• Sweden's news in English

'Christmas is a cruel time for lonely Swedes'

The Local · 22 Dec 2015, 08:18

Published: 22 Dec 2015 08:18 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

A close friend of mine once told me that she dreaded weekends, because at the weekend, her phone went quiet.

Christmas is for most people the biggest family-and-friend-based holiday of the year. It is the day -- or 'weekend' -- when we are suppose to be surrounded by our loved ones.

But for my friend, this weekend was quiet. Nobody tried to contact her. And she felt really lonely.

This woman is from a big family, and she has both children and grandchildren. But she does not live in the same country as them.

She has a lot of neighbours, but they probably thought that she were always busy with something fancy and important.

Everyone that has a family usually gathers with them on every big holiday and even if you live alone, people expect you to get invited by family and friends to some gathering.

We want to believe that everybody has someone. But that is not the case. Many people do not have any relatives, or family.

READ ALSO: Swedish woman so lonely she 'wanted to die'

Think about your old friends that you have not contacted for a while during holidays. Especially around Christmas.

Maybe some of your neighbours live alone. Someone who is older. Call them, invite them. Share some joy.

Christmas is a cruel holiday for people who are lonely. Both for those who are old or perhaps those who are sick. The expectations are so high, when Christmas is arriving.

We feel forced to spend Christmas around people and feel joy and shine just as bright as the stars.

But with age, the amount of friends we have naturally reduces. But no matter what age we are, we all get just as happy by a phone call, a spontaneous mail or text message: "What are you doing tonight? Tomorrow? Come over to my place for a cup of coffee!"

The point is to see each other.

Many people who are in the middle of their lives have change friends, partners, and that can cause tensions before they meet new friends and connect with new people.

Another group of people who might feel lonely are those who work a lot, and their friends assume that they don’t have the time to meet up, just because on another occasion they had to say no to meet up for dinner or lunch.

But try again! Do not take “No, I’m busy” as a no to every other occasion.

Story continues below…

Imagine if we could be less dramatic about being friends. Call each other more spontaneously. "What are you doing today? Tonight?" Meet up for a drink, a simple dinner, without having to invite each other far in advance.

Christmas is suppose to be a time of joy, for children, adults, youths and elders. Let us be humble, not only with Christmas gifts but also with our time and commitment for each other!

Think about the people who came here with nothing. No roof, food or contacts.

To make someone else happy, care for other people and give love, do some good!

Alexandra Charles. Photo: Angelica Engström

This opinion piece was written by the founder of the non-profit women's health organization '1.6 million club' Alexandra Charles. The article was originally published in Swedish in SVT Opinion.

For more news from Sweden, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Today's headlines
Hundreds protest Swedish asylum laws
Around 1,000 people protested in Stockholm. Photo: Fredrik Persson/ TT

Hundreds of people on Saturday demonstrated in Stockholm and in many other parts of the country to protest Sweden’s tough new laws on asylum-seekers.

Dylan removes Nobel-mention from website
The American musician has more or less responded to the news with silence. Photo: Per Wahlberg

American singer-song writer Bob Dylan has removed any mention of him being named one of this year’s Nobel Prize laureates on his official website.

Refugee crisis
Asylum requests in Sweden down by 70 percent
Sweden's migration minister Morgan Johansson. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

Sweden received 70 percent fewer requests for asylum in the period between January and September 2016 than it did during the same time last year, the country’s justice and migration minister Morgan Johansson has revealed.

The unique story of Stockholm's floating libraries
The Stockholm archipelago book boat. Photo: Roger Hill.

Writer Roger Hill details his journeys on the boats that carry books over Stockholm's waterways and to its most remote places.

Refugee crisis
Second Stockholm asylum centre fire in a week
The new incident follows a similar fire in Fagersjö last week (pictured). Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Police suspect arson in the blaze, as well as a similar incident which occurred last Sunday.

More misery for Ericsson as losses pile up
Ericsson interim CEO Jan Frykhammar presenting its third quarter results. Photo: Claudio Bresciani/TT

The bad news just keeps coming from the Swedish telecoms giant.

Facebook 'sorry' for removing Swedish cancer video
A computer displaying Facebook's landing page. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

The social media giant had censored a video explaining how women should check for suspicious lumps in their breasts.

Watch this amazing footage of Sweden’s landscapes
A still from the aerial footage of Sweden. Photo: Nate Summer-Cook

The spectacular drone footage captures both Sweden's south and the opposite extreme, thousands of kilometres north.

Sweden could be allowed to keep border controls: EU
Police ID checks at Hyllie station in southern Sweden. Photo: Stig-Åke Jönsson/TT

Sweden could be allowed to keep ID controls on its border with Denmark beyond the current end date of November, following discussions among EU leaders in Brussels last night.

Why women in Sweden will work for free by November
File photo of a woman working in a Swedish office. Photo: Anders Willund/TT

A new study into the gender pay gap suggests Sweden still has some work to do.

Sponsored Article
This is Malmö: Football capital of Sweden
Fury at plans that 'threaten the IB's survival' in Sweden
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Here's where it could snow in central Sweden this weekend
Analysis & Opinion
Are we just going to let half the country die?
Blog updates

6 October

10 useful hjälpverb (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I think the so-called “hjalpverb” (auxiliary verbs in English) are a good way to get…" READ »


8 July

Editor’s blog, July 8th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hej readers, It has, as always, been a bizarre, serious and hilarious week in Sweden. You…" READ »

Sponsored Article
7 reasons you should join Sweden's 'a-kassa'
Angry elk chases Swede up a lamp post
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
The Local Voices
'Alienation in Sweden feels better: I find myself a stranger among scores of aliens'
People-watching: October 20th
The Local Voices
A layover at Qatar airport brought this Swedish-Kenyan couple together - now they're heading for marriage
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Swede punches clown that scared his grandmother
Sponsored Article
Swedish for programmers: 'It changed my life'
Fans throw flares and enter pitch in Swedish football riot
Could Swedish blood test solve 'Making a Murderer'?
Sponsored Article
Top 7 tips to help you learn Swedish
Property of the week: Linnéstaden, Gothenburg
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Swedish school to build gender neutral changing room
People-watching: October 14th-16th
Sponsored Article
'There was no future for me in Turkey'
Man in Sweden assaulted by clowns with broken bottle
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
Nobel Prize 2016: Literature
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Watch the man who discovered Bob Dylan react to his Nobel Prize win
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Record numbers emigrating from Sweden
Sponsored Article
'There was no future for me in Turkey'
People-watching: October 12th
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
The Local Voices
'Swedish startups should embrace newcomers' talents - there's nothing to fear'
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How far right are the Sweden Democrats?
Property of the week: Triangeln, Malmö
Sweden unveils Europe's first elk hut
People-watching: October 7th-9th
The Local Voices
Syria's White Helmets: The Nobel Peace Prize would have meant a lot, but pulling a child from rubble is the greatest reward
Missing rune stone turns up in Sweden
Nobel Prize 2016: Chemistry
jobs available