Flying solo this Christmas? Here are some tips to keep you from going full-Scrooge this holiday season. And now, a classic Christmas carol:
“As we come upon another holiday season,
Some will be glum for a terrible reason.
Whether through choice, or maybe through chance,
Or maybe through unforeseen circumstance,
The season of giving that leaves families elated
Will instead have to be celebrated while separated.
If you find yourself flying solo, don’t be weary.
Even a solo christmas can be fun and cheery.
Snuggle yourself in the proper elf attire,
Make some hot chocolate and sit by the fire.
If you don’t know where to start,
And you’re not feeling so smart,
Don’t be bah humbug or a miserly old grinch.
You can do it,
If you put your mind to it,
And you can do it all on the cheap in a pinch.
Treat yourself well, don’t skimp on the gifts,
It’s all very easy if you follow these tips!”
Damn it, I was so close. “Gifts” and “tips” kind of rhyme, right? Oh well. Don’t worry, this entire article isn’t written in rhyme. Although I am on a roll and I do have the time. But if you find yourself alone this Christmas, here are some tips on how to make it a festive occasion.
Cozy Up the Place
It’s a tradition to decorate the house to reflect the coming of old St. Nick. A christmas tree is raised and ornaments are hung. Maybe you have a family wreath that goes on the front door, and you most certainly have some christmas lights hanging inside, outside, or both. Other than Halloween, Christmas is the one holiday where transforming the aesthetic of your abode isn’t just normal, it feels like something is missing if you don’t.
If it’s just you and your apartment this December, there’s no reason why you can’t carry on the traditions of childhood and make your space look like the North Pole. Hang up those Christmas lights, take any decorations you’ve got and make them shine for an audience of one. If you don’t have any traditional decorations, throw some extra pillows and blankets around to get those warm and fuzzy vibes going. You don’t have to go with the eight foot evergreen conifer for a tree, but a small little guy or a nice plastic tree will do wonders for your main room.
Christmas is a mindset, and if you’re missing the comforts of a family holiday, do what you can to replicate those childhood memories. Goofy is good, and there’s no such thing as going overboard. Christmas is meant to be a little bit silly anyway, so go all in and redecorate your space to reflect the season.
Have Your Favorite Movies at the Ready
Get your streaming service at the ready, make sure you have Freeform all dialed up, and maybe even bust out an old blu ray player that might be hanging around. It’s not Christmas Time without some perennial holiday favorites, and there’s no easier way to get you in the festive spirit than to put on some classic X-Mas movies.
There really is a movie for every mood this holiday season: maybe you’re feeling like reliving a classic (It’s a Wonderful Life, Miracle on 34th Street, White Christmas) or some nostalgic cartoons from your childhood (A Charlie Brown Christmas, The Year Without a Santa Claus, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer). Maybe it’s time for some trashy comfort food movies (Surviving Christmas, Deck the Halls, or basically any Hallmark holiday movie). A Christmas Story is always on TBS, How the Grinch Stole Christmas is always on Freeform, Elf is always on TNT, and Disney+ has one of the biggest Christmas movie archives I’ve ever seen. If you want some subversive fair, try Scrooged or The Nightmare Before Christmas or Bad Santa.
The point is that there are more Christmas movies than there are days in the holiday season to watch them all. They make great distractions and time wasters, so if you’re ever feeling blue about being on your own, just turn one on and turn off your mind for a few hours.
Treat Yo Self
Sure, Christmas is about love and giving and peace on earth and all that schlock. But, cmon, it’s also about all that sweet sweet swag you get.
If you’re playing Santa Claus for yourself this season, don’t be modest. You know what you like, you know what you want, and now you don’t have to rely on other people maybe getting something you like. No regifting, no smiling through the painful gift exchange, and no socks! It’s Christmas baby! Go big or go home. This is all about you, so treat yo self!
Embrace the Wonders of Spiked Drinks
Some find drinking on their own to be “depressing” or “lonely” or “a sign of alcoholism”. To those people I say: “bah humbug!” There’s a world of wondrous alcoholic concoctions that are calling your name this holiday season, and all you need are a few ingredients to jump right in.
There are the classic twists on traditional drinks, like a hot chocolate spiked with some Bailey’s Irish Cream or a comforting glass of Rumchata Eggnog. And then there are the new first-class Christmas cocktails, like a Mistletoe Martini, a Christmas Cranberry Cosmopolitan, or a Dreidel Daiquiri for our Jewish brothers and sisters.
It doesn’t take much to take that warm and fuzzy feeling you’ve created on the outside and transfer it to your insides. A few liquors, some mixer, and a festive spirit is all it takes to get a little extra cheery this Christmas.
Pump in Those Christmas Carols
It becomes inescapable the second that Halloween ends. No matter where you go, no matter what time it is, day or night, rain or shine, the sleigh bells start ringing. You still remember all the words to “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” and “Let It Snow” and “All I Want for Christmas is You”. Embrace the cheese and cheeriness of these songs and let them put you in a festive mood.
Maybe you’re sick of the traditional fair. Try listening to some of your favorite pop artists give their takes on the Christmas season (who aren’t named Mariah Carey). Sia, John Legend, and Kacey Musgraves all have some fantastic original Christmas music to keep you from hearing “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” for the billionth time (although, in terms of canon Christmas tunes, that one slaps). If that’s still too much, there are songs that float around Christmas without explicitly being about it. Joni Mitchell’s “River” pairs perfectly with the lonesome blues that come with being alone on Christmas, and John Lennon’s “Happy Xmas (War is Over)” is a holiday classic by way of an anti-war protest song.
If you’re on your own (and have thick walls), blast that music. It’s meant to put you in a good mood, and more often than not it works. Plug yourself and tune out the cold, because it’s Christmas. Eat, drink, and be merry, even if you’re flying solo. Sometimes there is no better way to be.