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How to Deal with Christmas Day If You Have a Space at the Dinner Table

Christmas, as we all know, is a wonderfully festive period. It’s a time for family, friends, and fabulous food. Or, maybe just the food! I mean, ‘pigs in blankets’, need I say more?!

But putting thoughts about festive food to the side, for a very short while at least, Christmas can be a difficult time for some. Indeed, whilst many families are blessed to have every person they wish joining them for Christmas Day, others have to cope with very noticeable absences. I am one of the latter, having lost my Father three years ago. He was a man of quick humour, who had a twinkle in the eye, and was a brilliant upholder of Christmas traditions. Indeed, he was the brightest of lights, who is missed more deeply with every passing year.

So, to those who have absences around the dinner table too, I understand how it feels. But not to worry, we here at HCX have noted a few ways of making Christmas Day a bit more bearable…

1. Talk about them.

This sounds like an obvious one, we know, but it’s important to share memories about them. You’ll have a roller-coaster of emotions during the Christmas period, and it’s good to let them all flow out – be it tears, laughter, or both!

2. Watch something cheerful on TV.

There’s almost an overwhelming amount of choice of programmes and films on Christmas Day. Pick something that is light and funny, rather than The Snowman. The strains of the song “Walking in the Air” (honestly, if we hear that song once more…) is enough to set even the happiest person on earth balling into their second round of turkey sandwiches! So, avoid sad things at all costs!

3. Eat tonnes of food.

It’s vital to eat lots of festive food – eating always makes you feel better! A complete Christmas dinner, with all the trimmings, never fails to raise your spirits. Also, stock pile chocolate as if it was running out – you can never have too much!

4. Do something new.

Try to do something new, but also keep your old traditions. You could change where you spend Christmas and go to another family member’s house or, perhaps, take a walk in a different area. By doing something new, no matter how small, it helps to reduce some of the nostalgia, which is particularly difficult.

5. Spoil the little ones rotten.

Nothing is as heart-warming as watching the excitement and happiness of children on Christmas Day. So if you are spending the day with any little ones just sit back and take in their euphoria (and probably a scene of carnage with wrapping paper and toys strewn everywhere!) It will lift your spirits immediately. Especially when they are really enthusiastic about the box, as well as the present inside it! Well, on second thoughts, they’re probably more excited by the box… but, you know…

6. Spoil your friends and family, too.

We tend to forget, with all the hype, that Christmas is a season to be charitable and caring. And nothing beats the feeling of doing something for a friend or family member that they will really appreciate. Seeing their happiness and surprise inspires the best feeling!


Our hearts go out to anyone who has an absent place at the dinner table this festive season. You are not alone, and you will get through it. Surround yourself with family and friends, laugh and cry together. And most importantly: love. For, as the saying goes, “there is only one happiness in life: to love and be loved.” And what better time is there than Christmas, where you’ll find that love actually is all around.

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