Once upon a time, as a single adult, I found it difficult to get into the Christmas spirit. As with so many holidays, it seemed that our society favored couples, and particularly couples with young children. Taking pictures with Santa, baking Christmas cookies, buying and decorating a Christmas tree, etc. All are activities one can do alone, but are more fun with others. I dreaded that big day, December 25th, when I thought I was supposed to wake up excited about all the presents and loved ones around my tree. It seemed the best I could do was avoid attending my own self-pity party as a single adult during the Christmas holidays.
Then, one year, I had an epiphany (which was appropriate enough for the season). I realized I had been creating my own misery by trying to re-create the feelings I had as a child on Christmas morning — a nearly impossible goal to attain. So I shifted my focus from Christmas day to the Christmas season, and that made all the difference.
I also began to appreciate the advantages of being single during the holidays. It’s certainly less expensive in terms of gift-giving, I don’t have to attend a spouse’s office party, I can decorate according to my own taste, and I can moderate my stress by participating in as many or as few holiday activities as I wish. And if I really want to be around children to experience their joy and enthusiasm, there are plenty of community pageants and parades I can go to. Or, I can just “borrow” my sister’s kids and give them back at the end of the day!
I also found a great little book, titled, “The Little Book of Christmas Joys: 432 things to do for yourself & others that just might make this the best Christmas ever.” One of the 432 things is a reminder that the best way to overcome the blues is to do something kind for someone else. Or, if you want to start with baby steps, another is to dangle a favorite ornament from your rear-view mirror.
If you are single at Christmas, with or without kids, how do you feel about the holidays and what are your tips for having a happy holiday season?