The Orthodox Church encourages people to fast for the 40 days prior to Christmas. They abstain from meat, cheese, oil and wine from November 14 until Christmas. Lisa DeLuca says that this pre-Christmas fast "is a spiritual practice that helps people grieve their losses, endure their sadness, feed their souls, and, ultimately, experience joy on Christmas day."
From a Catholic perspective, we can use this time of depriving ourselves to offer up our inconveniences for the safe return of our loved ones to the faith.
Especially if Christmas is a sad time for you, try turning to God and away from worldly over indulgence and continue to pray for your loved ones.
The manger, in spite of being filled with animal food, is empty for us until we fill it with Jesus.