How To Spend Christmas Alone, Because "Me" Time Is Something To Be Celebrated
Television (ahem, the Hallmark channel) does its best to paint the picture-perfect Christmas. In Hollywood, the quintessential holiday season includes turkey dinners, gift-wrapped packages under a decorative tree, and family — a lot of it. Because there’s such a strong emphasis on togetherness this time of year, figuring out how to spend Christmas alone, and actually enjoy yourself in the process, can be difficult. However, I’m here to tell you that you can absolutely have a holly, jolly Christmas solo. Remember, friends, just because you’re on your lonesome doesn’t mean you have to feel lonely.
If this is your first time spending the holidays away from the fam, it's going to feel a little strange at first. Of course, you'll miss your mom's homemade pumpkin pie and your dad's awful jokes, but you know what you won't miss? Having Aunt Carole judgmentally side-eye you when you take thirds at the dinner table, awkwardly opening gifts you never would have asked for in front of the distant family members who bought them for you, and listening to the same old political debates over too-strong cups of coffee.
When you tear off the rose-tinted glasses that the Lifetime channel starts handing out around the holidays, and you put things into perspective, celebrating Christmas alone doesn't sound all that bad. In fact, it sounds pretty nice, in my opinion.
Don't get me wrong — I consider myself to be extremely family-oriented, but sometimes, things come up and you might have to (or even choose to) spend Christmas on your own. Instead of spending the day mourning over what you're missing, take this precious time to unapologetically celebrate you. After all, the gift of TLC is honestly the best present you can give to yourself, and opportunities to do so are often few and far between. Here's how you can spend Christmas alone, and love every second of it.
1. Watch Something Other Than 'A Christmas Story'
Of course, if you like watching A Christmas Story on repeat for 24 hours straight, who am I to tell you to do otherwise? But, if you're feeling kind of down about spending Christmas alone, you might want to skip the tall tale of Ralphie and his seemingly never-ending quest to get a Red Ryder air rifle for Christmas. We already know the kid doesn't shoot his eye out anyway.
Instead, filmmaker and mental health activist Elyse Fox suggests taking full advantage of your Netflix and/or Hulu subscriptions. "The beautiful thing [about Netflix, Hulu, and other on-demand TV services] is that you can watch your favorite movies and shows without the interruption of holiday commercials and cheesy jingles," she tells Elite Daily.
2. Spend The Entire Day Appreciating Yourself
I am well aware that what I'm about to say contradicts everything we know about Christmastime and what it means for family togetherness, but if you're spending Christmas solo, you might as well take this opportunity to be a little selfish.
In this busy life millennials lead, finding a day to dedicate entirely to doing you is a rarity. So on Christmas Eve, Fox tells Elite Daily, create a playlist of your favorite songs. In the morning, turn up the tunes and "treat the day as an extra 'self-care day.'" This could mean pampering your body with a bubble bath and luxurious sheet masks, writing a list of all your many accomplishments over the last 12 months, or lazing in bed all day long. The possibilities are endless.
3. Spend The Day With Those Less Fortunate
Humans are naturally social beings, and I think when we're unable to make it to family dinner or Christmas brunch with friends, it's inevitable that we'll feel even the tiniest bit of FOMO. But this is the perfect example of how we can turn a negative into a positive.
If you have a genuine fear of missing out, that means you have something or someone to miss, so think about it this way: Not everyone is lucky enough to have that. Rather than staying in and sulking over take-out food, psychology professor emeritus and founder and chief science officer of TAO Connect Dr. Sherry Benton suggests taking this time to volunteer.
"Almost every community has events where you can volunteer to help feed the homeless or to provide meals to the elderly," she tells Elite Daily. "Volunteering your time will help you connect to others, and allow you to feel fulfilled and grateful. It’s amazing how much better you can feel after doing this."
4. Make Your Own Traditions
Personally, I am such a sucker for traditions, and I really love the customs my family has established over the years. That being said, there's always room for new traditions to blossom, and what better time to brainstorm than when you have full control over what you do for Christmas, and how you go about doing it?
Dr. Danielle Forshee, LLC tells Elite Daily this is definitely something to consider, and that traditions like experimenting with "new, different kinds of meals that are outside your comfort zone to make" could be a fun way to mix up your celebration.
5. Brainstorm A List Of Potential New Year's Resolutions
I don't know about you, but whenever I spend the day alone, my mind inevitably wanders to all the things I want to do the next day, week, or even within the next five years.
Christmas is, of course, just days before New Year's Eve, so what better time than now to sit down and really meditate on your hopes and dreams for 2018? Fox suggests journaling your goals for the new year, and keeping that list handy as a visual reminder of all you want to accomplish.
6. Test Out A New Hot Chocolate Recipe
At least for me, hot chocolate is one of the most classic Christmastime delicacies. As much as I love a tall mug of Swiss Miss, there are so many hot chocolate recipes online that you need to at least try if your taste buds are craving cocoa.
This Christmas, fill up your solo free time by making multiple mugs of the good stuff and putting each indulgence to the test (and yes, you should definitely finish them all). If you're looking for inspiration, Ingrid Nilsen's holiday hot chocolate recipes never disappoint (my personal favorite is this Twix one).
7. Experiment In The Kitchen
There are few things better than coming home around the holidays and filling up on your parents' home-cooked meals, but if you're riding solo this Christmas, it's probably super tempting to forgo fiddling in the kitchen and just order take-out instead. However, I urge you to resist that temptation.
You were probably going to eventually ask your mom or dad how to make your favorite dishes anyway, so there's no time like the present to pick up the new skill. Put the pizza menu down, and instead, try recreating your favorite seasonal dishes as best as you can. If it's an epic fail, then you order out, but chances are, it can't be that bad, and you'll likely have leftovers for the rest of the week.