So you’ve survived Thanksgiving. (Barely.) But, dude, congratulations on making it through one hard holiday. For those of us who truly struggle with our singleness, November and December rank right up there with the June and July Wedding Season when it comes to the Emotional Struggle Bus.
If you’re just now exhaling after Thanksgiving but facing the month of December with a touch of anxiety at all of the parties and gatherings you’ll have to attend solo, it might be a good time to reframe your perspective before your first Christmas event. But how can you put the holidays into perspective instead of dwelling on your singleness?
SingleRoots Writers Say…
For wise counsel, we asked some of our SingleRoots alumni writers to weigh in on the matter. Here’s what they had to say:
“Ask yourself why they make you sad? What Hollywood version of the holidays are you comparing your life to? Also give yourself grace. If you are sad because of grief, that’s perfectly normal.”
:: Jeff Pate, author of Instant Mania: Giving Myself Permission to Grow Slowly
“Last year for the first time I felt like I figured out how to do ‘grown-up Christmas’ while I’m single. I had always imagined that by now I would be splitting holidays between my parents and the in-laws having a husband (a friend) in tow no matter where I was. One of the hardest parts of going home to my parents was feeling like I was missing out on Christmas with ‘my people’ 5 hours away. Thankfully I have parents who get that I love them AND love my grown-up roommates, neighbors and church family. So last year I stayed in Fort Worth through Christmas Eve service at my home church and then drove in late that night to my parents. My ‘house family’ celebrated Roommate Christmas on Christmas Eve complete with a pancake breakfast and caroling to our neighbors. We included one Christmas tradition from each of our families and made some new traditions of our own! For me the key was realizing that my desire to be in two places at once was ok and that while I couldn’t perform magic I could split my time (just like my married friends) between all the people I love.”
:: Holly Stallcup, author of Thoughts on a First Date
“Holidays can be especially challenging for singles because they are so family-centric these days. Rarely do we recount the real, historical reason for Thanksgiving when my family gets together, and Christmas can often become a consumerism-driven holiday that it’s hard to focus on Christ. But that’s exactly what we have to do: Focus on the higher reasons for the holiday, especially as Christians who understand that all things exist for God’s glory. By God’s grace, I am married now and have a son, but all of that happened within two years, so I still remember the pain of singleness and having to stir my affections for Christ so that I could make it through the holidays, much less enjoy them.”
:: Don Sartain, author of Caring for Our Sisters’ Identity
Explore the Topic Further…
For further discussion on singleness during the holiday season, check out these posts:
The Holidays for Singles (in GIFs) :: Because Sometimes Words Just Aren’t Enough – “The holiday season. A time for familial bonding, good food, presents galore, and more togetherness under one roof than you could shake a stick at (whatever that means). Maybe some you have the blessing of family dynamics that are practically perfect in every way. Ha, who are you kidding? We’re pretty sure even the most Disney-esque families can relate to at least one or two of these.”
The Single Person’s Holiday Survival Guide – “How can you survive the holidays while single? Sigh. Isn’t that the question of the hour? Part of me reads that sentence and thinks self-righteously, ‘That’s probably the title of a pathetic self-help book.’ Then another part of me desperately wants to know what important advice I might be missing.”
The Struggle of Singleness at Christmas – “It’s hard to be single. It’s even harder during the holidays. I don’t think I’ve stated anything new. I’m pretty sure all of us who read Single Roots are thinking the same or have thought the same thing. I’ve tried to narrow it down to why exactly it is so much harder than normal—except for when we go to weddings, but that’s another blog post for another day.”