From mistletoe to kisses in the snow, Christmas time is filled with images of love in bloom. But just because you’re single this season, doesn’t mean you have to be blue. Here are our favorite tips for staying merry when all you want for Christmas is someone to share it with.
Embrace the spirit
It’s easy to feel left out by the romance of the holidays – but don’t forget there’s a whole lot more to Christmas than just mistletoe! Instead of drowning your sorrows in eggnog, stay focused on the other happy elements of the holidays.
Don’t sit around and silently dread Christmas – or whatever holiday you celebrate! Get into the spirit early by starting the festivities now. Put a spring in your step by wearing holiday clothes to work and decorating your office. Organize a holiday gathering for your co-workers, like a cookie swap or secret Santa gift exchange. Decorate a Christmas tree and put lights up in your house. Even if you have to fake the fun at first, eventually the spirit will take over and you’ll find yourself enjoying the holidays.
Love friends and family
As romantic as the holidays may seem, they really aren’t about romantic love. Instead of waiting around for a lover to love, spend the holidays focused on the people you already do love – your friends and family!
Host a holiday “Night In” party with eggnog, a fire and a Christmas movie marathon (Elf, It’s a Wonderful Life, White Christmas). Or invite over all the kids in your life for a Sunday afternoon of Christmas cookie decorating.
Being single at family functions can sometimes be tricky, too. But instead of feeling sorry for yourself, use your independence as a chance to mingle with everyone at the dinner. Make a special effort to include the family members who are usually left out. Not only will it make them feel good, it’ll make you feel better too.
Instead of just buying store-bought gifts, make a pact this year to give creative gifts from the heart. If you’re crafty, the possibilities are endless: knit a scarf, make a scrapbook or paint a picture. If art isn’t really your thing, you can still give something personal like an experiential gift. Buy your mother tickets to see her favorite singer and offer to go with her. Treat a friend to a spa day or take your nephew to an amusement park. Not only will the gift be personal, it will end up a memory the two of you can share forever.
Give, give, give
The best way to forget about yourself (and your loneliness) is to focus on others. Use this as a time to reach out to friends and family you’ve lost touch with. Send out holiday cards to long-lost acquaintances. Volunteer to help elderly neighbors with their holiday chores. Or offer to watch your friend’s children so that she can do some seasonal errands.
It’s also a great time to give to the community around you. Volunteer to serve meals at a homeless shelter or wrap presents for kids in need. You could even be a bell-ringer for a charity. Not only will giving distract you from what you don’t have, it will make you more appreciative for what you do have.
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