If people are giving you grief for skipping out on festive social plans in order to stay home and watch the quality programming offered this time of year on the ABC Family, Hallmark and Lifetime channels, then they just don't understand.
Sure, they're worried about you being lonely. Sure, your mom wants grandkids. But you, my friend, are not "giving up." You're doing research.
Here are 11 ways to find true love for Christmas... according to holiday TV movies, that is.
1. Hang Out at Funeral Homes
Cancel your Match.com membership and spend your time doing something actually productive: scouring the obituaries.
There is a staggeringly disproportionate number of super-hot widows in the world of holiday TV movies. Black ice on the roads = two carats of "He went to Jared!" ice on your finger by MLK Day. If your selected target has a precocious daughter in the 8-12-year-old range, you're golden, because she is way more excited about setting Dad up than she is about grieving for her "first" mother.
Note to married women with children: Don't wait to have the tough conversation with your husband. What exactly is the "right amount" of time after you die before he spills coffee on the cute, clumsy toy store owner/clumsy cupcake shop owner with bangs/dog walker who is just so darn clumsy!?
2. If You Already Have a Boyfriend, Dump Him
Because even though he's crazy-rich and wears a bluetooth, he's also really mean! He's probably not actually cheating on you, because that's a bit too real for basic cable, but he's definitely too busy for you on account of the fact that he is CEO of Unspecified Company in Generic Industry and Very Important. Too important.
You deserve someone who appreciates you for who you are -- and for who you to secretly dream of becoming (and anyone who's seen you organize a closet almost like you're a professional has pretty much figured out what that dream is). A special someone who doesn't stand you up for your fancy dinner date at The Fancy Restaurant, where the eccentric maitre'd is com-pletely unsympathetic, because GIRL, GET IT TOGETHER AND LEAVE HIM.
3. If Your Icky BF Has a Male Assistant or Brother...
He's straight -- and you're made for each other. Find yourself under the mistletoe together at the company party and awkwardly almost-kiss, because how can something so wrong feel so right? I'll tell you how: it's Christmas Eve, and he's a skilled wood worker/clock-maker/foreign prince of a fake country with amnesia in his spare time. Who knew?
4. If You Have a Male Assistant...
He's gay -- in a totally asexual way and not at all concerned with his own love life, which makes you much more comfortable. Relax, but be warned: Your assistant will always long for your straight love interest in a totally non-threatening way, because unrequited gay crushes are hilarious!
5. Commit a Meet-Cute Felony
When an emotionally unstable man kidnaps a woman and holds her hostage in a remote log cabin, it's a heinous crime. When an emotionally unstable waitress who's sick of Mom bugging her about being single decides to handcuff Mario Lopez (not like that, you perv! The holding-someone-against-their-will way!) as her personal Christmas love slave, it's a madcap adventure to Truelovetown.
So drive up to that Home Depot and see who jumps in your car. In a perfect world, his name is also Mario, and he doesn't have a whole lot of family, so he won't be missed -- and you'll be at Mom's just in time to not miss her famous spiral-cut Christmas ham.
Travel Tip: If you need to fly home, choose a smaller framed man so his dismembered body parts fit in your Vera Bradley carry-on.
6. Track Down Your Now-Famous High School Ex
Is he a Famous Athlete? Famous Movie Star? Famous Chef who used to cook you his grandma's meatball recipes back in the day? You win Christmas. He still loves you despite the fact that you're totally boring, always wearing sensible knits and have literally nothing going for you, except that you once dated This Guy.
Start making arrangements to ride everywhere in limousines, because all famous people ride exclusively in limos and Escalades and Priuses don't exist at all.
7. Move Back to the Small Town You're From
So, you moved to the Big City and vowed never to return to the podunk town from which you hail? SURPRISE. Your Paw-Paw who raised you since you were a pup died, you now own The Farm, and that guy who works at the hardware store who you played with as a child but NOW HATE SO HARD is your destiny. Go to your destiny. And guess what? You're never, ever leaving that small town ever again.
8. Hunt for Old Men with White Beards
Check the mall, the bus, the train, the airplane and then go back to the mall again. I should be clear: DO NOT make out with these men. Just show them how sweet and kind you are (ideally, when you "don't know" they're watching, wink-wink!), because they are Santa -- ALL OF THEM ARE THE REAL SANTA -- and they will bring you a man for Christmas.
9. Legally Change Your First Name
Face it: Girls named "Rochelle" or "Laura" don't find love during the holiday season. Girls named Noelle, Holly, Carol, Candy or Merry do. Or they're strippers. Or both. But not in Carol's case.
10. Get a Concussion...
...Unless you don't want to go on 12 consecutive Groundhog Day-style super-Christmasy first dates with Mark-Paul Gosselaar, in which case, I don't know... you're Jewish and pissed you had to share your holiday again?
11. Stalk Your Misogynistic Boss
He's the worst! First, he made you stay late on your birthday. WTF? Then, he used Obamacare as an excuse to cancel your insurance policy. He routinely cuts you down in front of your co-workers; he brings in nut-laden muffins despite knowing you have a life-threatening allergy; he decreased your pay 10 percent last year; he takes two-hour lunches every day and he blocked Facebook from all the company computers.
Follow him everywhere.
Why? Because you're sure to discover something unexpected and great about him! Like, maybe he's the bomb at karaoke! You love singing! Or he volunteers at a nursing home -- you love old people! Or he collects snow globes, and so do you! Forgive the eight years he treated you like crap and just appreciate the fact that now he sees you as:
B) A woman
C) His fiancée! Wheee! (As long as you don't mess this up like you did the Mitchell account, you stupid idiot.)
Merry Christmas, lovers!