The holidays are a time full of family, friends, giving, & sometimes having to decide whether or not to invite the new guy/girl you've been seeing over to Aunt Ruth's to undergo the entire family test. Being in a new relationship over the Holiday season is like blowing a balloon bigger and bigger and bigger and seeing if it can hold up to the pressure, or explode right in your face. 90% of my own past breakups have happened right at the beginning of the holidays... coincidence? Probably not. For those of you happily navigating the visiting of 4 different Christmases split between two families in one weekend, I applaud you! But for those of us that are navigating the season solo and answering Grandma Barb about 'When will you finally find a nice boy?' for the 4th year in a row, here's why it DOESN'T suck.
1. Enjoying your own family time.
Let's face it... Eventually you will probably meet someone and get married/have children. Your siblings will meet significant others and bless you with nieces, nephews, & even more people to include in your holidays gatherings. Take advantage of this holiday season with your own family because it may be the last one you will share as the original family dynamic. No trying to navigate whose parents' house you will spend Christmas Eve at. No hurting Mom's feelings because you won't be waking up at her place on Christmas morning anymore. No trying to beat traffic on the freeway to make it to Aunt Carol's house in time for 5pm dinner so you aren't arriving late the first time you meet her. That will all come one day. But for now, take advantage of what could be the last opportunity you could have to watch your last living Grandparent open gifts wearing ridiculous reindeer antlers your Mother made him wear. Laugh at the chaos of the 4 cats at your brother's knocking over empty gift boxes. Rather than focusing on what you may be lacking in the presence of a significant other, focus on all that you already have in your life with your own family... and cherish it.
2. Your bank account will thank you.
Trying to coordinate how much you are spending on each other... Would he wear these pants?... Does she even like Alex & Ani bracelets???...Should we not even buy each other gifts and book a vacation instead? If you are like me, I love to give. And I always had a tendency to over-buy for my significant others during the holidays. So rather than focusing on the thoughtful gifts you won't be receiving from a boyfriend/girlfriend this year, or the fact that you won't be getting a Christmas proposal with a huge diamond like your friend Rachel from work did, focus on the money you're saving! If you really want to do something with the money you would have spent, book a spa day! Buy those awesome new Nikes! Book that vacation you've been daydreaming about for months! Buy yourself that amazing Designer Crossbody bag you've been eyeing online! Buy that 36-color eyeshadow palette you've been drooling over! Or if you don't need any of the tangible things... just SAVE YOUR MONEY!
3. Lifetime holiday movies starring Melissa Joan Hart.
Tell me your heart doesn't swoon every time you watch the inevitable love story of two people kissing under the mistletoe after a typical romantic comedy plot. Have you turned on the Lifetime channel around the holidays!? Melissa Joan Hart and Joey Lawrence falling in love for Christmas!? (My Millennial heart is crying right now from joy) The absolutely terribly written, yet oh so enjoyable, holiday movies on Lifetime, The Hallmark Movie Channel, and now Netflix!? You literally never need to take off your fuzzy slippers or change out of your sweatpants again. Ok, well maybe. And this one may not excite the male audience as much as it does us estrogen-pumping women. But you know how us ladies love a good Rom Com to show us that one day if you leave your cell phone in an Uber the gorgeous, perfectly groomed love of your life will use it to hunt you down just in time to kiss you at midnight right before the ball drops. Hey... a girl can dream, right?
4. Focus on what you already have.
Sure you may be lacking the arm candy for your entrance to the Ugly Holiday Sweater Party, but look around at everything you do have... I bet you have some amazing friends that you've laughed until you've cried with. I bet you have family that have always had your back. I bet you have some accomplishments under your belt that you are super proud of. I bet you've grown and changed in ways that make you look back and cringe at your past. If you struggle with being alone this time of year try to flip your way of thinking around. Think of all the ways you AREN'T alone. Think of how rich your life is in people, things, and experiences. When you look at it this way you probably have so much more in your life than you ever realized. So even though you may be lacking a date to all of your holiday events, I can guarantee that there are many other things in life that you absolutely are not lacking in.
5. It's All About YOU.
As selfish as that sounds, its so true... and TOTALLY OK! Sometimes it just feels oh so good to be selfish. With our time, with our love, with our emotions. Maybe you had a shitty year. Maybe you've struggled with your self confidence. Maybe you're finally finding yourself. You deserve all of the love and attention in the world and so much more. Time spent focusing on yourself, your needs, & what makes you happy is NEVER time wasted. You must be able to love yourself before you will ever be able to truly love someone else. So this holiday season bask in all of the positives of being solo this time of year! Buy yourself all the damn gifts you deserve! Binge watch every shitty Christmas movie on Netflix! Eat as many Christmas cookies as you want without worrying if you gain 5 pounds! Buy yourself that show-stopping sequin dress for New Years Eve! Do not for one second feel silly or selfish about putting yourself first during the holiday season (or any time of year for that matter). You deserve the world and not one bit less just because you do not have a plus one.