Single Person Holiday Traditions

Single person prep for the holidays tends to be about dusting off last year’s armor and seeing if it still fits. Finding new defensive weapons in your arsenal, and digging out a foxhole to hunker down through the worst of the “celebrations” in safety.

But. A friend of mine had a revelation she shared with me. Something earth-shattering from her standard “hold your breath, close your eyes, wait for it to pass” holiday stance. She realized that she didn’t have to say yes to everything, she didn’t have to spend time where she didn’t want to, and she could even make her own traditions.

Crazy, isn’t it?

Imagine getting a say in what you do with your time instead of feeling drug along in a slew of couple-centric, child-centric outings where you are the unpaid, full-time photographer.

Don’t get me wrong, holidays should bring out our charitable, generous, joyful sides. But for so many single people it’s a personal time of anguish and covering over those unpleasant emotions with false advertising — truly echoing the commercial spirit of the season.

I can’t tell you how make your holidays more fun and exciting. But I can tell you what I do with mine:

  • Christmas Decorating Disaster: I don’t have a professional decorating technique, but I love Christmas lights. And I love the ceremony of unpacking the same ornaments year after year and putting them on the tree. I also love Christmas cocktails, and animated Christmas movies. And on my decorating day, I combine all three into an extravaganza. As you may have guessed, by the end of the day I’m the one who’s a disaster.
  • Boozy Baking Day: I’m not 100% sure how this got started, but each year I gather some friends together to drink warm seasonal spiked beverages from a crock-pot, and make my mom’s spritz cookies with icing. The best part is that once the crock-pot is empty is usually when we get to the icing. Best looking cookies you ever saw.
  • Christmas Movie Marathon: Christmas movies are fantastic, and few things get me into the season faster than plopping down with friends to watch one or two or three. Hopefully spaced out over several days. My must see list includes:
    • White Christmas
    • We’re No Angels
    • It’s a Wonderful Life
    • Muppets’ Christmas Carol
    • Home Alone
    • Die Hard
  • Treat Yo’ Self: I buy myself a Christmas present. It’s true. I even wrap it up and put it under my tree. Doesn’t have to be big and it probably shouldn’t be expensive, just something I picked out myself.
  • Stocking Shopping: One of the things I miss most about being a kid is having a stocking, and the fun little stocking stuffer presents. Tiny little fun items that somehow were so exciting to unwrap. So this year I took a page from a friend’s book and went ┬ástocking shopping for myself in early November. By the time Christmas comes around I’ll have forgotten what I bought, extra Christmas surprise!

There’s no guarantee what the holiday season has in store for you, and for those of you who are struggling already, my heart goes out to you. The holidays should be a time for comfort and good tidings,┬ánot dread.

I encourage you to look to the right sources for seasonal inspiration and Christmas spirit, and don’t be disheartened if you discover your own family may be lacking; they might resent the same pressures you’re experiencing. But hey, give them the above list and let their imaginations run wild for next year.

It’s always up to you to enjoy your life every season of the year. Don’t let you down at Christmas.

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