Gransnet forums


Widowed, christmas and comfort zones

(74 Posts)
craftyone Mon 17-Jun-19 18:42:02

This year will be the 4th christmas since I was widowed. I am not enjoying the long and tedious christmas break these days. The children do their bit and rotate to take me in but I feel ready now to spread my wings and to go on holiday at christmas. I want to give my AC space to do what they want and I certainly don`t want to be a burden. I have never been a confident traveller, only had one holiday since widowed, a saga cruise, which cost me an arm and a leg

I know I will be out of my comfort zone and am ready to take that leap but don`t know where to start. Any advice is welcome.

Witzend Tue 18-Jun-19 11:13:15

A not-long widowed friend of mine has treated herself to two long-haul Saga singles holidays and really enjoyed them, though I know she was a bit apprehensive beforehand.

At the less expensive end, years ago I went with my mother on a Shearings coach holiday to the Shetlands, after she'd been let down by a friend on a non coach holiday to other Scottish islands.
TBH we had never thought it'd be our sort of thing, but I can honestly say I was incredibly impressed - the organisation was fantastic, you didn't have to worry about a thing, and there were certainly some singles with us. I read not long ago of a widower who goes on 12 Shearings holidays a year! One a month. Obviously not short of cash!

I do hope you find something you will thoroughly enjoy.

lovebooks Tue 18-Jun-19 11:16:39

I lost my husband five years ago, and have hated every Christmas since, so I know precisely where you're at, Craftyone. Have a loving family living a long way away, so the journey's horrendous and overcrowded. Alternatives need to be looked at now, not in November!! Happy to talk if you want to get in touch.

oodles Tue 18-Jun-19 11:40:13

Do have a word with your children and see what they think, what my daughter has discovered is that there are some days over the christmas period where flying is a lot cheaper, boxing day she went off on her hols very cheaply coming back on another v cheap day, maybe something like that might be worth considering, or maybe finding cheap days in the run up to christmas. I don't know if you are near an airport and whether you'd be happy hiring a car abroad, but you could have a lovely explore somewhere nice and warm

Craftycat Tue 18-Jun-19 11:44:03

Enjoy the summer & don't worry about it until at least September. You never know what might crop up before then- you may get an invitation you would really love.
Volunteering at a local centre where they serve a Christmas dinner for the elderly is a great idea. A friend of ours did that for years & loved it.

Daffonanna Tue 18-Jun-19 11:44:40

DH and I marked a milestone birthday with an HF trip to NZ in January . Best holiday ever , with a happy mix of couples and singles . TBH it took a while to work out who was with who and it didn’t really matter . I thought at the time it was a great way to holiday as a single .
Good time to go there , cheaper than at Christmas and something to look forward to if the 25th itself disappoints for any reason . Whatever you decide Craftyone , enjoy the planning and can I be the first to wish you a happy Christmas !!☀️

ReadyMeals Tue 18-Jun-19 11:46:54

If you're not a confident traveller it might be an idea to go on a short Saga break or similar to see if you like going away to spend time with strangers, rather than risk ruining an entire xmas if you didn't.

Wendy Tue 18-Jun-19 11:47:06

Your name suggests that you are into crafts. Have you looked at adverts for holidays in the craft magazines?

jaylucy Tue 18-Jun-19 11:47:39

There are many holidays around Christmas for people that are in the same position as yourself - they don't have to be out of this country.
Speak to you family and explain how you feel - they are no doubt really happy to have you with them, but maybe you could arrange a get together at New Year instead.
Bluebelle - how spiteful ! It is obviously something that is bothering craftyone for some time - just because you don't want to think about it, doesn't mean to say others don't ! It was quite obvious what the post was about, so why even read it, let alone make a comment ?

chezza1 Tue 18-Jun-19 12:09:17

Only holidays we have had at Christmas have been coach holidays both at home and abroad. There has always been singletons on board. Go and enjoy, in your shoes I wouldn't hesitate.

Tamayra Tue 18-Jun-19 12:10:24

How about treating yourself to a few days of well-being over Christmas
Facials, Massage Healthy food
Must be places around that cater for a spoil yourself Christmas 💖

Opalsusanna1 Tue 18-Jun-19 12:13:50

It's a shame to go through all the pain of being widowed and then to feel like a bit of a lost soul at Christmas. A friend of ours has been on Leger coach holidays all over Europe. She's by herself and has had some wonderful times so I think they may be worth a look Craftyone. She says she's met some lovely people and has booked repeat holidays with them. I think they book up quickly though. Good luck and have a good time!

GreenGran78 Tue 18-Jun-19 12:22:31

I can highly recommend Shearings. They have won numerous awards, and are great value.

quizqueen Tue 18-Jun-19 12:25:44

Try a company called 'Just You', they are very good and not as expensive as Saga. You could always go away for New Year instead of Christmas, or are we not allowed to talk about that either!!! Some of these trips have to be booked well in advance,

Hazeld Tue 18-Jun-19 12:36:09

Go for it craftyone and whatever you choose, I hope you have a great time. BlueBelle, I know it's only June but things like holidays have to be found and sorted out well before you travel and besides craftyone is feeling in need of the help and advice now. That's what we're here for after all?

Esmerelda Tue 18-Jun-19 13:21:49

One Traveller do lots of Christmas breaks for mature singles ... they are brilliant!

grandtanteJE65 Tue 18-Jun-19 13:28:39

Could you just ignore the people who think it is too early to start planning, Craftyone, it isn't.

Have you perhaps a friend or acquaintance who like you would rather do something else at Christmas than be included by family, "so you won't be on your one?"

If not, I think I would think seriously about volunteering somewhere, if I were you.

EthelJ Tue 18-Jun-19 13:29:51

I agree Riveria do some good trips.
The tour guides are usually very good. I have been on a couple and made friends on both.

LondonMzFitz Tue 18-Jun-19 13:52:29

I'm a fan of the Escape at Christmas holidays. Separated in 2012, I spent my first "all alone" Christmas (our son, traumatised by the separation, skipped the country in September 2012 and spent 6 months travelling through Asia). Although that first Christmas alone wasn't awful (I dog minded for travelling friends), it wasn't great ... 2013 I went to my sisters with her family, staying at a nearby hotel to give them (and me) space - lots of playing games (great)!, drinking (um, not so much) and smoking pot - Oh So Not Me!! (shudders).
2014 I thought oh sod it, booked in August for a Leger "Singles" Coach Trip to Tuscany (my first time in Italy, the BH (bastard husband) never wanted to go). Loved the trip but. But! I was perhaps the 2nd youngest (at 55) and being a soft sod looked after the lady sitting next to me on the coach who'd had a stroke and couldn't - well, frankly, couldn't manage anything! Cutting up her food at mealtimes etc. Hmmm. It was a great trip, but not the holiday I was hoping for.
2015 I went with Shearings to Venice - but this wasn't a "singles" experience, only 3 of us single ladies; although I ended up on a table with some absolutely fabulous people the couples liked to spend time during the day by themselves and it was a bit lonely.
2016 - One of my Meetup groups organised a trip to Bulgaria, a snow/ski resort at Borovetz. Tiny group of us, organiser, an American lady working in the UK who'd fallen out with her mother (!), a man who had a terrible cold and did the man-flu self indulgent self pitying thing, me - and my son, who'd taken up my offer of paying for him. Well, I had a lot of fun (spa hotel, kid skied, I spa'd!).
2017 - Just You to Zagreb. Big group but very well organised and some lovely people. Zagreb and Christmas Markets, amazing Cathedral. Wine tasting organised.
Good fun!
2018 - Amalfi Coast with Just You again. Be still my beating heart oh so gorgeous! Staying in a little coastal village called Minori, trips to Sorrento, Amalfi town, Ravello, and only blooming Pompeii!!! Group of 38 of us so lots of people to natter to. Superb, frankly.

There are a few odd-bods on these trips, but as one of my favourite people on the Amalfi trip said, if there isn't an odd-bod it probably means you are the odd-bod.

Looking at my options for this Christmas. I highly recommend it - you can be as sociable as you want, or escape and read a book. I work full time so I make the Christmas trip my holiday of the year.

Hope I haven't gone on and on, but I do hope my thoughts are of help to those considering a trip.

pinkjj27 Tue 18-Jun-19 14:18:43

I am a window and have had 2 Christmases’ alone I was dreading it but I love it. However I work full time and enjoy the break alone. Its really not that bad. However not everyone’s cup of tea I know. So here are two sites I have joined, these sites are for women looking for friends in general but I have seen women looking for Christmas buddies in their profiles. They are not dating sites and only women are allowed to join.

First is called girlfriend social

2nd is bumble-BFF

Follow the links for girl friends only. I havent been lonely since I jointed and I am now in a sub girl of ladies that meet up In the South East.

Tillybelle Tue 18-Jun-19 14:29:27


Well done you! I do admire you and think you are wise to let your children have Christmas to themselves. I have been trying to negotiate this for some time but as I do not want to go away they get upset at my being at home alone - yet I live alone all the year and I'm fine!! Never mind!

Just recently another Gnetter mentioned One Traveller for single over fifties and said it was excellent so I'll give you the link:

Glenfinnan Tue 18-Jun-19 14:31:38

I don't think it's too early to plan Christmas as you want to make sure you have time to book. Be brave take a deep breath and perhaps book a coach trip. We went to Italy a few years ago for Christmas and there were lots of solo travellers. Enjoy yourself!

Tillybelle Tue 18-Jun-19 14:37:20

Yes - You need to book now if you are planning a Christmas Away Trip. They book up very quickly especially if you are a single traveller.

Also this OP has written something very thoughtful - that the children have been inviting her in turn but she wants to let them have Christmas together. I think this is very thoughtful and she does need to start booking now.

I booked a British Christian Christmas a few years ago. It was great! A very happy time! Sorry I have lost the website but google will produce many.

Tillybelle Tue 18-Jun-19 14:46:21

craftyone. Just remembered - I took my mum to Scotland with a Coach trip for Christmas. Somewhere next to Loch Lomond. That's a long time ago but surely they still have them? Everything was there - all the food, The Queen (not in person but my mum thought she made up for that) carols quizzes dressing up Midnight Mass Father Christmas etc.
To get a good seat on a coach - book early. So MawBroonsback people need to discuss this now.

Thoroughly recommend it!!

pinkjj27 Tue 18-Jun-19 14:57:14

LondonMzFitz I not sure if it was meant to but your post did make me laugh . Thank you

LondonMzFitz Tue 18-Jun-19 15:21:19

tchconfused & grin