As I mentioned before, the holiday season can cause even the strongest single person, or person in general, to feel alone and sad. In a time meant for celebration and joy, you may just want to fake it to make it. I will not lie, I believe a time and a place exists to fake it to make it. But I also think we can put ideas and reminders into place to find actual joy and true celebration during this season. Though not an exhaustive list, read on to find out three ways to survive the holidays single, or as just as a person in general.
Always Keep Your Sense of Humor
I find my sense of humor saves me from a lot of challenging and bleak situations. Laughter can brighten not only my day, but also the demeanor of those around me. A sense of humor can help to diffuse the awkwardness from those probing questions by distant relatives or help ease the tension at the holiday office party. Use your sense of humor with caution though. You do not want to deflect everyone. You get to pick and choose who you share the intimate details of your life with, but you do need to share your life with other people who care about you. Do not shut down and use humor as a defense mechanism. But instead, remember to laugh and share the joy of the season with those around you.
Celebrate with Those Around You
Watching other people move into new seasons while I seem to remain stagnant can feel like ripping open new stitches over and over again. When a new friend gets engaged, married, or pregnant it makes me want to (or actually) scream and yell at God for not “letting me” get what everyone else appears to get in life, but that does not diminish the excitement and joy I feel for my friends and family.
Now, it took me longer than I want to admit to realize this, but over time I learned I must chose to celebrate with those I hold dear. I must make a conscious effort to set aside my feelings and share in their joy. Most of my close friends know that their joy can cause me great pain. Instead of pitying me or not sharing with me, we both acknowledge that this time might be sad and hard for me. They grieve with me, and I celebrate with them. It takes us both opening our hearts and letting the other person in to see the mess, but going through the ebbs and flow of life with people makes it so much more beautiful.
Find Your Own Holiday Traditions
Seeing all of the people around you celebrating and creating new family traditions can make the holidays difficult for a single person. I do not have my own young family to go look at lights with or a playgroup to have over to decorate cookies, but that should not stop us single people from making our own traditions. Just because you do not have a spouse or children does not mean you should miss out on the wonderment of the holidays! You may want to hermit until after Valentine’s, but open yourself up to hanging out with your married friends, inviting people over or gathering a group of friends to go do something festive around town.
Awhile back, my good group of friends decided our “Friendsmas” would entail donning our tackiest Christmas sweaters, getting Chipotle and going to Target. We each draw a name from the group to buy a present for, and we only get 15 minutes and $7.28 to shop. As a group of very competitive people, we tear through Target rushing to top everyone else’s gift. Then we go back to someone’s home and explain the gift we bought for our person. It produces some of the most entertaining and ridiculous gifts and joy. I for the life of me can not tell you why Chipotle, Target or $7.28, but I love it.
Get creative and start a tradition, normal or a little out there. Plan a scavenger hunt at a local Christmas light display; get an angel off of the Salvation Army Angel Tree and buy gifts; host an Elf “quote-along” party, or gather people and do something cheery. It may only last a year or it may go on for a very long time. Just do not let this season pass you by feeling left out. Make your own fun. You can do this.
The moral of the post: just because life does not look like you thought it would or should does not mean Christmas can’t be full and exciting. Yes, you may feel alone. Yes, it may prove hard at times. But seek out the joy in the now. Holidays do not get magically easier when you get married or birth children. Decide to make holidays fun now because if you pine for what you don’t have you will miss out on all of the amazing aspects of your life right now. Find the fun in where find yourself. Make a memory and laugh with those around you.