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'Christmas is a cruel time for lonely Swedes'

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'Christmas is a cruel time for lonely Swedes'
What do you do if you're alone at Christmas? Photo: Carolina Romare/imagebank.sweden.se
08:18 CET+01:00
Alexandra Charles, founder of Sweden's non-profit women's health organization '1.6 million club', explains why she thinks that Christmas is a cruel holiday for those who are lonely in the Nordic nation.

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.

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.

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