I can go to a restaurant on my own for lunch or breakfast but I can’t do it at night. At night I see others enjoying drinks, food and friends making me feel more alone than if I was at home alone. This Xmas, quite a few people will be spending the big day alone but rather than feeling blue about it all make a plan for a great party for one.

Plan to watch movies, listen to your favourite music, have a breakfast champers, order a hamper, buy yourself a present and set yourself up to celebrate it the best way you can. Be creative, maybe even dress up. Don’t forget that nana nap as well – ah bliss. Leaving Xmas day to the last minute, with nothing planned, will make it seem like an eternity of loneliness on the day. It doesn’t have to be.

When in the middle of your party for one, spare a thought for all those having to put up with disliked relatives. The same old jokes and stories, finding out again they have very little in common with relies. Never again they say. Think how lucky you are.

If it all gets too much then take a stroll around the local park and see if you can join anyone. There will be other gays (that means the total LGBT community) out there having Xmas day on their own or with a few friends. Take some party hats, mince pies, champers, take a wander and see if you can join in. They won’t mind and you will probably make their day as well.

May I suggest for Sydney folk you head for the park in Surry Hills near the Clock Hotel around 1pm. Wear something gay and follow any rainbow flags. Also spend a little time talking to friends on the phone in other parts of Australia on the day. That will make you feel less alone.

You could volunteer to work on Xmas day for various charities and receive the gift of giving. Look up on the internet, ‘Volunteering on Xmas Day’. You will not feel lonely if surrounded by others loving your help and company.

So gays who are not going anywhere for Xmas, there is no need to feel alone, plan a party for one, step outside to see if you can join others, telephone friends for a chat or consider doing volunteer work. Preparing for Xmas day will get you through and it could be the best Xmas ever with a well thought out creative party for one.

If it does get all too much, especially if thinking about those no longer with us at Xmas, ring Lifeline on 131114. They are trained to help you get through Xmas. Can I also suggest that you use the comment section below to make suggestions on meeting up somewhere on the big day or share ideas on how to feel less alone at Xmas. Take care my lovelies and Merry Xmas.

Gerry North is a gay counsellor and can be contacted at [email protected].

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