The holidays can be a particularly rough time to be single. (In other breaking news, the sky is blue and grass is green.) But you will survive. Here are some tips to help get you through.
- The two most important items of clothing you can own as a single person during the holidays is a killer party outfit (preferably something dark, vampy and dramatic) and the softest, most comfortable, and possibly unflattering pair of pajamas you can find. This way, you can spend the holidays either as the hottest person in the room at a party, or swathed in comfortable material watching movies in bed. Win/win.
- Remember, the holidays don’t have to be (that) stressful. Instead of focusing on the holiday gauntlet, try and use the days off as an opportunity to catch up on sleep and reading time.
- In the Victorian age, people used to tell ghost stories at Christmas. Carry on this tradition by asking your family to tell ghost stories, or by watching the Saw franchise in bed. Either works.
- Might want to pack a travel pair of scissors in your bag, in case you need to snip down some mistletoe or holly in a blind rage.
- Make friends with the kids table. You’ll be so busy giving piggy-back rides and sticking a spoon on your nose that older relatives will forget to ask you about your love life.
- Taking the nieces and nephews ice skating? Stuck next to your deaf great-aunt at Christmas dinner? Catching “Love, Actually” on TV for the fourth time that week? These little, pocket-sized bottles of alcohol are your friend – keep them on hand for any holiday activity that takes place more than 25 feet away from the nearest liquor cabinet.
- Add a little pep to your hot chocolate in the form of whiskey and cayenne pepper. Hey, it’s the little things.
- Enjoy spending time with your family without the pressure of having them judge your significant other. Because that is stressful, when you’re half furious at your family for being judgmental, and half furious at your significant other for saying/doing the thing that they’re being judgmental about. Who needs that at Christmas?! Not you!
- Avoid malls at all cost. No one is happy at a mall at Christmastime, not even the blissfully in love. Do your shopping online, and spend your weekends at quiet, tranquil places: the park, the library, the countryside, the roof of your building: anywhere without a holiday soundtrack playing on repeat.
- Bake cookies for everyone at work, or better yet, volunteer somewhere. Seriously, there are bigger issues in the world than your lack of relationship status. A little random act of kindness will get you whistling along to Christmas carols in no time.
- Get a head start on your New Year’s Resolutions. Are you going to start working out five times a week? Start now. Do you want to read 50 books in 2012? Start picking them. Looking ahead will remind you that the holidays won’t last for ever. Even if it seems like they will.
- Don’t hit the mini bottles of whiskey too hard. As much as we advocate the use of a little liquid pep, over-indulging can turn you into the sad, single, drunk person.
- Have talking points ready. You know your entire extended family is going to ask you about your life, so instead of replying with a vague “Oh, things are good…”, be prepared with some actual, concrete things to say. Tell them about something in your life that you’ve been enjoying this year: a work accomplishment, a new apartment, or even an especially fun wedding or party or activity you attended.
- Embrace the holiday gluttony. Another gingerbread cookie? Don’t mind if I do.
- Start planning that badass thing you’re going to buy with all your Christmas money/returned gift credits. A fur coat? A Wii? Treat yo self.
- Dive bars are the perfect antidote to a Christmas overdose. Got an office holiday party you’re dreading? Make plans to meet friends at a dive bar immediately afterwards, and wash away all that egg nog with cheap beer and wings. Survived Midnight Mass with your family? Get thee to a dive bar, and get the Christmas hymns out of your head by blasting “Sweet Home, Alabama,” or something equally loud and un-Christmasy.
- Fake it til you make it. The best way to ensure you have a good time during the holidays is to just pretend you’re having a great time during the holidays. A convincing performance may go a long way in convincing yourself, too.
- Remember: Just two weeks until it’s all over, and then you can relax! …Until Valentine’s day, that is.
Good luck, and Happy Holidays!