You can be happy being alone over the holidays, even your own birthday. Avoid being alone if you want. Or enjoy being alone if you want a break from being social.
So many of the big family holidays (Thanksgiving, Christmas and of course New Year’s Eve) arrive at the end of the year. If you are single, not dating anyone or a single parent with kids to celebrate for and with, it can be a bit lonely – if you let it.
I am single, divorced and don’t have any children. I do look after my sister’s children but it’s not the same. I kind of look forward to being alone. Maybe it’s because I’m not alone very often. I share a house with my Mother for half a year. The other half of the year I have a brother and two sisters who keep in touch. It’s all good. But, I crave alone time sometimes. So, I may not be the prime example of being alone for the holidays – because I’m happy to be alone and do whatever I want to do.
Avoid Being Alone
Accept invitations from family, friends and co-workers.
Find other holiday orphans and get together somewhere. Have a great evening out.
Attend events like the office Christmas party.
Invite people over to visit you too.
Go to church. Even if you don’t attend usually, churches will have people and host their own events during holidays.
Go somewhere you know there will be people, like a shopping mall, a coffee shop, a restaurant, and strike up a conversation. Even a short chat can make you feel connected to the world again.
Host a party or get a group together for a day out.
Make the Best of Being Alone
Create a new holiday tradition of your own. Have Chinese food delivered on Christmas Eve. Enjoy a taco salad on Valentine’s Day. Find your own personal way to celebrate.
Plan an event for each day of the holidays, or those coming up to it. Give yourself something to look forward to every day. You can always visit the museum, art gallery and buy tickets for the theatre.
It may feel pretty self-indulgent but, buy yourself a gift or a card for the holidays. Have a Valentine card you sent yourself. Get yourself something you know you really want for Christmas. Send yourself flowers on your birthday.
Write a holiday journal about your adventures.
Be an artist, even if you can’t draw, take along some paper and pencils/ pens and draw some holiday scenes.
Enjoy some alone time to think.
Whatever the holidays and season you can still decorate the house for the holidays: St. Patrick’s Day, Valentines Day, Halloween, Christmas… all the holidays can be an excuse to indulge in a little excess cheer around the home.
Rediscover a creative talent. Become a baker, or a film maker, or take up crochet discover a new creative outlet.
Eat out somewhere new you have wanted to try.
Eat in – cook yourself a wonderful dinner with new recipes and unusual ingredients or go for all comfort foods, the foods you love, cooked the way you like them.
Buy something from a fancy bakery but get just one slice, one piece, one square you can enjoy all by yourself.
Put together a holiday emergency kit for yourself. Stash it with the things you really want like a few chocolates, coffee beans, pick a great wine, a fresh book, candles, bubble bath, gift cards and coupons for a restaurant.
Have some special plan of your own. When others talk about their holidays you will have something to talk about too.
Redecorate your bedroom, your kitchen, find something new and great for the house and make it fresh, shiny and new.
Pamper yourself with all the little luxuries, like a real soak in the tub. Have a spa day at home.
Use the time to catch up on reading, rent movies you wanted to see and anything else you have let slide while you were too busy with other people or a full schedule.
Work on little home repair projects you just haven’t gotten around to yet.
Indulge yourself. Go to the unfashionable, geekiest, nerdiest movies, events, and places you’d love to go but would never ask anyone to attend with you.
Be of service to others. Be a volunteer for a day. Phone or write to relatives and acquaintances you seldom think about. .
Take a road trip, a bus trip, a train trip. Plan a day trip and be home before midnight or plan an overnight away. Look for great tour packages and travel even farther.
Book a room in a downtown hotel and spend your time indulging in downtown holiday events, tourist places and all the holiday decorations.
If you’re single, try a few dating sites, look into a dating service, something where you might find someone new to meet over coffee.
Revel in Being Alone Don’t be SAD
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) creeps up on people during the winter holidays. I think we can feel the same SAD feelings around our own birthdays too, but that doesn’t seem to have a name yet.
If you are feeling alone and neglected let your family and friends know so they can make sure to include you in their events and get togethers.
Avoid being SAD. Use the time alone rather than letting it drag you down into feeling alone around the holidays.
If you need other people around – get them. Make plans with others but understand that plans around the holidays change a lot and last minute things pop up. Have back up plans if you are planning to meet a friend, that way you still have something to do if the friend can’t be there.
Find yourself a patch of sunshine somewhere and sit in it awhile. A great place to try this is a coffee shop window where you have some sun and people watch while you read a book and enjoy a great coffee too.
Not Everyone Alone for the Holidays Needs Cheering Up
People who don’t want to be alone for the holidays are more likely to be upset or feeling down about the holidays.
Some of us, like myself, LOVE having some alone time. For me being alone during the holidays is great. I spend time with family and I make arrangements to meet up with friends and co-workers. I attend the office/ work parties. But, I really enjoy the days I am alone and I can do just what I want to do.
I feel empowered when I am alone. I soak up the holidays: the good cheer, the lights and decorations and the excuse to be self indulgent. Being alone for the holidays is like having an extra birthday – the day that is especially all about you! Make being alone for the holidays all about you.
A Few Links
Join The Holiday Project – Local chapters visit people confined to nursing homes, hospitals and other institutions and enriching the experience of a holiday for everyone.