I know that a lot of carers are going to be on their own this Christmas and I wanted to share with you (about) my own experiences of spending Christmas day on my own for 10 years and what I did to prepare for the day with all the goodies that I love. 

It was my second Christmas day on my own; as my twins were for the second year running spending it at their girlfriend’s houses for Christmas dinner and left on Christmas Eve so I had the house to myself.  So on Christmas Eve my preparation began, I prepared snack food like chopped up peppers and I made hummus from scratch. I made sure my Bailey's was in the fridge chilling, (I have a tradition of only drinking bailey’s on Christmas Day). My ice cubes were in the freezer, I prepared my Christmas lunch which was my favourite meal - a fry up and I always buy the best sausages and bacon etc that I would not normally buy. I made a homemade vanilla ice cream for pudding, (2 litres). I then went to bed with a glass of wine and watched Dirty Dancing and sang really loudly to all the songs and looked at my Patrick Swayze poster that was beside my bed on the wall. I put my presents at the bottom of my bed for me to open on Christmas morning (these were presents that I bought myself as I didn't really get presents then until Boxing Day).

I got up Christmas morning and opened my presents; they consisted of my favourite perfume which is Youth Dew from Estee Lauder, new PJ's, new dressing gown and new fluffy socks.  I then went downstairs, had a shower, put all my new clothes on i.e. the presents that I had just opened. I then put the kettle on and made myself an Irish coffee with Bailey's mmmm. I then ate my hummus with the chopped up peppers.  

I had decided when I knew I was going to be on my own that the day’s theme was going to be watching all the Catherine Cookson films. In those days, as this was 12 years ago, I had recorded all the Catherine Cookson’s but had not got around to watching them yet. But, in 2020 you can find everything on catch up so you have no need to record your favourite programmes, they are just there on the internet somewhere. Well over the course of the day people kept ringing me and interrupting my day which I thought was very rude of them but felt I had to talk to them much to my annoyance, I wished them a quick Happy Christmas and then got back to the films. 

My friend, rang me, as she had been arguing through the night with her boyfriend and said can I come to you for the day?, What a dilemma that was! How dare she want to come and spoil my day on my own. However, reluctantly I allowed her to come but on the condition that she brought her own alcohol and food for lunch as she is a vegetarian and would not want a fry up for lunch. Oh and I insisted that she had to wear PJ's and slippers! She agreed to this and as she was only up the street and she was at mine in minutes. We both cooked our dinners, which for me was my fry up and for her a nut roast with veg. We sat down with the next Catherine Cookson film and chatted while we watched; she vented that her boyfriend was such a ‘bah humbug’ which he was as he did not do Christmas at all but she had thought it would be a good surprise, as it was their first Christmas together and she really loved Christmas, she decided to decorate the whole house with decorations and she even had four trees! He had been away working and got back Christmas Eve to a ‘Santa's grotto’ as he put it and had asked her to take everything down immediately. Hence the all night argument.  

Anyway, about 2.30pm I got a phone call from my eldest son to say, ‘I have had an argument with my girlfriend and can he and his friend come for the day to mine, oh and have you got any food and beer that we can have; again the same rules applied to them as they did for my friend, so they came to join us. So my Christmas day ended up with the four of us instead of just me.

We ended up having a lush day. We watched the Catherine Cookson's then played games, drank, and they ate all my ice cream. Mmm not happy with that one but I did have to share it, after all it was Christmas. The day ended up a great day and we had fun.

I think the point of the story is when I prepared for the following 8 Christmases on my own I planned and did what I wanted to do. It’s important to do what you feel is best and do not feel like you are on your own...after all it is only one day out of 365.