7 Secrets to Enjoying the Holidays Alone | A Rose in Bloom

As we open the holiday season many of us have cozy nostalgia wrapped around our heads. Images of steaming hot beverages and smells of spices fill us as we focus on the upcoming festivities. It is also around this time of year that people from all over the world celebrate by gathering their loved ones into enclosed embraces and soft snuggles as fires lick the apples of our cheeks. Everyone has this image engraved onto the slate of their brain that Brother John will return home from the Middle East, or that a long lost uncle will bang on the door Christmas Eve with shopping bags full of mulled wine, rich chocolate, and fragrant oranges. Despite this Christmas presumption, the reality is that many of us rarely make it home for Christmas, myself included. If you are someone who spends every holiday surrounded by laughter of siblings and cousins, good for you! However, this post may not be useful to you, so share it with someone you love. If you are one of the many, many people who never get to spend holidays with your family, read on, and Merry Christmas.

I haven’t spent the Holidays at home since I got married and moved 5 hours away almost 4 years ago. Thanksgiving is a blur – I have the day off, but my brother either goes home or works and my husband has been forced to work many a time. On average, I probably spend half my Thanksgiving alone. Last year, on Christmas, my brother stayed in town, but it was still just the three of us - hardly the jolly image on a greeting card. Before my brother moved in with us, however, my husband spent Christmas working for double time. Also not very greeting card-like. So what did/do I do on these holidays? Well, turns out there are lots of ways to love Christmas while home alone (maybe even watch Home Alone, hehe)...

Holidays are Free Vacation Days: Firstly, I treat holidays as free vacation time. I love the quiet chaos of a closed city. On holidays, I like to wake up early and walk my dogs in the crisp air, letting it bite my nose. Truthfully, typical Christmas weather turn out to be my favorite weather, so a morning walk is exactly what I want to do. Then, I enjoy a special hot drink. Maybe a shot of liquor in my coffee or my favorite tea. I make a special breakfast of specialty bread, a fancy cheese, and my favorite fruit. I soak this time up and REST.

Furthermore, while your family spent the whole season spending money they might not have had using crunched time, you didn’t have to do any of that. No standing in lines, no madness shopping. Nope, you had a relaxed winter. Savor that fact.

Make your Home Smell Great: I also fill the kitchen with warm winter smells – making things that contain cinnamon, allspice, ginger etc… If you aren’t a cook, get out the day before and buy something to pop in the oven, light a spiced incense or make this Easy Mulled Wine Simmering Potpourri. Fill the belly of your home with the scents of Christmas and just breathe it all in.

DIY Mulled Wine Simmering Stove Top Potpourri

Be a Couch Potato: Another thing I’ve really come to love about the holidays is that I can binge watch anything I want! I don’t get to do this often, so since I’m not going/can’t go anywhere, Netflix here I come! If I am totally alone I get to choose whatever I want with no husband or brother to protest. Come on, that’s awesome. You’re jealous. Spending Christmas snuggled under thick blankets with a mug of steaming tea and The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt? Please.

Make your Favorite Meal: The last thing I love to do when I am alone for a holiday is cook a special meal. Yes, I know, cooking is a chore for some, but I actually do love to cook and I love eating even more. You don’t have to have a fancy dinner – eat whatever you want! Last year, I made spaghetti carbonara and drank a bottle of wine for Christmas dinner! This year, my husband is making pizza dough and I'll be planning a mini pizza party for just the two of us. As an added bonus, if you really don't want to cook on your day off, order some Chinese takeout. Yum.

Call a Friend: Ok, so I have really done this one, but it might work out for you. Do you live in a big city? You probably know lots of people who aren’t going home for the holidays. If you don’t like to be alone, then arrange a pot luck or host a party. I’m sure they will be grateful for the company too. Family doesn’t just mean blood and bones.

Meet a Friend: Get out of your apartment if you want and go someplace public. In most major cities, there might be someone else out for a walk or looking for something. Always play it safe with strangers, but sitting in front a Starbucks on a bench getting to know a new person might be a great new avenue for your life.

Get Out of your Home: Check out your city. Most places, especially big cities, will have gorgeous Christmas displays available. Just stand there and appreciate the lights. Wear your favorite scarf and beanie, watch your breath dance into the darkness, and stand in awe of the moment. 

So there you have it, the holidays alone are not all bad. In fact, I kind of enjoy them. I personally hate the Christmas madness and the shoving and the pushing and having a long list of things I “have” to do or it just isn’t Christmas. I HATE IT. Your holiday time should be what you want it to be! A traditional approach might totally be your thing and that’s cool, but I feel like Christmas shouldn't be a huge burden on people. It should be fun!

Have you ever spent the holidays alone? How did you handle it?

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