What DO the Lonely do at Christmas?

First of all, they don’t listen to that song. Just don’t do it- you’ll find yourself torn between wanting to two step with the nearest broom and jumping off the last step before the end of the staircase. Because I am likely spending the holiday solo, I can give you a rundown of what I (and other twenty-to-thirty-somethings [and beyond] in my same predicament may be up to this season):

  1. Online shopping for family and friends out of guilt since you won’t be seeing them.
  2. Alternating between “should I get this for them… or myself?” because you wonder if solo holidays count as “Treat Yo’ Self” days. Note: they can, but guilt-shop responsibly.   
  3. Wonder where your voice went, because you haven’t really talked to anyone in the last x days.
  4. Perusing your social networks and not making faces at people uploading gifts from significant others/spouses/grandparents/pets/Santa/etc.
  5. Being genuinely surprised for people that have great news to share, included the expected engagements that always happen. No snark allowed.
  6. Turn off your computer.
  7. Turn your computer back on because the Wii isn’t plugged up, and how else are you going to stream My Little Pony?
  8. Work out like no one’s watching (because they aren’t).
  9. Catch up on all of that cleaning you’ve been meaning to do. Remember you downloaded the “Unf**k Your Habitat” app,” then start playing a game. It is an off day, you know. The floordrobe will be handled soon enough.
  10. Resist the urge to bake cupcakes until you remember you don’t have a cupcake tin. Or ingredients. Or a vehicle to buy last minute supplies for such urges. Look for muffin tins on Amazon.
  11. Regret cancelling that car rental at the last minute. You did want to buy Christmas gifts, though.
  12. Spend lots of time in deep reflection, both self-focused and outside-focused. Pray. Think about how next year will be different. Plan for next year to be different.
  13. Plan to be away next year- a cruise, perhaps? Wait, silly. Go see your family, THEN cruise.
  14. Listen to that Christmas playlist you made on Spotify just a week ago. While everyone was all ‘fa-la-la’, you were all ‘it’s not time!’ Now that it is time, you can indulge a bit. Jiggalate and all of that. Make fun of Paul McCartney’s “Simply Having a Wonderful Christmastime” and Wham’s “Last Christmas” just like you would any other year.
  15. Hear noise outside the door, and wonder if a surprise package came for you. Nope- it’s for the neighbor.
  16. Be thankful for people that do invite you to spend time with their family during the holidays, knowing you have none nearby. Sometimes, it’s a welcome experience- you get to learn how another family does their traditions, and you get a good meal out of it, too. Sometimes, though, you feel very voyeuristic, and it’s hard reconciling the words “guest” with “outsider.” It’s not the family’s fault, though. You know that very well, and will enjoy the time in others’ company anyway.
  17. Call your siblings and do your annual MST3K-esque viewing of “A Christmas Story.” Reminisce on some of those experiences you can only share with people you’ve shared a home and similar DNA with for decades.
  18. Decide on dinner. You could order duck from the Chinese joint like two years ago (the “A Christmas Story” viewing prompted this), but you may just bake some ribs because it’s Christmas, you’re cooking for yourself, and eff tradition. You’re making your own!
  19. Call/skype/G+hangout some friends who may be in the same situation as you, but thousands of miles away. Smile, laugh, and make plans to see each other.
  20. Realize that no matter how much you LOVE the Grumpy Cat meme, it’s not indicative of your general attitude towards the holiday and the love, hope, and optimism contained therein.
  21. Know that although this may be a lonely Christmas, it could be much worse. It could be a homeless Christmas, or a family-less Christmas, or an “I just lost a loved one” Christmas. Feel your heart churn for the emotions that people you’ve never seen or met may be going through.
  22. Dance like nobody’s watching (because they aren’t).

So, I know I’m not the only one with the possibility of a solo holiday, or ever has spent one sans people. What did you do? How did you make it? Did you dance half as much as I am?

Either way, Merry Christmas. Oh, tidings of comfort and joy.

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