When You're Feeling Alone For The Holidays, These 8 Things Will Make You Feel Merry

'Tis the season for mashed potatoes and twinkly lights everywhere. That's right: Halloween is over, and your boots and puffer jackets are out to play. Making plans to watch The Grinch and scoping out all of the Black Friday sales are necessary. This year, you might not be quite as excited for the festivities, though. Your besties are out of town, or you're the only one left on campus. (Who's going to exchange gifts and make cookies with you? Ugh.) When you're feeling alone for the holidays, don't fret, because there are little ways you can make the season very merry and bright.

Grab a packet of hot chocolate mix, pour hot water in a mug, and then sip on this: You're snuggled up in your apartment on a chilly afternoon. You have a pair of fuzzy socks and an oversized turtleneck on. Cozy might as well be your middle name. You reach for your phone to text your besties and realize that nobody is around. One is traveling, the other is in another state, and the last is your cousin who you won't see until the family party. You think to yourself, "Ice skating isn't going to happen today." The disappointment is very real. What do you do now?

Well, you keep your chin up! Your holiday season is going to be totally #awesome because of these eight little things that are totally merry and bright.

1Go Shopping For New Decorations

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The holidays call for all kinds of decorations — and odds are, you've been using the same gold tinsel for years. The snowflakes you string across your ceiling are hand-me-downs, and there are a few bulbs out on that string of lights. Girl, it's about time you give your holiday spirit an upgrade.

Take yourself shopping and grab some new festive things for your space. Maybe you've always wanted cute snowmen for your windowsill, or there's a sign that says, "Eat, drink, and be merry" that would be perfect near your TV. Fill your cart, and keep your eye out for coupons, too!

2Organize A Friendsgiving Party

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Even though your friends are away right now, you can make plans for when you're back together. Organize a gift exchange, or a plan an afternoon of making cookies and gingerbread houses in the near future. Possibly the most delicious of these options is organizing a Friendsgiving party.

When your crew comes back to campus or your hometown, have a second turkey dinner. Arrange for everyone to bring a different dish, and go around the table saying what you're most grateful for. Is the holiday season already feeling a bit brighter? Mashed potatoes can be so magical in that way.

3Send Cookies To Your Friends

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Spending the holidays feeling like you're alone isn't so sweet. But, sending cookies to your besties turns that around.

One moment, you're pulling out the chocolate chips and bags of flour in your kitchen. Holiday music is playing in the background, or you're rewatching your favorite sitcoms. You put the batch in the oven and lick the spoon. (If anyone else was here, you'd have to share the dough. Think about that.)

When all is said and done, you wrap up the snickerdoodles and peanut butter kisses, and organize them in a cute box with a card. Tomorrow you plan on shipping these sweets to your besties and friends in another state. Problem solved.

4Make A Playlist Of Holiday Music

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Every season deserves a soundtrack. In the summer, you jam out to country music when you're driving down to the beach. Fall means that the "Monster Mash" is basically on repeat. Now with the holidays right around the corner, you need a new playlist for making the best memories.

You want your favorite Christmas songs to blast through your speakers, and chill alternative music for when you're eating your turkey dinner. Let's be honest: Dance parties are always more fun when there are multiple people involved, but you have a good time singing into your hairbrush by yourself, too.

5Catch Up With Your Family

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During the semester or these past few weeks at work, you haven't had much time to talk to your friends and family. You were rushing around from meeting to meeting, and trying to squeeze in a spin class at the gym. It's time that you catch up with your cousins, and see what's going on in their lives.

Truth is, when you reach out to other people, you feel less alone. You get to have meaningful and much-needed conversations with your grandma, or share a few laughs with your sister who's on another coast. It's truly the best gift at all, and one that requires some alone time during the holidays.

6Volunteer Within Your Community

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Volunteering is always a good idea. Especially during the holiday season, your community is looking for some extra hands. There are groups designated to handing out Thanksgiving food, toy drives going on at the local stores, and furry friends who would really enjoy your time spent with them. Have you ever thought about donating your time? Well, right now you have some — so, get to it!

Reach out to the organizers and see how you can help make a difference. Within the first few hours, you'll feel like you're more connected to the people around you, and maybe even make some new friends. The holidays are about giving, after all. Don't miss out on this opportunity for spreading love and lots of cheer.

7Take Your Own Weekend Trip

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Every single one of your friends is traveling right now. So, why not go on your own weekend trip? Maybe you could rent one of those cute cabins on Airbnb and soak in the bliss of nature, or get a loft in the city and explore. You've been given the gift of time and space, so use it wisely.

Sure, you may not be totally excited about the idea of a solo trip, but there are a lot of perks to it, like being able to decide your own schedule and meeting other solo travelers. You could even take a road trip to one of your friends and visit with their family, if that suits you best.

8Read Something For Pleasure

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Relaxation is the name of the game when you're looking to be merry and bright. (Just take it from Buddy the Elf — his favorite activity is smiling!) This holiday season, you may be feeling like your friends aren't around very much — and that's OK. You now have the time to pick up a book or magazine and read for pleasure — or do just about anything else that lets you hit "pause."

When it's midterms week or you're working on a big project at the office, you're cramming your time with textbooks or research. You don't have the energy to kick back with a mystery novel at the end of the day. Now you do, and it's so simple.

Being by yourself while your friends are away might not be so #awesome, but doing something little like this will make your holiday season merry and bright.