There are many reasons why those who usually celebrate Christmas may end up, at some point, spending it on their own. For me, it’s a combination of personal reasons, the sheer distance from my family, and ill timing with a month long trip home in February. But there’s several things we can all do when we’re feeling vulnerable around the holiday season to remind us to be merry and bright.
- Do a lot in the running up to the big two-five. This year I baked – a lot – and I gave almost all of my treats away. It made me feel really good to make people happy, and baking reminded me of being home.
- Spend as much time with friends before hand, and on christmas eve if you can. I was lucky that my boyfriend went home around mid-afternoon, so we exchanged presents and had a delicious breakfast (including the panettone he bought me!) before he left.
- Go out on Christmas eve! If anyone is around, make a plan to go out with them. There may be some friends who don’t celebrate, or who are alone as well – even if it’s just for the night before – who would love to grab some mulled wine. Again, I was lucky in this respect!
On Christmas Day
- Make a wonderful breakfast for yourself – treat it as your own personal holiday. Keep things tidy, as well. It’s tempting when our partners or flatmates aren’t around to get a bit messy, but keeping your surroundings comfortable and clean will help your mind stay happy.
- Go outside – go for a walk or a bike ride. Take a book. In London almost everything is shut, so plan layers, bring snacks, and, if you need to, plan your route. Some of us are great at wandering, some not so much. If you feel like directionless meandering will get you down, pick some places nearby that you enjoy going to.
- Leave the phone at home, or in another room! The people who are usually texting fiends may not be so – and waiting for responses to ‘Merry Xmas 🎅🎄🎅🎄’ messages may not brighten your spirits – nor will constantly refreshing your Facebook feed.
- Watch whatever you want – don’t limit yourself to christmas related things. My personal favourite this seasons is Bron|Broen which is on iPlayer!
- Plan a nice dinner – indulge, but don’t overindulge. Have an extra cookie but don’t finish off the pack because you may end up regretting it, and we’re keeping today positive. Same goes for booze if you suffer massive hangovers, but you don’t have to abstain. You can always make your own mulled wine or – my favourite – hot buttered rum (ignore the snark of lmgtfy). If you’ve got rum, spices, butter, and apple juice (or even water) you’re already prepared.
- Most of all, be kind to yourself. Know when you feel sad and be okay with it – or if you’re not bothered, be okay with that too. Give yourself a facial or deep condition your hair or finally knit that hat for your new baby cousin (oops). It’s just one day, out of the many days of your life.
That’s it! I hope you all have a happy christmas.