Once winter comes around, we are suddenly mobbed by a series of holidays in all their glory of sales, lights and too many people everywhere.
And odds are, if you are an introvert, you'd probably rather spend those holiday nights alone in the company of Netflix and wine.
So if the very thought of spending every day during the holidays seeing annoying family members or going to crazy parties makes you anxious, remember these five things if you decide to spend the holidays by yourself:
1. Do not — I mean, for real — do not accept any dinner invitations.
The first step in making it alone this holiday season is by not agreeing to any dinner, movie, picnic or any kind of gathering with any person other than yourself.
I say this because that ruins the whole point of you being alone, and it sucks if you cancel it later, when your host has already made the arrangements.
2. Get your ass off the couch.
I know, I know, you want to spend the holidays alone because you are too tired of adulting at your 9-to-5 job.
But you can still park it on your couch on every other weekend. This time, use the days off to really get in the holiday spirit.
Seriously, do everything from decorating your studio apartment to buying gifts (for yourself) at a crowded mall where you can hardly breathe, and you need water but you don't want to lose your spot in line, and you can feel your lips getting chapped like Rose's when she was on that door in the middle of the damn ocean when the Titanic sank, and you know in your heart there was space for Jack, too, but screw that because it's the holiday sale, and you really want a new 50-inch TV.
3. Treat yourself.
Now, don't go around draining your savings account for the hell of it.
I mean treat yourself, as in be good to yourself because, sometimes, we get so caught up in life, we just don't take care of ourselves.
We live according to what is more convenient and not because that's what we really want. But not anymore. At least, not this holiday season.
If you want to eat a chocolate cake from the bakery nearby and not that Oreo lying next to your bed lamp, then go out and get yourself a chocolate cake.
If you want to go to Ireland after watching a certain romantic tearjerker called "P.S. I Love You," then make the trek.
And if you want to just relax and read something, which you probably haven't done in a million years, then by all means do you.
4. Call your loved ones.
This is the least you can do if you're actively ditching your family and friends this holiday. (And even if it's not your choice, it's still a good thing to do.)
By calling them, you are not only doing them a favor, but you're also doing yourself a huge favor because we all need love.
So call your loved ones, tell them you're thinking about them, even if you are not together, and thank them for all the good things they have done for you.
Wish them well, and most importantly, let them know you're doing OK because they're probably worried about you. That's what they do.
5. Know that you are only alone, not lonely.
Now, if you're really going to spend the holidays alone, know it's OK to be alone, even on the most festive days, even if it sucks or even if it makes you sad.
Bear it in your mind that you are alone now (hopefully) because of your own choice and not because you are lonely.
However, if you can't help but feel a little lonely this holiday season, don't worry; we all feel lonely sometimes, too.
But that's why we have wine.