Nothing made it more apparent that I would be single during the holidays (again) than when I went to a recent festive celebration and everyone else was, as they say, booed up. Post-party, we ended up back at one couple’s place—get your mind out of the gutter, that’s not where this is going—and it looked like an Instagram-perfect holiday house. It was hard not to look around and miss being in a relationship. Like, this couple decorated together and created this cozy home that looks straight out of a Netflix holiday special. Meanwhile, I’m getting texts from a guy I used to date wanting me to come over and “cuddle” because it’s cozy weather and he just wants to hold me. LOL, okay. Sure.
Naturally, I started to wallow in my feelings about spending another holiday season as an incredibly single person. For me, that looks like drinking one too many glasses of wine and then texting my mom asking her if I’m going to die alone. (Raise a glass to my mother, everyone.) The holidays used to be my absolute favorite time of year, but the stress of being a single woman in Los Angeles has slowly chiseled away at my optimism and sense of childlike wonder. I’ve become a bit of a Scrooge. There’s a lot of pressure around the holidays to be festive and cheerful, regardless of your relationship status. But being single during the holidays can, for lack of a better term, really suck.
Even so, I made a decision this year. Instead of wallowing—okay, let’s be real there will still be some wallowing because I am dramatic—I’m channeling that Emma Watson self-partnered energy and celebrating the many awesome things about being single during the holidays.
When you’re single, you don’t have to worry about dealing with your partner’s Trump-supporting extended family. You also don’t have to pretend to enjoy their holiday traditions. Sorry, boyfriend’s aunt Linda, but I do not want to eat your weird marshmallow-pineapple pie. On the same note, you don’t have to worry if your S.O. can handle your family’s bizarre holiday customs, like the annual Uno tournament that you get oddly competitive about.
Spending the holidays solo means your time is yours. For Thanksgiving this year, I worked for part of the day and then went to the movies and drank wine with one of my best friends. I thought I would be sad about not having a “traditional” Thanksgiving, but it was actually exactly what I needed. There was something empowering about creating my own holiday memories, outside of being in a couple.
Also if you want to spend an entire weekend watching holiday movies and wearing the same pajamas, there is literally no one there to stop you or say “Do we really need to watch A Christmas Prince again?” No one needs that energy in their life. You can also play “All I Want For Christmas Is You” as loudly and as many times as you want. (Unless your upstairs neighbor texts you to kindly ask that you please tone it down, something that may or may not have just happened to me.) On the flip side, if you’d rather get dressed up and go out and flirt and make out with someone(s) new, that’s a fully viable option. Get me that mistletoe, STAT.
All that said, I’m going to allow myself to be sad and cry if I need to. I am a big proponent of feeling your feelings. (Pisces!) My usual dramatic cry song is “(I Just) Died In Your Arms” by Cutting Crew, but for the purposes of being festive I will be crying to “Last Christmas” by Wham! this season.
Oh, and one more thing. Also overlooked is that when you’re single, there’s no one to see you eat leftover pie with your bare hands at 3 a.m., illuminated by the harsh glow of the open refrigerator. That, in and of itself, is a true blessing.
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