Holidays can be incredibly stressful when you have to fulfill various obligations. But there is a sense of freedom when the challenges associated with preparing for and attending events doesn’t apply to you. What do you do, when by chance or choice, you are one of the millions of people worldwide spending Christmas solo?
Having mixed emotions surrounding the holidays is natural, but you can still enjoy every minute of it – even if you are by yourself. With no schedule to meet or people to please, you are free to do anything you want. That being said, you might be wondering what to do with yourself when others are sitting down to open gifts, sing carols, or re-open old family wounds. Here are some ideas.
1. Honor the Holiday.
Just because you’re alone on Christmas, that doesn’t mean you need to ignore the holiday completely. Get yourself some nice decorations, even if it’s a small fake tree. Buy or make some treats that you associate with Christmas, such as gingerbread or eggnog and find the holiday tunes on your music streaming service.
2. Get Comfortable.
One of the joys of spending the holiday alone is that you can wear anything you want, including your PJs all day long. Ideally, you’ll want to put on a fresh set of PJs after you roll out of bed on Christmas day, but it’s your day and your choice. If you have something festive, like reindeer pajama pants or a Santa t-shirt, throw them on.
3. Binge Watch Something.
Not everyone has the same taste in movies and TV shows. Since this is your day to do whatever you want, you can choose your favorite movie saga (Star Wars, Harry Potter, Terminator), TV series (That 70s Show, Grey’s Anatomy), or Netflix Series (Stranger Things, OITNB) and watch every single one of them.
4. Help Someone Else.
If you’re alone on Christmas, there’s a good chance that others nearby are as well. And many may not be in a position to get cozy and self-indulge for the day. Stepping out of your comfort zone to help others could be one of the greatest gives you give both yourself and those you meet. ELLE’s list of helpful activities you can do on Christmas includes:
- Visit the elderly in your community.
- Create and pass out food baskets for the less fortunate.
- Volunteer at a local food pantry or night shelter.
- Become a housesitter or petsitter.
5. Go to a Chinese Restaurant
Whether you’re alone on Christmas or not, you deserve a delicious meal. One of the most popular culinary choices on Christmas Day is Chinese food. Grub Hub reports that orders go up 150% on this day alone, in part because many Chinese restaurants are open on Christmas.
Rrestaurants like Z & Y Restaurant in San Francisco’s Chinatown are open 365 days a year, including Christmas Day. They are top spots for holiday dining in San Francisco and many other cities, and these restaurants welcome solo diners.
Christmas time can be noisy and overwhelming for some. We spend for it, plan for it, and dread it all at the same time, year after year. No matter what society tries to tell you about spending the holidays alone, doing so can be quite freeing and enjoyable. Use these tips to make your upcoming holiday – alone or alone-ish – one that you’ll cherish or at least remember fondly.