much better gathered around a good dinner. Places to find "Thanksgiving orphans" might include your neighborhood (any homebound neighbors?), the daily Mass crowd (many of them are older and aren't visited often), or even at work. Holidays are a great time to admit you're lonely and find out if anyone else is.

If you don't find anyone to share it with, don't despair. Make something special in small portions and have it by candlelight, or go out someplace nice. Maybe you could split the cooking and make it a fun thing you do together. Don't forget to share the things you're thankful for.


#15

At least you have each other, be thanking God for that. I'm completly by myself as a single woman. All my friends and siblings have their own families to tend to (my mom is deceased, and she was my best friend). I'm just planning on getting a bunch of wine, getting drunk, and watching bad TV. My car is in the shop, so I can't go anywhere and do something.

Whoever said to ask someone in their parish who would be alone, that is a wonderful idea. If someone in my parish asked me to dinner, I would be estatic. I try to think of the positives, that at least I have a place to live, and two kitties who love me. :)


#16

we can't afford to fly north to visit family more than once a year, and that is in the summer when we can stay more than a couple of days, so holidays have been spent alone for many years. DH has been at church all day supervising cooking of turkeys, his team will start the stuffing and sides in the early am so he will leave again at 7. BTW they smoked the turkeys, the smell is delectable. I get there at 11 when they start serving to help with clean-up. in short like most holidays for the last 8 years we spend them at church doing parish work in some way shape or form. Find somebody else who is alone, maybe an older couple, or seniors who live alone, and plan something with them. Service is the answer. Always.


#17

I will keep you and your husband in my prayers. I am still single and definitely understand what it is like to feel lonely at the holidays. I get very depressed at the holidays recently but I try to remember, it is just one day to survive. I try to keep Christmas really focused on God and use Thanksgiving to remind myself of the ways God has blessed me. But it is still not to have a pity party!

I am going to start the day with exercise and will try ending it with the rosary to help keep the blues away. Other posters recommended volunteering and I think that is a great idea. It is still okay to feel sad though.

Sincerely,

Maria1212


#18

My husband and I don't have children and probably never will. We usually spend the holidays with family, but one Christmas he and I decided to "fly solo". We went to midnight Mass, slept in, opened presents, had breakfast in bed and enjoyed each other's company. ;) We cooked dinner together (all of our favorite 'holiday foods') then settled in to watch the lights on the tree and just talk. Basically, we focused on the fact that we are blessed to have each other. Even when we spend the holidays with family, we always make time to be alone and do something separate from everyone else, "as a couple". Because we accept our childless fate and realize that we aren't as close to our families as we used to be, we try to focus what we do have - each other.

[quote="Micki, post:13, topic:177439"]
I've also learned that despite what other say, things aren't always as they appear. I sometimes wonder that those who have plenty of friends and family around don't sometimes wish they could have less hectic and noisy holidays. The family gathers aren't always all their cracked up to be.

[/quote]

You aren't kidding!!! I really don't enjoy holiday family gatherings. One year at Thanksgiving (or was it Christmas?) my aunt said something that made my mother angry, and the resulting hard feelings ended up dividing our entire family. Some people didn't talk to each other for more than 5 YEARS! Now the rift is finally healed, but we're all getting together for Christmas this year and I'm dreading it. Then there's my husband's family. They also have issues that make getting together very uncomfortable. That's why I jumped at the chance to work 12-hour night shifts Wed, Thurs, Fri this week - so I can either leave early (or just not go altogether) so I can get some much-needed sleep.


#19

my first vote as always goes to finding someone else who is alone and a way to be present for them.

but something else we do sometimes is rent a movie about what we are "missing". DH loves Christmas story because it is set in NW Indiana where he grew up and he finds it very true to life. I love that movie with Holly Hunter where she goes back home for TG, very loose moral message, but a gem for picturing a fractured family life. I always get a kick out of Home Alone and some others that present a dis-jointed holiday image.

some others have touched on this, use this opportunity for couples time, and learn how to better be alone together. We retirees sometimes find this out for the first time when there are no jobs, no kids, no excuses not to really learn how to be together. You have that chance now.


#20

awwww Convert!!! :hug1:

I can relate; well not to the fertility issue, but to feeling alone. It’s an awful feeling.

I always felt alone at Christmas before I met my hubby b/c my family is very dysfunctional and I would just avoid them altogether. There was one year when I had Christmas dinner at my girlfriend’s place (I was 30 at the time) and it was a little bit better, but for me Christmas day especially was always a day of tears and feeling sorry for myself.

I have to admit that I do look forward to Christmas now b/c I have my 2 year old daughter who is just learning about Santa, so I can only imagine what it must be like for you to carry your cross of no children along with your health issue.

I don’t really have any good advice, but I do know how it feels to be lonely, sad and empty; so I can relate to those feelings. I will pray for you Convert.

To make the best out of the situation, inviting a lonely person (or persons) from your church is a fabulous idea!! There are so many people who are alone on Christmas day and knowing that you made someone happy at a time when they would otherwise be really sad; that would make you feel so good about yourself.

God Bless you during this hard time and I will pray for you!


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