How Can Single Moms Thrive this Holiday Season?

Christmas is almost here.  Though it can be tough in many ways, there’s much you can do as a single mom in laying the ground work for favorable memories. Sometimes moms just need to be proactive in making room for joy.  So here’s a few planning tips that will allow God to extend His presence into your holiday experience.

  • Redefine the definition of family. A household does not need a physical husband in order to be complete. Wholeness is not found in marriage but in Christ. Jesus is your husband, and He alone can fill every void.
  • Instead of focusing on what’s going wrong, focus on what’s going right. We get to choose what we think. We are a sum of our thoughts; therefore, if you want joy, choose God’s thoughts.  If you want hopelessness, choose your thoughts.
  • Start new family traditions. Christmas doesn’t have to look like years past. Force yourself to engage in creative activities.  For example, buy red and green pajamas for the children followed by a movie night.  Make a popcorn garland and nibble away.
  • Put an emotional alarm system around your heart. Avoid going places that take you down the wrong path.  God deals bountifully with those who do life His way.
  • Do something out of the ordinary. Volunteer or treat yourself to a massage. Go to an event you normally would not attend. Expose yourself to new adventures you’ve never had time for in the past: opera, sports events. Partake in the season in a new light.
  • Don’t try to eradicate the pain with alcohol or drugs or excessive shopping. Ignoring the root problem by numbing the emotional tension only creates a deeper hole to dig out of when the January “Happy New Year” appears on your calendar. 
  • Be realistic with “what is.” Accept your difficulty and loss. When you fight it, you can’t receive God’s peace. Our greatest times to experience God’s nearness happen when we’re struggling. Call on Jesus and remember, this too shall pass. 
  • Lower your expectations.  Don’t expect others to fill your emptiness. We can’t rely on our friends, former spouses or even children to meet the deepest needs of our hearts.  Only Christ is able.  
  • Dive into God’s Word. Find creative ways to meditate on Scripture. Make Christmas about the Savior. Write your feelings to God in a journal.  Draw near to Him, and He will draw near to you.  I still have my single-mom journals. It became my life source, a discipline I still practice today.
  • And remember, this is only ONE season out of your life.  If you live to be ninety, this December will one day be only a distant memory; however, it does matter this year in the well-being of your children. So live it intentionally as if it’s the last one you’ll have to invest in their holiday album of treasured memories.

And now may the Lord give increase to you and your children. Psalm115:14 

About Pam Kanaly   Read more by this author...

Aloha! I’m Pam Kanaly, President and co-founder of Arise Ministries. But actually, I think Arise found me wanting to bless single moms years ago. Ministry was never on my mind as a kid. All I wanted to be was a hula dancer. So Mother enrolled me in the tiny tots’ class. Guess God knew I'd have two grandbabies born in Hawaii. I love the great outdoors. You might even find me spending time with my husband grizzly bear watching or camping. In fact, it was on a turkey hunt that God gave me the name Arise Ministries in 2002. I suppose it’s a good thing that I majored in Grammar in college since I love to write words of encouragement to single moms. Join me at

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