“Spending Christmas alone? I have some ideas!*”

Vol. 1,  No. 24, December 5th 2010

TITLE: “Spending Christmas alone? I have some ideas!*”


Christmas is coming. My book of the week is: “Skipping Christmas [Hardcover]” by John Grisham.  Like the book title, I am sure that there are some who would like to skip the whole thing. A possible reason is that they are planning to spend Christmas alone. This is my topic of the week.


For today, my word/phrase(s) are: “Christmas”, “Single”, “Solitude”, etc.


“Christmas[3] or Christmas Day[4][5] is a holiday observed generally on December 25[6] to commemorate the birth of Jesus, the central figure of Christianity.[7][8] The date is not known to be the actual birthday of Jesus, and may have initially been chosen to correspond with either the day exactly nine months after some early Christiansis believed Jesus had been conceived,[9] the date of the winter solstice on the ancient Roman calendar,[10] or one of various ancient winter festivals.[9][11] Christmas is central to the Christmas and holiday season, and in Christianity marks the beginning of the larger season of Christmastide, which lasts twelve days.[12]”
(Source: Wikipedia the free encyclopedia) – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas


“In legal definitions for interpersonal status, a single person is someone who has never been married. A person who was previously married and was divorced or widowed is usually considered an “unmarried” person.[citation needed] If a marriage is annulled, however, or it is found to have been void ab initio (i.e. not valid in law to start with), and assuming the person was not married previously, that individual is single, rather than unmarried. In that situation, the law behaves as though the parties thought they were married when, in actuality, they were not. The term single in its common usage is often referred to someone who isn’t involved in any type of romantic relationship, whether it would be dating, engagement, or marriage.”

(Source: Wikipedia the free encyclopedia) – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Single_person


“Solitude is a state of seclusion or isolation; i.e., lack of contact with people. It may stem from bad relationships, deliberate choice, infectious disease, mental disorders, or circumstances of employment or situation (see castaway).”
(Source: Wikipedia the free encyclopedia) – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solitude

Bonus fact #1: Single person households

“According to the United States Bureau of the Census, the fastest-growing household type since the 1980s has been the single person. Previously both socially uncommon and unaccepted due to perceived roles, public awareness, modern socioeconomic factors and increasingly available popular and lengthier education and careers have made the single lifestyle a viable option for many Americans, especially after the Vietnam War.[3]

Similar to the United States, single-person households are increasingly popular in the United Kingdom. In recent years, studies have found that more citizens value career over personal relationships. The single-person households have also been spreading due to the high self-esteem it offers.[4]”

(Source: Wikipedia the free encyclopedia) – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Single_person

Bonus fact #2: Holiday Names

“Place names associated with the holiday season include North Pole, Alaska (population 2,226 in 2009); Santa Claus, Ind. (2,303); Santa Claus, Ga. (247); Noel, Mo. (1,615); and — if you know about reindeer — the village of Rudolph, Wis. (418) and Dasher, Ga. (821). There is Snowflake, Ariz. (5,686) and a dozen places named Holly, including Holly Springs, Miss., and Mount Holly, N.C.”
Population estimates <http://www.census.gov/popest/estimates.html>
(Source: U.S. Census Bureau – Newsroom).


U.S. toy imports: $5.1 billion

“The value of U.S. toy imports including stuffed toys (including dolls), puzzles and electric trains from China between January and August 2010. China was the leading country of origin for stuffed toys coming into this country, as well as for a number of other popular holiday gifts. These include roller skates ($37 million), sports footwear ($218 million) and basketballs ($32 million). China leads Thailand as the leading supplier of ice skates ($9 million versus $6 million), with Canada ranking third ($4 million).”
Source: Foreign Trade Statistics <http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/www/>
(Source: U.S. Census Bureau – Newsroom).

S & R* NEWS ALERT* #1:  Generation C

“(NC)—Whether you’re a Millennial or a Baby Boomer, everyone celebrates Christmas as a member of Generation C.

Millennials: 18-30 Gen Xers: 31-44

Baby Boomers: 45-64 Matures: 65+

To determine generational differences, a recent survey asked questions about favourite holiday dishes, size of holiday gatherings and who does the holiday cooking.

While all generations agree the traditional roasted turkey is tops, Millennials and Gen Xers say they like to experiment with different cooking methods like barbecuing or deep frying the festive turkey.

Millennials and Gen Xers may Twitter, Facebook and Blog, but everyone can get help cooking the holiday turkey by calling 1-800-BUTTERBALL (1-800-288-3722).”
(Source: www.newscanada.com)


As a child, growing up, I learned about Christmas. First, of course, it is a time to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. Second, it is to UNITE with family. When my grandparents were alive, on Christmas Eve, after supper, we all would go to their home. We were QUITE THE GROUP as my mother had 8 siblings in Canada. All of my aunts, uncles, cousins plus my parents and brothers and invited guests were in excess of 35+- persons. Indeed, this was a real FULL HOUSE!  My grandparents were the best Christmas host and hostess. My grandfather always decorated their house with lots and lots of Christmas ornaments and a big Christmas tree. He also picked out joyful Christmas music, which played throughout the evening. My grandmother would bake all our favorite, traditional desserts and the dining room table also had finger foods, drinks, etc. The spirit of Christmas lived there! I always looked forward to this day.

More recently, my holidays continued to be enjoyed with family. On Christmas Eve, my mom would cook a big meal for the family and we would later open our gifts. Christmas day was my turn. My folks and siblings along with their spouses and kids would come to my house at noon and I cooked a big Christmas meal. The atmosphere was always one of festivity, joy and happiness.  However, the past five years have been a little different. My Dad passed away and my Mom’s health has declined. She has had to stop cooking the Christmas Eve dinner. I continued with Christmas Day except when one of my daughters cooked the Christmas dinner several times and it was wonderful.

Last, I need to make one thing clear. Once my marriage ended, even with my folks and daughters, I still had some alone time during the Christmas holiday. I had my moments. I can relate.

THE AUTHOR: John Grisham

Grisham is an attorney, practicing in Southaven, Mississippi. Having a flair for writing, he became an author as well. From his profession, he found an interesting backdrop for his novels. The  law is a natural dramatic device. The rest is publishing history. His juggernaut then succeeded wildly in Hollywood.

(Fact source: Wikipedia the free encyclopedia)



John Grisham has written MANY books – here’s the list.

• A Time to Kill (1989)
• The Firm (1991) (N.B. It spent 47 weeks on the New York Times Bestsellers List.)
• Pelican Brief (1992)
• The Client (1993)
• The Chamber (1994)
• The Rainmaker (1995)
• The Runaway Jury (1996)
• The Partner (1997)
• The Street Lawyer (1998)
• The Testament (1999)
• The Brethren (2000)
• A Painted House (2001)
• Skipping Christmas (2001)
• The Summons (2002)
• The King of Torts (2003)
• The Bleachers (2003)
• The Last Juror (2004)
• The Broker (2005)
• Playing for Pizza (2007)
• The Appeal (2008)


Nine of his novels have been turned into major movies. His second novel, “The Firm” starred Tom Cruise and Gene Hackman. It was a great legal thriller. The hero of the Rainmaker novel/movie is a lawyer with a small practice. A young lawyer is at the heart of the Partner. The Brethren is three stories in one. The Appeal is suspenseful.

THE BOOK: “Skipping Christmas [Hardcover]” by John Grisham

This was a change of pace for John Grisham. The novelist turned part-time satirist. He pulled it off commercially – it sold 1.5-million in the first printing. It had potential. A typical American couple changes course. Once their daughter joined the Peace Corps and for the first year ever was not with them for Christmas, they decided to break with tradition and spend the dollars saved on a 10-day Caribbean cruise. Playing hooky on Christmas might annoy Santa. It also annoyed me as this bit of fun just didn’t work. For me, Grisham is best at writing lawyer dramas.


For most people, it is a BIG downer being alone at a time usually viewed as one when people get together with loved ones. Don’t agree, then consider if you will, the fun you would have going: (a) To a play cast party in a one-man show without the crew and production staff attending; (b) To a rock concert, with no performer and no audience present;  (c) On a date without an escort at an empty night club, the music being off; etc.  Christmas alone is equally ridiculous.

My personal comments

As already said, for a time as a woman no longer married, I walked in your shoes. Starting a  holiday unattached does not bode well for a pleasing time to be spent. My girl friends for the most part were occupied with their families. Not only were there no gal evenings, the phone was also quiet. Being off work, I did my house work. With the house up to date, I had some free time.  Then, with nothing as company except a TV, you think; and you think some more – perhaps too much. A holiday feast attended by me, myself and I is by no means a crowd! Dinner conversation is muted. Interest level is so low that you would prefer to stand yourself up and be a no-show.There is no comfort zone here. It is profoundly disagreeable. Being in bad mood is an under-statement.

The point

I do not want to presume what you are thinking and how you are feeling, now and also as we get closer to the “CE” (i.e. Christmas Eve) hour. If you have plans, for the most part, to be with family and friends, I guess you’re covered. And if you’re a happy loner, this does not apply to you. If not, then I am talking to you.

It does not have to be this way. It is in your power to change this not only for you, but for others facing the same prospect this coming holiday season.


The first step is to decide if you want something more; if so, try one or more of the following.
1. Weeks before, plan to be connected with others on Christmas Eve/Day; to do so, you could:
1.1 Exercise your leadership capacity and organize an event scheduled for Christmas Eve/ Christmas Day:
(a) a holiday (pot-luck) meal and invite single neighbors or those away from family in your condo-apt. building complex, work-mates, etc. (N.B. If female, do NOT hold the event in your home. Instead, let a guy friend do it or have it in a neutral party room, etc.) Beyond one dish, everyone is expected to share one personal story of a sweet or especially meaningful holiday spent from years past.

(b) a small team of people really in the spirit to sing Christmas carols door-to-door;

(c) a two- day board game (e.g., chess, checkers, scrabble, etc.) tournament;

(d) a fundraising event like a kid’s picture coloring contest, (to benefit a charity for children who are ill),  at a local pharmacy (this is probably  the only business, which is open);

(e ) a campaign to collect beforehand, Christmas cards MADE by local children for distribution to a Children’s hospital on Christmas Day; etc.

2. On the day of:
2.1 Be active – start on an exercise routine: power walk, run, etc.;
2.2 Bake cookies and deliver boxes of your  home-made creations to the firemen and police (they’re working)  in your city;
2.3 Volunteer at a local hospital or homeless mission;
2.4 Put on a Santa hat and visit residents at local old-folks homes; etc.

Checkmate…now please pour me some eggnog!

Take it out for a spin and tell me if you agree.

And that’s my thought of the week on books, what’s yours? *
“Books are life; and they make life better!*”
-Web Tech:  richmediasound.com

The above is a new media production of Valente under its “United Author*” program.

*TM/© 2010 Practitioners’ Press Inc. – All Rights Reserved.

This entry was posted on Sunday, December 5th, 2010 at 8:01 pm and is filed under Special Dates. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.


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