The holiday season is a landmine of expectations, obligations, and self-imposed stress. Getting through the ChrisMahanaKwanzaka trifecta of holiday celebrations and cheer takes a lot out of the average person. And, when you’re coupled up, there are additional obligations that further complicate what should be a fun and happy time or the year.
Many would argue that being single sucks-especially during the holiday season. But, I beg to differ. Being single during the holiday season can be a glorious experience that may include lip-synching to random holiday songs after a couple cups of spiked holiday eggnog while watching rom-com marathons. If you don’t believe me, I’m going to make my case and see what you think!
It doesn’t suck.
Now, let’s be clear, I actually love the holidays. I love the decorations, the songs, eggnog, and every excuse to eat pecan pie. The holidays seem to be the only time that families don’t fight the expectation that they should spend time together…because they’re a family.
And, I love taking every opportunity to spend time with my family. But, I’m going to push back on having to meet certain expectations during the holiday season. And, as a single person, I can lobby pretty effectively why I would like to visit at a different time of year. It’s cheaper, easier, I already have plans. You get the picture.
Avoid the “whose family?” conversation.
One of the potentially most contentious conversations a couple may find themselves having during the holiday season is “your family or mine?” Upon asking this question some additional issues pop up.
What if you only have so many frequent flyer miles and your loved ones live in the middle of some random town in Illinois (like mine do). You then begin the process of selling why you should visit your family vs. theirs. It’s almost like family smackdown-Holiday Edition. May the odds be ever in the least dysfunctional family’s favor.
Not only do you have to negotiate location, you have to negotiate the level of crazy that you would like to deal with. Every family is a little bit crazy, so each couple has to have a conversation that acknowledges that their family is potentially crazy and how much you’re willing to deal with during the holidays. Let the games begin.
Single people don’t have to worry about having this conversation. You can just decide to go wherever you would like to go and even choose to avoid your family until it’s a calmer time of year.
Let’s go to Costa Rica instead.
In fact, one of the best things about being single is that you can choose to skip the holiday crazy. I love Thanksgiving, Christmas, Kwanzaa, and basically, any and every excuse to celebrate the meaning behind each holiday and spend time with my family and friends.
But, I’ve found myself turned off by how spending has changed the energy of the holiday season. The rampant materialism is just exhausting. I’m completely disinterested in buying gifts because I’m just not into buying gifts because you expect me to.
So this single person, and I’m sure many others out there, will opt out of the holiday season and go on a fun vacation where I can focus on self-care, have fun, and avoid all the drama.
As a singleton, you can decide how you give back to others during the holiday season. Family traditions be damned. You can create a new tradition for every holiday, every single year. And, with exception of your immediate family, no one is going to judge you for deciding what will serve your needs best during the holiday season.
The best thing about being single during the holiday season is the ability to do whatever you feel like. Want to go to yoga on Thanksgiving and get your Shavasana on? Done! Feel like watching the Westminster Dog Show? Done! Want to sleep in and then plan out your winter travel or your Black Friday shopping extravaganza? Done!
But, perhaps my favorite thing about being single during the holidays is the ability to avoid gift-giving analysis paralysis.If you feel like you suck at giving gifts, not having a significant other gets you out of that tricky obligation. I really enjoy giving gifts, but there is something about giving gifts during the holiday season. So. damn.stressful.
Being single during the holidays doesn’t have to be a downer, it can be as good or as bad as you want it to be. In fact, if you’re single or coupled up, you have a lot more control over how your holiday season should be.
It’s all about perspective.
Always remember, be grateful. There are other people who may be having a harder time than you. This post is being written after watching Houston, Florida, and Puerto Rico get slammed by hurricanes and flooding and Northern Californian towns get completely destroyed by fire.
It could always be worse. If you’re missing company during the holidays-throw a potluck, volunteer, help others. Many people think that being single during the holidays means you’re alone. To me, it just means you’re single.
Bring people into your life each and every day. And, if you prefer to skip the holiday shenanigans-do it!
Do you enjoy the single life, especially around the holidays? Tell us why it’s great over in #Adulting Facebook community.