The fact is spending holidays alone is never easy. For some of us, it is a reality. If you are a single parent, then it can happen more often than you would like.
As much as everyone tells us it is all about our attitude, that simply isn’t helpful. And while nothing will suddenly make the holidays as warm and cozy as having your kids or family with you, practicing some of these tips may ease the dread of the isolation.
Preparation Tips for Spending Holidays Alone
Tune out advertising as much as possible leading up to the holiday. I do not have cable. This helps so much because I don’t have to watch all the sickening sweet family Thanksgiving commercials. My Thanksgivings are nothing like that! I also do my Christmas shopping online so I’m not going into stores to see the things that depress me around that time of year.
Even if you don’t see your children on the actual holiday due to custody arrangements, make sure to celebrate the holiday with them on another day. Planning the holiday with them can still be just as exciting. If you have the day planned for after the official holiday, you can spend the official holiday planning.
Each time you feel the dread of spending the upcoming day by yourself, shift your focus to a plan for the day instead.
Yep, make it all about you. You deserve it. There you have permission!
Indulge in a guilty pleasure. I don’t know what your guilty pleasure might be. Perhaps it’s a Netflix binge of the Gilmore Girls or some other TV show you wouldn’t normally watch. If you haven’t watched all 6 seasons of Parenthood then it’s probably time to clear your calendar anyway. Stay in your PJs all day and eat chips and do what only you want to do.
Get out of town. It won’t feel so weird doing an activity solo if you are a tourist. Even if it is just in a state or town away, for some reason it feels more acceptable to do the activity alone. If you really want to get out of town there are solo traveling experiences you can participate in.
Go to a movie you really want to see. Once the lights dim, no one even knows you are by yourself. Splurge and go to a movie theater that has the reclining seats and serves you dinner and drinks.
If all else fails, do what you need to do to get through the day. Last year, I worked through the 4th of July solo. I told myself it’s just another day on the calendar.
Friendsgiving is gaining popularity now. It’s where you have a Thanksgiving with your groups of friends, not necessarily a huge traditional family Thanksgiving.
Most likely there is a volunteer opportunity near you. Delivering meals is a great place to start. Last year, I adopted a family for Christmas through The United Way. I spent my Thanksgiving evening organizing who would buy what for the recipients and then Christmas shopping online.
Spending holidays alone may never get easy. I hope it does. But through some planning and turning off the media hopefully we can get through them just like we do the other difficult days of the year.