Join us in the #Gloaming This Holiday Weekend

Enough of the ranting. On with the caring.

We’re coming up on the Christmas weekend. Despite my adamant “Happy Holidays” rants, I know that:

  1. Most people in the US celebrate this holiday in some fashion (whether they’re Christian or not)
  2. Most people view this holiday (if not the whole season) as having something to do with family.

TreeIt can be pretty damn depressing1 when the folks around you are with family and you – for whatever reason – cannot.

I’ve had more than a few situations like that in my life. Sometimes because I was overseas, or in the military, or working at a hospital. Sometimes because of divorce, or other tragedy, or just bad planning.

It doesn’t matter why.

Earlier this year, Lillian Cohen-Moore2 came up with the brilliant idea of the #gloaming. As she put it:

I was so sad, and so lonely last year. This year might not end being that hard. But I want to open up a little virtual campfire, because I don’t want anyone to feel as sad and alone as I did. So drop by on those days over the hashtag, pass this on to folks who might need it. Even if you don’t celebrate any holidays but end up feeling sad or anxious, for whatever reason, feel free to surf the tag.

I’ll be doing likewise as much as I can through Christmas itself. I’ll also be online on GChat (steven.saus), Skype (steven.saus) and Y! messenger (uriel1998) as much as possible. You might need to answer a question to get through a spambot for IM accounts. If you know of a good way that we could set up a public chat room for a while that doesn’t require a lot of technical know-how on the user side, please let me know.

No matter how dark it is where you are, look to the light. There’s others groping our way toward it too.

1 Yes, the suicide rate thing is a myth, which is why I say “depressing”.
2 You can see her fiction in Dangers Untold, and some of her kick-ass nonfiction in Save vs. Sexism