It’s just another day of the year; why do we place so much emphasis on it? Why must we demand so much of ourselves and this one day, that it can leave us in tears if we feel we don’t measure up? And even worse, if we’re alone on this day, it’s incredibly easy to decide that this means something bad about us: nobody wants to spend Christmas with us, we’re not lovable, the list goes on.

If this is you this Christmas season, I’d challenge you to take a step back and see if you can view the holidays in a different way. What if, your loneliness this season was the springboard that set in motion a chain of connection and happiness that spread to other lonely folk?

While it’s perfectly natural to assume that your singledom is a unique experience, the truth is that it’s far more likely that there are many other people experiencing the same painful feelings as you. Because nobody talks about feeling unhappy or lonely at this time of year, they are harder to spot. But believe me, they are out there, just as much as you are out there, walking through the shopping mall, wondering why everyone else is so happy and you are not.

Take a step back and regroup. What if you could take this situation and turn it right around? What I’d like you to do is to reach out to five people who you suspect might be spending somewhat of an orphan Christmas this year. And by that I mean, they live far from family, they’ve recently had a loss, they are isolated and have few friends to call upon; you understand what I mean.

And I’d like you to craft a carefully worded invitation to those people to join you for an orphan Christmas. You might even want to invite 10 instead of 5, since it’s likely some will decline. You’ll be inviting them for an evening of fun and good food, and yes you will be the host. If this scares you a bit, all the better. This is your chance to grow.

And if you succeed and some of your invitees accept, well then it’s time to get to work and make some plans. You will no longer be feeling lonely, you’ll be feeling energized. Yes, it might be a bit anxiety-provoking to have virtual strangers to your house, but if you don’t want to spend Christmas alone, then this is the perfect solution.

And if you’re still not sure, consider this: how many people are spending the holiday alone? How many do you think will reach out to you instead of you reaching out to them? The odds are very few (unless they are also reading this). Be unique. Be a leader. Step out of your comfort zone this holiday season. You might be surprised by the new friends you make and how opening your door leads to many beautiful adventures you never could have imagined.