For some reason I always experience a small bit of loneliness around Christmas. It's decreased drastically over the years, namely because of the companionship of my wife and the joy of my kids. I think it was highest in high school and early college when I would have a moment where I missed my friends or a certain family member or even had the deep insecurity that there was some great Christmas party somewhere where everyone was, and I was missing out.
I think being lonely around the holidays is a common thing, we do pretty much all affirm an unspoken law that no one should spend Christmas alone. You ever wonder why people of all races, worldviews, and ages affirm that? We shouldn't be alone because we are all made in the image of a God who is not alone. The Joy we sing about and all long for during this season is experienced at its deepest level in the context of community, mainly committed relationships. Broken families, marriages, and friendships are the most painful to us around Christmas - they are pretty darn close to Hell. The beauty of Christmas is that Jesus essentially broke his perfect relationship with his father in order to come restore our relationships with others. Jesus did come to redeem our relationship with his father, but with that he came to heal all our relationships here and now. Jesus was sent not to just repair your broken relationship with the Creator, but to create a people that would be saved together, repairing their broken relationships with each other. The curse that has so infected the way we relate to other human beings has been reversed in Christmas. Matthew 1:21 says "She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins." Jesus was not sent to make sure you handle the religious aspect of life, remember that there is a God, He is holy and you are not, and then let you go back to your normal life. The heart of our brokeness before a holy God is best seen in the broken way we relate to other people. Jesus came to save us from both, at the same time.
The point is that inkling you have about being bothered by an estranged relationship is Christmas's way of trying to teach you that Jesus came to heal relationships, so live as if that is really true. You and I are called to reconciliation with each other, being honest about how we treat one another and how others have treated us, and seeking to apply the gracious forgiveness we have first been given from the father to others who ask and need it. Christmas calls our relationships to finally become authentic. George Costanza's "festivus for the rest-of-us" involved everyone sitting around a table with the airing of grievances and then putting that to rest with the feasts of strength in which the estranged people would wrestle (please tell me you've seen this Seinfeld episode). As crazy as that sounds, its not far from a gospel centered view of Christmas. Jesus came in order for us to be able to authentically air our grievances, Christmas frees you to finally be honest with people you fear. But instead of us having to resolve our grievance by "wrestling" with one another (verbally, emotionally, ect) - Jesus wrestled with God, representing a people who can't get along, so that a people could be redeemed in a way that they are now led not to wrestle with one another, but love one another and offer forgiveness. Christmas is about recapturing the authentic community God designed us to live with. We all long to live with restored relationships and never spend Christmas alone, at times its really painful when they are all just in pieces. If you know what I'm speaking about then you should sing this hymn with me....
Come, Thou long expected Jesus
Born to set Thy people free;
From our fears and sins release us,
Let us find our rest in Thee.
Israel’s Strength and Consolation,
Hope of all the earth Thou art;
Dear Desire of every nation,
Joy of every longing heart.
Born Thy people to deliver,
Born a child and yet a King,
Born to reign in us forever,
Now Thy gracious kingdom bring.
By Thine own eternal Spirit
Rule in all our hearts alone;
By Thine all sufficient merit,
Raise us to Thy glorious throne.