For Singles: Deciding How to Spend the Holidays

Reviewed Jan 7, 2021

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Summary

  • Talk to your co-workers about any parties in the works.
  • Visit relatives you haven’t seen in a while.
  • Throw your own party.

The words “alone” and “holidays” just don’t go together. People almost inevitably speak of holidays in terms of plans made with family and friends. During those times, being single may seem difficult. But don’t let yourself feel left out. Take the time to plan where you want to spend the holidays and with whom.

Before you make plans, assess your state of mind as the holidays approach. Do you feel intimidated attending parties or family events alone? You shouldn’t. Around the holidays, more than ever, it’s important to feel secure in your singleness. Remember that being single can be liberating—you can come and go as you like, mingle freely, and maybe even strike up conversations or relationships you wouldn’t have had the opportunity to otherwise. The holidays can provide time to strengthen friendships and family relationships.

Prioritize engagements

Planning your holiday time also can help get you in the spirit. You should get started as early as possible. Call your family and friends and ask about seasonal events or get-togethers. Start a list of engagements and then prioritize. Decide where and with whom you’ll feel happiest and most comfortable—don’t feel pressured to go where you know you’ll be miserable. If you have children, also keep in mind that many relatives probably will want to visit with them, and that they should have the opportunity to spend time with family. Then update your calendar with all the events you’ve decided to attend so far.

Fill the gaps with holiday cheer

Once you have all your planned activities on the calendar, check how much time you still have open. Use a little creativity to fill the gaps in with holiday cheer. Try these ideas:

  • Talk to your co-workers about any parties in the works. Don’t feel awkward about asking to be included. Offer to help with planning or bring food.
  • Visit relatives you haven’t seen in a while. Make the effort to schedule a visit, especially if you have an older family member who may be alone.
  • Throw your own party. Ask a few friends or co-workers to come over and bring their favorite dish. You could plan an activity—maybe ice skating or a holiday movie—or just spend a few hours chatting.
  • Volunteer at a hospital or nursing home. A visit from a kind stranger may be the highlight of the season for a person spending the holidays alone, and it will provide an uplifting experience for you as well.
  • Serve a holiday meal at a homeless shelter. Try to get a friend to go with you, and maybe you could make it a holiday tradition. You’ll be contributing to a worthwhile cause and you can meet other volunteers.
  • Spend a quiet evening at home reading or watching a movie. Get your favorite take-out dinner and relax.
  • Plan a trip. Go it alone or join a tour—many companies offer singles packages. No matter what, make reservations ahead of time. It may seem intimidating to travel by yourself, but once you overcome your fears your vacation could be one of the greatest experiences of your life. 
By Kristen Knight

Summary

  • Talk to your co-workers about any parties in the works.
  • Visit relatives you haven’t seen in a while.
  • Throw your own party.

The words “alone” and “holidays” just don’t go together. People almost inevitably speak of holidays in terms of plans made with family and friends. During those times, being single may seem difficult. But don’t let yourself feel left out. Take the time to plan where you want to spend the holidays and with whom.

Before you make plans, assess your state of mind as the holidays approach. Do you feel intimidated attending parties or family events alone? You shouldn’t. Around the holidays, more than ever, it’s important to feel secure in your singleness. Remember that being single can be liberating—you can come and go as you like, mingle freely, and maybe even strike up conversations or relationships you wouldn’t have had the opportunity to otherwise. The holidays can provide time to strengthen friendships and family relationships.

Prioritize engagements

Planning your holiday time also can help get you in the spirit. You should get started as early as possible. Call your family and friends and ask about seasonal events or get-togethers. Start a list of engagements and then prioritize. Decide where and with whom you’ll feel happiest and most comfortable—don’t feel pressured to go where you know you’ll be miserable. If you have children, also keep in mind that many relatives probably will want to visit with them, and that they should have the opportunity to spend time with family. Then update your calendar with all the events you’ve decided to attend so far.

Fill the gaps with holiday cheer

Once you have all your planned activities on the calendar, check how much time you still have open. Use a little creativity to fill the gaps in with holiday cheer. Try these ideas:

  • Talk to your co-workers about any parties in the works. Don’t feel awkward about asking to be included. Offer to help with planning or bring food.
  • Visit relatives you haven’t seen in a while. Make the effort to schedule a visit, especially if you have an older family member who may be alone.
  • Throw your own party. Ask a few friends or co-workers to come over and bring their favorite dish. You could plan an activity—maybe ice skating or a holiday movie—or just spend a few hours chatting.
  • Volunteer at a hospital or nursing home. A visit from a kind stranger may be the highlight of the season for a person spending the holidays alone, and it will provide an uplifting experience for you as well.
  • Serve a holiday meal at a homeless shelter. Try to get a friend to go with you, and maybe you could make it a holiday tradition. You’ll be contributing to a worthwhile cause and you can meet other volunteers.
  • Spend a quiet evening at home reading or watching a movie. Get your favorite take-out dinner and relax.
  • Plan a trip. Go it alone or join a tour—many companies offer singles packages. No matter what, make reservations ahead of time. It may seem intimidating to travel by yourself, but once you overcome your fears your vacation could be one of the greatest experiences of your life. 
By Kristen Knight

Summary

  • Talk to your co-workers about any parties in the works.
  • Visit relatives you haven’t seen in a while.
  • Throw your own party.

The words “alone” and “holidays” just don’t go together. People almost inevitably speak of holidays in terms of plans made with family and friends. During those times, being single may seem difficult. But don’t let yourself feel left out. Take the time to plan where you want to spend the holidays and with whom.

Before you make plans, assess your state of mind as the holidays approach. Do you feel intimidated attending parties or family events alone? You shouldn’t. Around the holidays, more than ever, it’s important to feel secure in your singleness. Remember that being single can be liberating—you can come and go as you like, mingle freely, and maybe even strike up conversations or relationships you wouldn’t have had the opportunity to otherwise. The holidays can provide time to strengthen friendships and family relationships.

Prioritize engagements

Planning your holiday time also can help get you in the spirit. You should get started as early as possible. Call your family and friends and ask about seasonal events or get-togethers. Start a list of engagements and then prioritize. Decide where and with whom you’ll feel happiest and most comfortable—don’t feel pressured to go where you know you’ll be miserable. If you have children, also keep in mind that many relatives probably will want to visit with them, and that they should have the opportunity to spend time with family. Then update your calendar with all the events you’ve decided to attend so far.

Fill the gaps with holiday cheer

Once you have all your planned activities on the calendar, check how much time you still have open. Use a little creativity to fill the gaps in with holiday cheer. Try these ideas:

  • Talk to your co-workers about any parties in the works. Don’t feel awkward about asking to be included. Offer to help with planning or bring food.
  • Visit relatives you haven’t seen in a while. Make the effort to schedule a visit, especially if you have an older family member who may be alone.
  • Throw your own party. Ask a few friends or co-workers to come over and bring their favorite dish. You could plan an activity—maybe ice skating or a holiday movie—or just spend a few hours chatting.
  • Volunteer at a hospital or nursing home. A visit from a kind stranger may be the highlight of the season for a person spending the holidays alone, and it will provide an uplifting experience for you as well.
  • Serve a holiday meal at a homeless shelter. Try to get a friend to go with you, and maybe you could make it a holiday tradition. You’ll be contributing to a worthwhile cause and you can meet other volunteers.
  • Spend a quiet evening at home reading or watching a movie. Get your favorite take-out dinner and relax.
  • Plan a trip. Go it alone or join a tour—many companies offer singles packages. No matter what, make reservations ahead of time. It may seem intimidating to travel by yourself, but once you overcome your fears your vacation could be one of the greatest experiences of your life. 
By Kristen Knight

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