During the busiest of seasons, take a moment, an afternoon, a day to be still. Celebrate the joys of solitude with time set aside for thinking, dreaming, and quiet relaxation.
At Christmastime, opportunities for fellowship are everywhere. Stores and streets are filled with busy shoppers, friends and family come to visit, and it seems as though not an evening goes by without a get-together. But as wonderful and fulfilling as this season of camaraderie can be, there is something about a day of solitude that can nourish the spirit and renew the mind.
When such a day presents itself—one with no prior commitments, no one to tend to, and no set agenda—it is a thing of sheer bliss. The hours ahead have so much potential—what will fill these precious solo moments? When the front door closes behind your children and husband, the sudden silence envelops you easily and comfortably like a favorite blanket, easing away thoughts of any lingering to-do tasks or unfinished chores. The quiet of an empty house gives new weight to wandering thoughts and encourages your creativity to ignite. Ideas and inspiration for future endeavors take wing, and no daydream is too frivolous. As Johann Wolfgang von Goethe said, “A creation of importance can only be produced when its author isolates himself, it is a child of solitude.”
When the wheels of your imagination begin to slow and the morning settles into afternoon, stretch out on a cozy chaise awash in sunlight. Tip your head back, and revel in the gentle warmth of the golden rays. Get comfortable, and then lose yourself in the beauty of Emily Dickinson’s poetry or the suspenseful prose of Agatha Christie, secure in the knowledge that there will be no knocks at the door or voices in the hall to disturb your escape. A fragrant, steaming cup of hot tea will serve to lull you further into your reverie, and a catnap—brief but luxurious—is not out of the question.
Especially during the holidays, when your home is dressed and bedecked with fir swags, glistening candles, and a beautiful tree bathed in twinkling light, a reflective day spent indoors is gratifying. The sentiment attached to your treasured decorations inspires reminiscences of holidays past, especially as the lilting sound of classic carols whirls throughout the house. It feels natural to retreat, if just for a moment, into the child whose excitement for Christmas morning can hardly be contained. Sing along with the old familiar songs, and shake the biggest packages under the tree, guessing at what could be contained inside.
As the day winds to a close and the house is no longer only yours, you’ll know that the lingering peace from your day of solitude will continue throughout the rest of the holiday season, reminding you that time spent alone will always be time well spent.