You’ve done your Christmas shopping, drunk some mulled wine, sung your heart out at your office party (oh dear) and eaten your body weight in mince pies. Now what about the dreaded Christmas day itself? There isn’t a gingerbread latte out there that can beat the loneliness and despair of sitting amongst all those jolly family members whilst you try to hide behind a swivel stick.
An eHarmony study done last Christmas found that 47% of singles cited loneliness as the reason they dreaded Christmas. Most of you will actually find Christmas more stressful than Valentine’s day. That sucks.
My first Christmas being single was a massive avoidance warfare game. Every time another family member would veer towards me for the inevitable questions or patting of my arm whilst we discuss my failed marriage, I would duck behind the tree or declare that it was my turn to top everyone’s drinks up.
What made it all the more miserable were all the smug married people hugging each other whilst wearing matching Reindeer jumpers. Positively nauseating. So in tribute to all you suddenly singletons, here are a few tips on tackling December with confidence.
Ever heard the saying ‘fake it till you make it’? Rather than get somber or depressed, get fully into the Christmas cheer by dragging yourself to the shops, getting a tree, putting it up, decorating your house/room/area.
Just because you’re spending Christmas alone doesn’t mean that you don’t have a right to bask in the Christmas feel that decorations provide. I really do suggest you make a few small decorations even if you don’t feel like it.
Get yourself a vanilla or Christmas fragrance. Research shows that by having nice Christmasy smells around you – you will get into the Christmas spirit.
Rather than your relationship status being THE topic of conversation, get yourself the loudest and most ridiculous jumper, flashing earrings or reindeer jumpsuit. This shows everyone that although your heart is broken, your sense of humour and sillyness is thoroughly intact and will confuse anyone who approaches you.
Rather than focus on the fact that being single is worse than death incarnate they will instead be forced to discuss your ridiculous attire. If they do ask personal questions, just switch on some lights within your outfit and ask them what the worst outfit was that they ever saw.
If the prospect of walking into a gathering of family or friends without someone on your arm is wholly intimidating, fight that feeling.
The truth is that people are paying far less attention to you than you think they are. Simply try to enjoy the company of friends and family you don’t often see.
After all, what’s funnier than Aunt Margaret after a few too many sherries? If you really can’t face it, coerce a friend into going with you – but take care if you think all your attention will be spent making sure they’re ok rather than socialising – it’s a pointless exercise.
Rather than chat aimlessly about deep and meaningful things – challenge everyone to a game of monopoly, scrabble, rummy or Twister. Tell everyone that you mean business; when they ask deep questions tell them there is no time for such distractions because you need to focus on destroying Auntie Bess at scrabble. That will shut everyone up.
So you’ve got some spare time on your hands. There is always someone sadder than you, and don’t you forget that! Why not volunteer for a charity such as Crisis or a soup kitchen in your local area over Christmas?
While you should stay social, try to avoid being the only single person at a party if you think it will bother you. Take a friend with you and enjoy yourself.
There are actually lots of bonuses to being single at Christmas – no agonizing over presents for your partner, no stress over whose house to eat Christmas dinner at, being able to go to any party you want…the list goes on.
Still feeling miserable? Christmas puts huge pressure on couples too. According to Family Mediation Helpline, there are 1.8 million considering divorce over the period.
Remember also that there is life after Christmas – after all, in just a week it’ll be January. (And if the prospect of a cold and grey January doesn’t persuade you to enjoy the moment, nothing will!)