While this time of the year is usually filled with opportunities for merriment, for many people, the holidays can be a lonely and challenging time. Spending time alone can offer opportunities for self-reflection and personal growth, but it can be tough to find joy in solitude during a season that emphasizes holiday cheer.

The good news is that there are various ways you can show love and support to friends who are spending the holidays alone if you are unable to visit them due to scheduling or financial constraints. From delivering baskets filled with delicious treats to exchanging heartfelt cards expressing gratitude and affection, here are 10 ideas to help you stay connected and build community with those who may be feeling most isolated during this season.

1. Reach Out

Initiating contact is a great first step. Make sure to inquire about how they are coping with being alone during the holidays before assuming their feelings. They might be looking forward to a break from lengthy family gatherings, or they could be feeling saddened by not being able to be with loved ones. By checking in, you’re giving your friend an opportunity to share their emotions and offering them a supportive space.

This is also an ideal time to suggest additional resources to your friend if they require extra assistance. This might involve encouraging them to reach out to their therapist or scheduling a phone or video call with their family. Listen to their needs and offer suggestions that can further assist them.

2. Encourage Rest

During the holidays, many of us have a few days off work and could benefit from some rest. Compile a selection of their favorite holiday episodes, recommend books they’ll enjoy, or create a calming playlist of songs to help them relax during their time off. By sharing tools and resources to help them unwind, you are affirming that their well-being is important to you.

3. Enjoy Holiday Movies Together

Watching favorite holiday movies with friends can be comforting and enjoyable. Whether it’s watching movies together through streaming services or video calls, connecting over beloved holiday films can create a sense of togetherness and joy during this festive season.

Put on your coziest pajamas, prepare some holiday-themed snacks, and engage in lively text conversations debating the best Vanessa Hudgens performance in seasonal films. Sharing these moments can bring laughter and warmth to your holiday celebrations.

4. Share Dreams

Shift your focus to the future during conversations with your friend and discuss exciting plans for when you can reunite. Planning activities like themed dinner parties or future trips together can bring light to challenging days, and marking a date on the calendar can add to the anticipation.

5. Deliver a Personalized Basket

Create a thoughtful gift basket filled with your friend’s favorite items such as snacks, baked goods, or scented candles, and leave it as a surprise on their doorstep. You can include a dinner package with wine or a mix of store-bought and homemade treats. Tailor the basket to their preferences to show that you care.

6. Enjoy Holiday Lights

Grab your favorite holiday drink, explore the festive lights in your area, and marvel at the beautiful displays. Walking around and admiring the holiday decorations can lift spirits and create a magical atmosphere to enjoy with your friend.

7. Engage in Virtual Entertainment

Explore various online classes, performances, or activities together. Whether it’s crafting, attending virtual events, working out, or cooking classes, participating in virtual entertainment can be a fun way to bond, learn, and connect despite physical distance.

8. Take a Walk Together

If you live nearby, invite your friend for a walk, especially in cold weather. A walk outdoors can boost mood, provide sunshine, and offer an opportunity to catch up and enjoy each other’s company, even if it’s just for a short time.

9. Volunteer Side by Side

Engage in charitable activities together to uplift spirits and remember the importance of giving back. Explore local volunteering opportunities or participate in online initiatives like sending letters to military personnel or collecting donations for the community. Volunteering can foster empathy and reinforce the spirit of the holiday season.

10. Send a Thoughtful Message

Express your gratitude and appreciation for your friend by highlighting the qualities you admire in them. Compile a list of reasons why you cherish their presence and send them a heartfelt message through a direct message, text, or a handwritten note. Simple gestures of kindness can have a profound impact on strengthening your bond.


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