Christmas and the Christmas holidays can be a time of hope, a time for family and a time of new beginnings. However, for LGBT+ people, Christmas and the Christmas holidays can be a time of loneliness, rejection and worry. What can we do if we do not have loving families with whom to spend Christmas and the holiday season?
It has been said that as LGBT people, we make our own families. Many of us have good friends we can call upon, spend Christmas Day with, or even the whole holiday season. However, if this is not possible, we must look for alternative ways to spend Christmas Day and the days around it.
Some of us can gain extra hours at work over Christmas. Employers often give the main celebration days such as Christmas Day and Boxing Day as vacation days to people who have children, and that means these days can be ours for the taking, along with the higher rates of pay given for working these days. Working Christmas can be fun – I’ve worked many Christmases. There is often less work and more of a relaxed atmosphere over the Christmas period, as well as boxes of chocolates and biscuits for the staff to munch through.
In most towns and cities, there are free meals offered to people who will spend Christmas alone. Some of these meals are attended by people who have drink or drug problems and are resident in the local homeless person’s hostel. If this is not your thing, see if your local LGBT services are offering a Christmas meal or get-togethers over the holiday period. Socialising network sites such as Meetup.com have groups in most towns and cities and most of these groups will have socialising events during the holiday period.
You could spend the holidays volunteering, perhaps at a homeless person’s shelter, or at an animal sanctuary. Christmas is often about giving as well as receiving.
If you are Christian or simply wish to go to church, most churches are open over the Christmas period for Carol singing and Nativity services. In most towns and cities, there are churches that welcome LGBT people, and some churches are mainly LGBT. You can find LGBT churches in your local area by a quick internet search. However, you can also spend time on your own, thinking about your own beliefs and how you wish to carry them out in the coming year.
The holidays can be used as a time to think about yourself and what you wish to achieve in 2017. Think about what your hopes and dreams are and how you can realize them or work towards them in 2017.
However, you spend this Christmas and holiday time, make sure you take care of yourself. Happy Christmas and happy holidays.
Post written by Catherine Hume, check out her blog
Original photo from Unsplash