The Handbook
The Handbook

Christmas, if alone, can be a very hard time for many. Hindered by upbeat music that talks of mistletoe and meet-ups, Christmas films depicting families gathered around trees with happy endings, and a general atmosphere of it being, as Andy Williams declared, the most wonderful time of the year. And whilst all this is to be celebrated, loneliness walks hand in hand with it too for some. As we begin to approach the seasonal holidays, we’ve rounded up a few ways to help make Christmas alone a time to be celebrated:

Cocktails In Care Homes

Shake it up this Christmas and volunteer with Cocktails in Care Homes. This wonderful initiative is part of the exceptional work Magic Me does, helping to bring communities and different generations together. Since launching in 2011, Cocktails in Care Homes has run monthly parties in various care homes across the city. So, what does it entail? Hosting themed parties, shaking up cocktails and supporting care home residents. Spark up a conversation and roster long term relationships with the loving residents this Christmas. Alternatively, you can donate here

Website: www.cocktails.magicme.co.uk

Love Thy Neighbour Scheme

London can be an extremely lonely city, especially at Christmas. The Love Thy Neighbour scheme helps to reverse this, bringing elderly (65+) in contact with younger members of the community, allowing you to roster a little one-on-one time this Christmas. You’ll be sparking up a conversation with someone who might not get the chance to see or have a loved one around over the seasonal period. Mutual friendship is encouraged by taking walks, grabbing cups of tea, and maybe even beating your new companion at various boardgames in an effort to build on the companionship.

Website: www.southlondoncares.org.uk

Volunteer, Home Or Away

Probably the first thing that springs to mind when you’re cobbling up ideas on how to fill your time at Christmas is volunteering. Whether you’re thinking of flying the nest, or staying close to home, volunteering is a great way to give back and keep yourself busy during this festive time. Do a stint at Oxfam and one of their 750 shops around the UK, or Cancer Research, who have 550+ shops to choose from. Or if charity shops in the UK are a bit too close to home, why not save up the pennies for next year and Christmas volunteer abroad.

Do-it is your ideal guide to find somewhere a suitable distance away from you, or alternatively Charity Job.

Website: www.oxfam.org.uk

House Sitting

This might sound like you’re just hopping off to another house to be on your own but think of Cameron Diaz and/or Kate Winslet in The Holiday and look how it things fared for them! Anyway, if you fancy a bit of a change of scenery this Christmas then house sitting could be the ideal alternative. House Sitter’s UK allow you to look after someone else’s house over the festive period and it’s pretty simple to navigate. Simply have a browse and select a house that suits. All that’s left then is getting in touch with the owner – hopefully it happens as fast as the organisation on The Holiday, eh?!

Website: www.housesittersuk.co.uk

Help The Homeless

We can all agree that winter can be a bit of a rollercoaster, especially where Christmas is involved. But imagine what all of these factors would be like if you’re homeless. It begins to take a toll on physical, emotional and mental health, and homelessness rising at a drastic rate. To help do your bit this winter we’ve rounded up 9 ways to help make a difference. Here’s how to help the homeless this winter.

Spellbinding Winter Pop-Ups

Just because you’re spending Christmas time alone, it definitely doesn’t prohibit you from visiting all of the festive pop-ups across the city. From multi sensory light displays, to cosy winter terraces, Hogwarts in the snow and gingerbread cities. London is ablaze with things to do this festive period, and who says solo is no-go?!

Website: www.thehandbook.com

Good Gym

GoodGym seeks to help the community by combining running with being together with others also perhaps alone. The group has already accomplished over 182,000 good deeds since its launch in 2008 proving it’s a group that has your happiness as their primary focus. There are over 57 areas for you across the UK to join in at which means you have absolutely no excuse to run off that Christmas pudding. Thank us later!

Website: www.goodgym.org

Food, Glorious Food

Just because you’re spending Christmas alone doesn’t mean you can be merry and indulge in a vast amount of food (and all of the trimmings)! We’ve scoured the supermarkets and picked out their very best Christmas treats for 2019, so if you have friends who want to escape the raptures of their family and snoring aunts and uncles then why not lure them away to your abode with the promise of a festive feast. Or, alternatively, pig out solo and don’t feel guilty as there’s no-one judging!

Website: Christmas Treats This Way...

Stay At A Hostel

This one might seem a little odd but if you’re a hardened traveller, you’ll understand. Most staying at hostels this Winter are away from home, exploring the depths of London, so why not join them! Spark up a conversation and kindle a new friendship this Christmas. Plus, you’ll practically be their personal tour guide – serious friendship points.

Website: www.hostelworld.com

What To Watch On Telly This Christmas

Last, but by no means least, Christmas telly is a fail proof way to pass the days when it comes to Christmas. This year, there’s no shortage of hilarity and drama on the telly or Netflix! From the return of our beloved Gavin & Stacey, to Jack Whitehall’s hilarious Christmas special, you’ll be able to knock back a few eggnogs, enjoy a mince pie and be merry watching these Christmas classics, old and new.

Website: www.thehandbook.com