June 12, 2024

Athens News

News in English from Greece

Lonely Christmas


The last days before the holidays are filled with turmoil, frantic attempts to buy gifts for family and friends, food for the holiday table, new clothes for the Christmas party. Everything is already decorated: balconies, shop windows, cafes, taverns.

Saleswomen in shops and cafes are dressed in New Year’s accessories – caps, deer ears and horns, serpentine, rain. Festive music in supermarkets and cafes reminds us of the approach of the most magical holidays – Christmas and New Year. These days everyone is trying to spend time with their dear and loved ones. They say that Christmas is a family holiday. Everyone gathers at a large table, numerous relatives congratulate each other, have fun, dance, sing, and feast on dishes of Greek national cuisine. Many go to the villages to visit their parents or grandparents. In the villages there is a completely different atmosphere and everything is so reminiscent of childhood, when we looked forward to these holidays with great impatience, not only because there were winter holidays and schools were closed, but also because it was time to relax, have fun, meet friends, open gifts, walk outside until late. There were no gadgets and everyone was happy.

But these holidays are not joyful for everyone, not everyone is having fun, not everyone is preparing. Some people find themselves completely alone during the holidays and want them to pass as quickly as possible. For many women who work in homes, the only company for the holidays is a grandmother or grandfather, who needs care, and it’s still good if the relatives of this grandmother give at least some gift or let them go somewhere for a few hours. Our women have probably gotten used to the idea that this is how it is, that we need to be patient a little longer, and then they will return home forever, where their children and grandchildren are waiting for them. Another Christmas alone. Another holiday that doesn’t feel like a holiday. And the soul longs to go where the family is. Single people who do not have a family, divorced women who remember old times and holidays with their husbands, people who have lost family members with whom they spent the previous Christmas are also sad, let alone those who were literally left on the street without a home. and families. An unexpected deterioration in health and a stay in the hospital also overshadows the holiday.

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It is believed that even those who seem to be doing well at first glance are sad. There is a type of depression during the New Year holidays, which manifests itself as a lack of mood, apathy, dissatisfaction with life, and depression. Frequent reasons are not only loneliness, but also excessive expectations from the holidays, the belief that something magical, fairy-tale will come to life, but in reality it does not work out that way. We are used to looking at exemplary families from TV screens, at beautiful pictures and bright lights, but in reality everything is different with us, our family may be different in some way, not as friendly, not as happy. The situation is aggravated by the lack of light and heat, which manifests itself especially in the winter season and has a negative effect on the body. Believers, however, do not often feel lonely, so it would be good to visit church, stand in the service, and pray. These days, for those who feel depressed, psychologists advise walking more, trying to find company to celebrate, being closer to people, not refusing to communicate, not drinking too much, not thinking about financial problems and not remembering the past.

A few days ago, a couple who own a restaurant in London posted an ad on facebook inviting all poor and lonely people to visit their restaurant, taste free mince pie, sweets, listen to Christmas music, talk, hug as if they were members of their family. The restaurant will be open from 12.00 am to 2.00 am specifically for this purpose. The Patel family received numerous messages of gratitude and praise; there were many who shed tears and were sincerely glad that there are still people in the world who give kindness to others.

I think that something similar could be done in Greece. There are a lot of single people here and they all need that feeling of “family”, especially around Christmas time.



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