"The Holidays" can be depressing and stressful for those of us who have to travel home to our families and suffer through the same old traditions, the same old fights and the same old food. But this time of year is much harder for those of us who do not have a family tradition to endure. Let's be honest, it's all fine and good to pass on generic "happy holidays," but we all know that the holiday in question right now is Christmas. And this might shock many of you, but not everybody in this country actually celebrates Christmas. This leaves many Hot Chicks with only pity parties to attend on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and even those cold lonely days between Christmas and New Year's. Well, we're not saying that you should start celebrating the birth of Jesus if that's not your thing, but we do have some tips to help you enjoy this time of year along with everybody else.
#1 - Tag Along
Most families are so sick of spending the holidays with only each other that they love having fresh blood around. It gives them an opportunity to try new things and spiff everything up a little bit nicer when they have a guest to impress. So if you are lucky enough to be invited to a friend's family festivities, say yes! We don't understand why so many of you turn down invitations like this. Don't feel like you are intruding. If they invited you, that means they want you there. They are less likely to get into a big blowout with you there, plus all of their kooky family customs will seem so much funnier from the perspective of a fresh set of eyeballs. Everybody wins. Some of their practices may seem a bit odd, but so what? You will experience new things, eat strange new foods and be surrounded by happy celebratory people instead of all alone in your closet. (We're not sure why, but if you don't go, we're picturing you sitting on the floor of your closet with a bottle of wine and it's not a pretty picture.)
#2 - Go Out
Okay, so maybe none of your friends have invited you to their house for Christmas. That's okay. There are probably plenty of fun things that you can do in your own town. If you're Jewish, nearly every city has a "Motzah Ball" party on Christmas Eve specifically for people like you, so rally up some friends and go! And don't tell us that it sounds too cheesy or too lame. We don't love the name Motzah Ball, either, but it's a party and there will most likely be cute boys (and girls) and drinks and it's better than sitting at home. If you can't think of anyone to take with you, keep thinking, and think outside the box. If your regular Saturday night crew is all out of town, then it's a good opportunity to bond with people who you don't ordinarily hang out with. Don't be shy - call up co-workers, ex-co-workers or acquaintances who you know don't celebrate Christmas, either. They've probably been dreading spending the holiday alone and will be thrilled to hear from you.
#3 - Be Spontaneous
If tips 1 and 2 don't work for you because your friends haven't invited you over and there really is nobody around that you can go out with, then do something different and fun and totally spontaneous by yourself! Splurge on an overnight trip to a spa or buy a cheap ticket to any new city. (You can get really good deals by traveling on Christmas Day, too!) Think about it this way: if you don't celebrate Christmas then you haven't been spending as much money as everyone else this month, so treat yourself! It might sound scary if you're not the type who usually travels by yourself, but do it anyway. Force yourself out of your comfort zone and explore a new place. You'll have fun, be proud, and probably discover something new about yourself, too.
#4 - Buy Gifts
It may sound counterintuitive to make yourself feel better about the season by buying gifts, but we know that those of you who don't have gift-buying obligations to your friends and family might feel a little left out when you watch commercial after commercial in December. So, even if nobody expects it from you, go ahead and buy holiday gifts! If the idea of Christmas gifts makes you uncomfortable, then call them New Year's gifts. Pick just a handful of people who you are especially thankful for this year, and buy them small personal gifts. Trust us - it is so much fun to pick out lip glosses and panties for your girlfriends that your inner Scrooge will soon melt away like snow. Oh, and please don't forget to buy a few presents for yourself. Let Christmas (or day after Christmas sales) be an excuse to splurge on a few of those impractical things that you almost bought online fifty times. Get yourself that sequin-y dress and dangly earrings and fun new toy (wink, wink). You deserve to get what you want this Christmas, even if it's not from Santa.
#5 - Start A New Tradition
Just because your family doesn't celebrate Christmas, that doesn't mean that you shouldn't spend the holiday together. Of course there is that cliché about Jewish families seeing movies and eating Chinese food on Christmas, but what's wrong with that? It's better than nothing and (trust us) it's way more fun than plenty of other ways you could spend Christmas! So if your family doesn't have a Christmas Day tradition, then take it on yourself to start one. Invite your family over to your house for dinner and watch home movies, or fly home and surprise your mom and cook for her in your old house, or go ice skating with your brother and his wife. Squash any animosity towards your step-dad and your lingering sibling rivalry and start something new that can be passed down for generations. All customs start somewhere - how cool would it be to have one start with you? You don't need the religious or commercial aspects of Christmas to have a warm, fun tradition that will end up bringing your family closer.
For more holiday season tips, click here for more from Huffington Post's Living!
Check back every Saturday for more health and fitness tips from our resident Hot Chicks, Jodi Lipper and Cerina Vincent.
Follow Jodi Lipper and Cerina Vincent on Twitter: www.twitter.com/HotChickBooks