For many, Christmas is usually the time to defy borders just to get some family time. The Yuletide season involves lots of traditions everyone can participate in, but the thing about traditions is that they’re upheld by a group.
Growing up, the one group we get used to practising these traditions with is the family, so it makes sense to not know how to enjoy the season without them. It’s a bigger nightmare to not even have friends around too. They’re technically the family you choose, and it would probably be worth it to spend the holidays with them instead.
If, for whatever reason, you have to spend Christmas on your own this holiday here are five ways to make sure you don’t hate it:
1. Binge movies and shows
Given school, work and my barely existent social life, my must-watch list grows longer and longer over the months. By the time Christmas is here, there are many options for me to choose from. My list cuts across multiple genres, including cheesy rom-coms like all three of The Princess Switch movies.
Even if you don't have a list, it’s not much of a task to find something to watch during the holidays. I noticed Netflix’s ‘New & Hot’ section is particularly active as the holiday season sets in, offering several recommendations. You could also pick up recommendations from people you know/like or just ask Google. T’is the season to be jolly, and you’d be surprised how high your spirits get after you get some good laughs.
2. Go outside
All sorts of events go down during Christmas, and I’m honestly amazed by the variety. Places that have been basic all year are suddenly exuding magic and cheer. Wafting through the air are Christmas melodies and the aroma of holiday delicacies, all of which are capable of putting you in the mood for some indulgence — which, honestly, is what this time of year is for.
When you head out, it’s also quite likely that you find someone who's trying to bask in the Christmas cheer outdoors. If my anxiety wasn't so crippling, I think it would be cool to walk up to someone that looks like they're on my level of loneliness. Perhaps we could be lonely together. And, if we’re boisterous enough, maybe we can play the part of the jolly old saint and put smiles on people’s faces by doing something like dancing in public.
Before heading out, you can create a list of places to visit so you don't get sidetracked. Churches, city squares and any other place that you think will put you in the right mood can all have a place on the list. Backdrop’s Collection feature can help your curation have the right aesthetic, so you're sure about the appeal of the places on your list.
3. Do some spirit exercises
Alone time gives you the chance for some mindfulness. Spirituality doesn't have to be limited to religious places of worship, as you simply need to get in touch with your inner self. This period is great to do some reflection, identifying your blessings and vulnerability — which is a great way to come up with New Year resolutions. And this time, you can put effort into making these resolutions realistic and attainable (so you don’t quit before January is over).
Reminiscing is also a great way to get in tune with your inner self. Think of the things that made past Christmases worth it, then revel in those memories. If you let them, they can inspire this year’s activities because you're now in tune with the best parts of the holiday.
4. Choose a playlist that makes you happy
I believe music is a big part of Christmas, and I think Mariah Carey would agree with me. The right music sets the scene, therefore it’s not out of place to put a little effort into finding or even curating your own special playlist for the period. Jolly and cheerful is the season’s major mood, so a list of upbeat music is best (but it’s your playlist, and of course, you decide the mood). With no one around to disturb you, you can spend as much time as you need searching or organising, and there will probably be zero skips because at the time, only your taste matters.
5. Get yourself a dish you love
Yuletide dishes are the season’s gifts to the tongue, hence the food you have can affect how much you enjoy yourself. Cooking is a big part of the traditions for most people, but if you're a walking kitchen hazard like myself, you can buy something instead. The dish should be as elaborate as you can afford, but in portions that won’t go to waste. Christmas dinners usually entail a full dining table and someone in every seat, but you can also enjoy it alone if it's food you can't say no to.
Christmas is the season of gift-giving, and with no one around to give you any presents, the responsibility becomes yours. By following these recommendations, you give yourself things to appreciate with different parts of yourself. You’ll get the full experience, even without the other people you usually enjoy it with.