Being alone at Christmastime, whether it's from choice or circumstance, can be very difficult. It feels as though everyone around you is bustling around, filling their shopping trolleys with things to share, the media urging you to buy and every image seems to be filled with happy families enjoying their blissful time together.

Instead of celebration, Christmas becomes a time of dread and sometimes depression. If you know that this is not a good time of year for you, plan ahead. Make sure you have something to look forward to on the day.

Here are some things that you can do to not only alleviate your loneliness, but could help others too.

  • Hire your 3 favourite movies, put on a Santa hat and enjoy the fact that you are sole commander of the remote control
  • Go to Church, sing really loudly and shake someones hand. They will be glad you did
  • Buy a gift for someone else, and wrap it up. Go out on Christmas day and give it to the first person you see
  • Set up a chess board, with 2 seats, play yourself and make helpful play hints to your 'opponent' in a French accent
  • Make your favourite food for lunch, set the table with your best china and put on 'I'm dreaming of a white Christmas'
  • Invite someone else to lunch and take really good care of them
  • Join a 'virtual' Christmas party
  • If you get invited to a celebration, say yes instead of no
  • Volunteer
  • Make some mince pies and drop them off to your neighbours
  • Buy yourself a gift, to unwrap on the day. Enjoy a moment of saying out loud 'I wonder who this is from?'
  • Write a list of at least 20 (no less) things you are grateful for
  • Take a ferry or a bus trip to somewhere new
  • Get a list of 10 people in the local old peoples home who will be alone. Write them a Christmas card and drop it in, in person
  • Put on reindeer antlers for the day and each time walk past a mirror, look in and give yourself a wink
  • Dress up as the Easter Bunny.......