Having holiday traditions to do by yourself can give you some respite from the pressures of the season. Because honestly, the holidays can be pretty rough. You have your parents wanting to know when you're going to get that "real" job you promised to lock down after college, your married sibling looking down their nose at you when you pick at the turkey with your fingers, and your already slim bank account dwindling down to even less than nothing when you have to start getting Christmas gifts for everyone. Add in the politically problematic dinner table conversation, and you've turned yourself into one big ball of stress for the holidays.
This season always seemed a bit easier to manage when I had a significant other to attend family functions with me. Bringing my boyfriend along with me was basically like coming with a thunder blanket I could wrap around me whenever I got too stressed. Granted, after the holidays were over, my relationship often became a source of stress, too. Even though I've been single for the last few years, I've clearly managed to survive the holidays — and, sometimes, even downright enjoy them. You don't need to have a partner to get in the spirit of the season. Here are some ways to celebrate with your single, fabulous self:
Why not decorate your own space for the holidays to feel cheery and bright? A cute tinsel tree from the dollar store, a few candles and sparkly ornaments, and voila! The spirit of the season is right in your room. Even hanging some bittersweet vines around your room can put you in a crisp wintry mood and lighten your spirit during these cold, dark months.
Make yourself a mix CD with all of your holiday favorites and blast it in your car while you're driving to your holiday gatherings. Even if you hate Christmas carols, you can still play some wintery-sounding tunes that put you in the right mood to be around your family — or even by yourself.
The holidays aren't just about gift-giving, but taking care of those around you. You can feel good by participating in a canned food drive, volunteering for a day at the animal shelter, or doing another service activity. You might even want to sign up for a political organization that you believe in and keep participating for the rest of the year. It's a beautiful way to meet people and give back to your community without having to dip into your wallet.
As a kid, the things I looked forward to most around the holidays usually involved hot chocolate and being on vacation. I'd sit in my pajamas and read for hours on end or play the computer game my parents got me for Christmas. Even though you're technically a grown up, there's nothing stopping you from going out and getting some hot chocolate, putting on your jammies, and crawling into bed with a good book.
You're not the only single person who is out there this holiday season, and everybody needs a little warmth and friendship, whether or not they are in a relationship. Throw a dinner party for your friends and community. Urge them to bring someone new who you have never met before to expand your circle of friends. Don't know how to cook? Make the party a potluck or collaborate with someone who does. There are lots of partnerships around us every day; you don't have to be in a romantic relationship to have one.
Check out the entire Gen Why series and other videos on Facebook and the Bustle app across Apple TV, Roku, and Amazon Fire TV.
Check out the “Best of Elite Daily” stream in the Bustle App for more stories just like this!