The holidays are so kid-centric in our culture and there’s nothing wrong with that! However, for those of us who do not have children in our homes, it can be easy to feel left out of the fun or like we’re enjoying a less magical version of the day.
Whether you are a young, single person, an empty nester or someone who is a “mom” age but doesn’t have children, here are a few simple tips for helping you enjoy the holidays without children in your home!
#1 Celebrate the children in your life
None of these ideas are meant to replace the longing you might have for children of your own. However, if you have strong maternal instincts or enjoy doing “kid” stuff – find some children to celebrate!
An obvious place to start is with the children in your family – grandchildren, nieces and nephews or in some cases, younger siblings. If you don’t have any children in your family, perhaps you could “adopt” a family from your church or neighborhood.
- Pick up those cute holiday themed items at the Dollar Tree and make goodie bags for them.
- Send them Valentines Day cards in the mail, stuffed with stickers or more Valentines that they can share with their friends.
- Invite them over for an Easter Egg hunt in your back yard.
- Host a sleepover at your house during Christmas break, and let everyone camp out by the Christmas tree (my friend and her husband did this and I think it’s such a great idea!).
- Find some college students to celebrate – they love food, thoughtful gifts and hospitality! College students aren’t children, but they are in the perfect stage in life to be “adopted” by a family while they’re away from their own.
#2 Take advantage of your kid-free lifestyle
There are lots of things you get to do because you don’t have children at home – and it’s okay to enjoy them (and even celebrate them, especially if you’re an empty nester)! Here’s an example from my personal life – I discovered that spending Christmas Day at home, just the two of us, isn’t as cozy and romantic as I thought it would be. It ends up feeling like just another day at home!
This year we made reservations at a very nice restaurant downtown – some place much fancier than a regular date night destination. We got dressed up and enjoyed a lovely Christmas meal in a quiet, romantic setting – just the two of us.
I’ll be honest. At first, it felt a little weird to celebrate Christmas – a “family” holiday – with just the two of us, but we are a family! We had such a nice time and created some very special memories that I will treasure.
At Christmas, take advantage of your season of life by doing extra decorating, baking or crafting. If you’re an empty nester and you’d enjoy a themed tree with all matching ornaments instead of the “collected” ornament look that you’ve done for years – go for it! I always enjoy my themed tree in the main part of the house, while still treasuring the sentimental ornaments on a smaller tree in my home office.
#3 Focus on Others
Especially with social media playing such a big role in our lives, it can be easy to feel like the people with children have all the fun and get to do all the “special” things like teacher gifts, class parties and more. If you find yourself feeling left out of the fun, find someone outside of those areas that could use some encouragement or appreciation.
Instead of doing teacher gifts at Christmas, you could make little gift bags for the people who work in your grocery pick up service. I did this at Christmas and they all loved it! Instead of making a million Valentines for classroom exchange, you could send cards to home bound members of your church (your church office would probably be happy to supply you with a list of addresses!).
My family has received such a blessing over the years by visiting hospital waiting rooms on major holidays, especially Christmas Eve. We make little gift bags with homemade cookies and candy canes and pass them out to families who are spending Christmas in such a sad, lonely place. Check with the front desk before you start – but we’ve never had a hospital tell us no! 🙂
Here are a few more posts you might enjoy:
- The Question That You Should Stop Asking: “Are you ever going to have kids?”
- 10 Things You Can Do To Support The Foster Parents in Your Life
- I’m Not A Parent. Do I Have Anything To Offer?
I am certainly not proposing that these things will diminish your desire to have children, or that they are a good replacement for the feelings of longing you may have in your heart. It is my desire that these suggestions will encourage you and help you to enjoy the holidays in whatever season of live you currently abide. ❤
8 thoughts on “How To Enjoy The Holidays – When There Are No Children In Your Home”
This is a beautiful post – thank you 🙏 For years I spent Christmas sort of sad and longing for something else when it was just myself and my husband. This post is so needed as there are so many people in this situation. It’s really good to have this situation addressed and some solutions/ encouragement offered- This should be shared all over during the holiday seasons 👍
🙏😄Bless you 💛
Thank you, Jen! Much love to you! ❤
These are the nicest ideas! I love the idea of gifting the grocery pick-up people!! I bet they will be so surprised. When I used to teach, a mom brought hot chocolate to those of us doing outside bus duty. It was a very cold day and that hot chocolate was so appreciated. I’ll never forget it! Thanks for sharing such sweet ideas. 🙂
Stacey, you’re right! You never know how a small, thoughtful gift like that will impact someone. Love that!
These are such thoughtful ideas for the holidays! I love your focus on others – other people and other children. I look back fondly the years where my main focus was being an aunt, family friend and teacher to other people’s children. We were in a season of waiting for our own children for a few of those years so by focusing on others it really helped me find joy in the holidays. The joy you have in serving other people is obvious. I really believe that everyone has a special place and a special ministry to carry out. I love watching yours unfold. Thanks for sharing!
Thank you, friend! ❤ I have always been inspired by the things you send your family, especially when you lived farther away from them!
Great ideas Whitney. We had a quiet Christmas as our adult children were home with their families. Instead of fussing or feeling sorry for yourself it is good to find something fun to do. We went to see Star Wars in the afternoon. I send gift cards to Chick Fil A and Dairy Queen to my grands who live away. That way they know Nana is thinking of them even though we do not see each other as much as we would like. I am also sending them letters as well. Who does not like to get a card in the mail?
I love that you had a fun movie date over Christmas, that’s a great idea!! Love the gift card idea – it’s getting so expensive to ship boxes to my out of state family that I’m always looking for ideas that can be mailed in a card. Thanks for that!