As a single person, what do you think about when facing the holiday season alone? Are you dreading the office Christmas party because most of your colleagues are in relationships? Maybe you’re wondering which of your friends to call and ask if they are available to spend the upcoming holiday time together. Perhaps you’re planning a list of excuses to give your family members as to why you just can’t make it this year. This time of year is when ‘’couples’’ begin looking so happy and connected together, and it may feel unfair to you that you are still single. And thinking about hiding out, alone in your home, is beginning to look like the best holiday plan of all time.
Earlier and earlier in the season our senses are being overloaded with images of happy families and couples done up to the backdrop of holiday music and bright lights. If any of these thoughts sound familiar and your life is not marked with numerous ‘’Hallmark’’ moments, it may be time to reflect on your feelings regarding the season. It is never too late to break free of your negative thoughts and make this holiday season one that is meaningful to you. There is nothing wrong with being single, and you have every right to enjoy the holidays as much as any couple or family.
Here are some tips for enjoying the holidays, single:
1. Eliminate unrealistic obligations and goals from your holiday planning lists. Ask yourself if going to this party or that, is out of a sense of obligation, or do you really want to go? Make choices that empower you and ensure that your time spent is doing what you have chosen rather that what was chosen for you.
2. Don’t expect your relatives to change their behavior just because it’s the holiday season. If they have always created anxiety for you, then don’t expect otherwise. Try to keep the conversation to a minimum and focus your attention on other less ‘’toxic’’ people at the celebration.
3. Get rid of any ‘’guilt’’ you may be feeling. If you have an elderly relative who simply makes you feel bad when you are around them, make the decision to stop feeling bad right there on the spot. You can be pleasant to them and not spend the entire time allowing them to alter your mood. There is no need to treat them with disrespect, and there is no need to allow them to disrespect you either. Stay as far away from them as possible and enjoy your evening or afternoon.
4. Don’t spend your entire holiday season with couples or families. If you have single friends, create a celebration just for them. Either have a party that you throw yourself, or invite them to help you celebrate being single at your favorite restaurant or café. Married friends should not be the only ones celebrating the upcoming New Year. Find thanks in what you already have and go into the coming year with the attitude that you are fine and will continue to be so. Whatever 2008 may bring, you know that you will always have more options to look forward to.
5. Finally, look for ways in which you can do good for others. 2007 may have been a very difficult year for many people, and perhaps you have something to offer even if it is only your time. Help collect toys for underprivileged children in your area. Ask your local seniors home for a list of occupants and make holiday cards for the residents who have no families. Volunteer to prepare dinners at a women’s shelter. Be creative, and share your wonderful self with others.
Whatever you decide to do for your holidays, enjoy yourself and have as much fun as you can. Always remember to take care of yourself by doing what is right for you. Giving your best, especially to yourself, is the most fun any person can have.