Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Single at Christmas?

Here are a few Christmas tidbits for singles from one of our favorite experts, Dr. Stephen Simpson PH.D., Director of Clinical Training and Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychology School of Psychology at Fuller Theological Seminary.

1) Make it a religious holiday . . . oh, wait, it already is! Focus on the spiritual significance of Christ's birth and seek out quieter, more reflective events instead of the usual gift-wrapped holiday fare.

2) Do your best not to be alone, even if it means spending time with people who -- how can I say this? -- aren't your favorite humans. As long as it's not someone who makes you more depressed, like a hyper-criticial family member, being around others can give you a greater sense of belonging.

3) Hand-deliver Christmas cards to local friends and family. It will give you time to reconnect that a mailed card doesn't.

4) This one is The Single's Secret Yuletide Weapon -- spend time with those who need it most. Don't just pull a "Christmas Shoes" and throw some extra cash to a needy person, actually spend time with them. Work at a homeless shelter and spend the night there. Help out at a soup kitchen and, after you eat, spend time in conversation and community with the residents. You'll learn more about courage, grace, and love than you thought possible. There are dozens of other opportunities -- visit the shut-in elderly, bring gifts (and your time) to a crisis pregnancy facility, or just get a group together and come up with your own ad hoc ministry. You'll be spending time with God's children and see that you can make a tremendous difference in people's lives. You might also realize that you're blessed in ways you didn't notice before.

5) Of course, you could always go crazy and ask someone out on a date . . .

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