The holiday season is fully upon us now, and while we all enjoy the gourd decorations, warm drinks, and winter clothes, one thing I know people don’t usually enjoy is making it through the holidays as a single person. I’ve experienced the probing questions from family members at Thanksgiving dinner, the awkwardness of being the only person without a plus one at Christmas parties, and not having someone to kiss as the clock strikes midnight on the new year. And yes, I’ll admit that those situations can sometimes make the holiday season feel like something a single person has to “survive.”
But if you’re single for the holidays this year, I have a different way for you to look at this season: as a gift.
Yes friend, being single during the holidays is a true gift in many ways, and I want to help you realize how precious this time actually is. Just as I said in my post How to Love Being Single, there are special freedoms and opportunities that single people enjoy, and the holiday season is no exception to this.
You Choose How to Spend Your Holiday Time When You’re Single
The holiday season is great, but it can also be exhausting – there are office parties, family dinners, get-togethers with your friends, local events, and so much more. The obligations can seem like they never stop.
Now just imagine if you had to attend double the amount of holiday events. You would probably have to either skip one person’s family dinner, or leave one early to arrive at the other late. You might have to suffer through boring conversations with coworkers you don’t even know, or politely laugh at a bunch of inside jokes with your significant other’s long-time friends. And you can bet that more of your evenings would be booked full, giving you even less recovery time for the next one. Not to mention, fretting over what to bring to these holiday parties because you don’t want to show up empty-handed. I mean just thinking about this agenda makes me want to go put on my pajamas and cuddle up on my couch with no plans for the rest of the weekend.
But if you’re single, you get to decide what events you attend. You decide how and where you spend your time this holiday season. You can spend the entire day with your family or slip out as quickly as possible, whatever suits you best. You can spend as much time with your best friends as you can handle without worrying about whether your other half is having a good time. You can go to or stay home from any party on your calendar. It’s completely up to YOU.
You Can Celebrate the Holidays However and As Early As You Want
Is your idea of the best holiday season ever being able to put Mariah Carey on repeat while you put up your Christmas tree the weekend before Thanksgiving? Well go ahead and do it, because when you’re single there is no one to judge how you choose to spend your holiday time. Do you want to cover every surface of your home in pumpkins and lights and glittery linens? Well you do you, boo. You don’t have to worry about whether your Christmas tree is too girly and pink because only person who has to like it is YOU! Or you can decide to skip the hassle of decorating if that’s more your style. This is your wellness reminder that you don’t have to do what everyone else is doing, do what feels right for you this season.There’s no one else you have to please, so your home can be as devoid of decoration as you desire.
Having the freedom to celebrate how you want is one of the best things about being single during the holidays. Once you have a significant other or children, the holiday will become tailored to suit them too, and compromises will have to be made. So for now, enjoy the fact that you can do whatever you want to show your holiday spirit (or lack thereof).
Being Single for the Holidays Means You Don’t Have to Buy as Many Presents
Have you ever agonized over finding the perfect present for someone? Well, when you’re single, there’s one less person you need to agonize over. You can simply enjoy the fact that you don’t have the added pressure of finding the perfect gift for a significant other (and possibly their family members).
Not only does being single remove the pressure to find something, it also relieves the pressure on your bank account. Buying a gift for a significant other can be expensive, but it becomes even more costly for people who have children.
Instead, you can save your money or use it to buy yourself something special – and a gift given to yourself is sure to be something you actually want, as opposed to something you’ll have to pretend you love.
If You Still Don’t See Holiday Singleness as a Gift, Here Are Some Tips to Deal With Common Complaints
Despite all of the freedoms that come with being single during the holidays, there may still be some moments where you feel the pangs of jealousy creeping back in, or perhaps you’re still having trouble seeing any positive side at all. That’s okay. I’ve got some tips to help you deal with some of the most common complaints I hear.
“My relatives always ask me when I’m going settle down.”
While I can’t make your family stop asking you deeply personal questions or stop giving you dating advice, I can give you some talking points. Instead of simply saying you just haven’t found that person yet, tell your family all about how you’ve been investing in yourself. Let them know what you’ve been up to that fulfills you, how happy you are with how much you’ve grown as a person, and what plans you have coming up. They’ll see that you don’t need to have a partner to be a complete, happy person.
“I hate being the only single person at parties.”
There is no reason for you to ever be the only single person at any party, ever again. Bring your best single friend as your plus one. If your invitation didn’t include a plus one, ask if you can bring one – why shouldn’t you get to bring along someone just like all of your coupled friends? Then, at the very least, you will get to spend the evening with your best friend.
“There’s no surprise from someone special waiting for me under the Christmas tree.”
I mentioned above that you can use the money you saved from not buying someone else presents on buying something special for yourself. Now you have the “someone special” part covered, because who is more special than you? No one!
But what about the surprise part? How can you surprise yourself?
So many ways. You could buy a mystery box and stick it under the tree. You could sign up to a subscription box or purchase an advent calendar. These things exist in just about every niche on the planet, so there will be options for whatever you’re into. The hardest part is just going to be putting them under the tree and waiting until Christmas Day.
“Everyone else is posting about how happy they are together.”
Ok first of all, please try to remember that the posts you see on social media are carefully curated images that never tell the full story. Comparing yourself and your life to these posts is comparing yourself to an ideal that doesn’t actually exist.
But putting that aside, remember that you have every right to post about the things that make you happy during this holiday season as well. Fill your own feed with images of you taking in every single second of joy this season, unashamedly. Show the world that you are a complete, amazing, brilliant person who isn’t missing a part of themselves but instead is out there discovering who they are.
Spend this holiday season appreciating the things you do have instead of pining for things you do not. One day, you’ll be spending the holidays with someone you love, but there’s no reason to rush that. Remember that you as a single person enjoy these special freedoms that couples do not, and you can still celebrate the joy of the season in whatever way will make you happiest.