As we hurtle towards the Christmas season with the first Sunday of Advent on Sunday, many grandparents are asking the same question as they do every year, “How will I survive Christmas.”

It seems we are bombarded from November onwards of happy jolly adverts of happy family gatherings, delighted faces as presents are opened and table bursting with food.

But is that reality?

There will sadly be many thousands of people facing Christmas alone, for all sorts of reasons.

For grandparents who are apart from their families and grandchildren it can be a very lonely time.

For the last few years I have put together a survival guide, so here it is again:

Christmas Survival:

Remember that Christmas is not as appears on the TV ads, not all families are gathering in joy and harmony!


1/Put up lights or a special decoration, maybe a small table top tree.


2/Invite someone else who is alone to spend time with you.


3/Volunteer to help out in one of the many organizations who offer a welcome to those less fortunate than ourselves.


4/Give yourself some quiet time.


5/Remember what Christmas is about. The first Christmas wasn’t full of materialistic things it was about hope.


6/Plan something special.


7/Go somewhere you have never been before.


8/Write a poem or song.


9/Play music, have a film marathon.


10/Have your own act of remembrance, that could be hanging something special on a tree, planting some bulbs or lighting a candle.


11/Go for a walk, look at nature and al that it offers, check out new buds just forming, a sign of Spring.


12/Arrange a Skype chat with others who are feeling low.


13/Indulge a little.


14/ Do something you have never done before.