As soon as Halloween passes, the big holiday season is upon us and the stress begins. Holidays can be challenging to just about anybody; there are decisions to be made, plans to put in place and money to be spent. And while this is true for everyone, many single people feel an extra layer of stress.
The holidays would be tough if I didn't have a loving network of people around me. I make it work. I often host Thanksgiving for what I call my "straggler" friends. My invite list includes single people, those who can't or don't want to get with their family, people whose plans changed at the last minute and couples without children. (I have to draw the line somewhere).
The holidays get a bad rap, though, because they're often quite good: There's the feeling of festivity in the air, the parties, the gifts, the music and catching up with people you like but haven't seen in awhile. Some things about being single are actually better during the holidays because we have more flexibility and fewer rules about what we are supposed to do. Here are a few:
5 Reasons It's Great to Be Single During the Holidays
▪ You don't have to get a tree. Trees are festive, but the needles, the watering and the space it takes up -- especially in a small apartment -- makes for a lot of work. If you have kids and/or a husband, you might not be able to get away with not having a tree. It would be way too bah humbug. But when you're single, you can be more creative. Put up a wreath, buy a few poinsettias... and done!
▪ No baking or cooking. And if you do, people make a very big deal about it. "Wow, look at what the single lady pulled off!"
▪ No one really expects you to send holiday cards. These days, holiday photos of well-dressed children and/or children placed in really cool, interesting spots (at the family beach house, Macchu Picchu, etc.) are the norm. If you don't have children, there is no need to send a card. No postage, no paper waste and no brainstorming cute outfits or cool spots for the pictures. If you're married and don't send cards, you could be stricken from every card list, no matter how old or dear the friendship. But as a single person, no one seems to mind.
▪ Pick Your Parties. You don't have to accompany the husband or kids to parties you don't really want to go to.
▪ No in-laws to fight with or about. This is always an issue with my married friends and they tell me this fight can get old really quickly... and yet it must be had every year.
As a single person, it's particularly important to nurture your relationships because I
really don't think we're necessarily supposed to go through life completely alone and that's where good friends come in -- during the holidays and on all the other days. Don't lose your mojo by dreading the holidays. Celebrate in a way that works for you!