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To wish people would stop ordering people to volunteer on Christmas Day

(56 Posts)
throughthedeepdarkwoods Sun 27-Nov-16 19:01:25

When people say they are alone for Christmas they are often referring to the full festive period.

Volunteering is a good thing to suggest but it may be impractical, impossible or it may just make people miserable on a day they already find tough.

Can we tactically agree to stop flinging it out as the solution to end all solutions for every conceivable Christmas woe?

AnchorDownDeepBreath Sun 27-Nov-16 19:05:06

It's the busiest time for volunteers, too. You have to join a ballot round here to see if you can do Christmas. It's packed! Lots of people want to volunteer then.

I think it's one of those things someone will always suggest though. It makes them feel like they've given a proper potential solution and everyone likes to feel like they've helped!

buddhasbelly Sun 27-Nov-16 19:06:22

I started a thread in Christmas asking for coping strategies for Christmas day. The posters that suggested volunteering also said they would be thinking of me, I felt touched tbh.

Suggesting volunteering is giving someone a focus that the day could turn into a positive/productive experience, which is a mindset that someone needs if they're already in a bad situation.

harderandharder2breathe Sun 27-Nov-16 19:06:29


I'm spending Christmas alone and no intention of volunteering. I don't drive which limits places I can get to as no buses or trains on Christmas Day and I'm not willing to pay 3x usual cost of a taxi to volunteer

I do volunteer all year round btw

throughthedeepdarkwoods Sun 27-Nov-16 19:07:59

Yes, either not driving or not having access to a car was one of the major problems i was thinking of!

There's no actual harm in it but it does tend to be blithely trotted out as the solution to end all solutions for Christmas loneliness.

ilovesooty Sun 27-Nov-16 19:08:01

You have to sign up really early if you plan to volunteer. I'm doing it this year and will have to attend an induction day beforehand as well. Unlike most years the prospect of being on my own won't apply.

ilovesooty Sun 27-Nov-16 19:09:02

I don't recall anyone "ordering" people to volunteer either.

throughthedeepdarkwoods Sun 27-Nov-16 19:10:46

ilovesooty - so sorry, I don't fully understand the final sentence of your 19:08 post. Could you clarify? smile

Yes, 'order' was a poor choice of words but I suppose I am thinking of when someone's poured their heart out for several paragraphs and get a curt response of 'volunteer somewhere'!

lougle Sun 27-Nov-16 19:11:07

<Checks this is an AIBU>

YABU, I think. It isn't something that many people will think of and for some people looking outward instead of focusing on their own loneliness is a solution to it. For others it won't be, but if everyone stops suggesting it, then for the people who it really is a solution, it will be gone.

And what's the alternative, for people to suck their teeth and say 'aye you're right, it sucks and there's nowt you can do about it'?

Perhaps the real solution is for people to be able to openly say at the beginning of their post whether they are posting for a moan and empathy, or whether they want the situation to actively change. For most people, barring a miraculous swap in circumstances, that will mean a gradual shift in behaviours and lifestyle.

Allovertheworld16 Sun 27-Nov-16 19:11:38

I know what you mean. When I did the Samaritans there were loads of volunteers for Christmas Day.

TheWitTank Sun 27-Nov-16 19:11:39

It's a suggestion, not an order! Usually offered amongst other suggestions like clubs, holidays etc.

Matchingbluesocks Sun 27-Nov-16 19:12:01

Yanbu, not sure why spending Xmas with strangers is better than having it alone really

throughthedeepdarkwoods Sun 27-Nov-16 19:14:10

Sometimes it's phrased a bit as an order though! grin

ilovesooty Sun 27-Nov-16 19:15:02

I meant that for once, because I'm volunteering I won't feel isolated.

Matching I don't know how much experience you have of being alone at Christmas but I fully expect it to be an improvement.

throughthedeepdarkwoods Sun 27-Nov-16 19:16:25

I see - apologies; I've slept awfully this weekend! I see what you mean now.

I hope you have a great day fsmile

ilovesooty Sun 27-Nov-16 19:16:25

I don't think I've ever seen it phrased as an order.
I think YABU if you expect people not to offer it as a possible option.

ilovesooty Sun 27-Nov-16 19:17:29

Thank you. I'm volunteering with a similar client group to the one I work with and think I'll enjoy it. smile

throughthedeepdarkwoods Sun 27-Nov-16 19:17:35

Oh it's an option, definitely. I just feel a little sensitive about it as I'd like a whine/cry about it all but I don't want to in turn look like I'm knocking back lots of suggestions. fsad

Matchingbluesocks Sun 27-Nov-16 19:17:42

Oh I fairly liked it. Just lazed around and ate whatever I wanted. Bit sad but it's just a day

throughthedeepdarkwoods Sun 27-Nov-16 19:18:54

One of the things I find tricky is that the build up for me ends prematurely so I often find the whole period from the 23rd-ish right through till NY is very isolated. Obviously no ones fault but it just is.

ilovesooty Sun 27-Nov-16 19:19:16

How many times have you done it? Out of necessity I mean?

playmobilpeacock Sun 27-Nov-16 19:19:18


I think these attempts at 'practical' solutions often dismiss the OP's concerns. Most people know that they could volunteer but doing that won't stop someone waking up alone or having no gifts or having no one to share a special meal with.

Sometimes people just need some sympathy and someone to listen, not just the same old trite crap peddled out again and again.

Volunteering anywhere might be fulfilling or a distraction but it's not the same as a family Christmas Day.

ilovesooty Sun 27-Nov-16 19:20:17

At least I can go back to work before New Year. I don't mind a couple of days off.

throughthedeepdarkwoods Sun 27-Nov-16 19:20:29

Yes, you've explained that well, playmobil

jeanne16 Sun 27-Nov-16 19:21:28

I find it fascinating that there is a massive waiting list to volunteer on Christmas Day. Does this mean there are a lot of unhappy, lonely people looking for something to do? It shows just what an over-hyped holiday this has become.

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