After five years of having spent Christmas on my own, I feel like I should share my wisdow of how to do – and survive – it with the world.
It all takes preparation, obviously. A couple of days before Christmas you should start making lists and go shopping, because what you will need firstly is a It-doesn´t-hurt-at-all-that-you-look-at-me-like-that-because-I-just-told-you-I´m-going-to-spend-Christmas-all-by-myself-face, which you probably won´t find in the store down the street, but which can be found in the strength accumulated over the years and I´m sure some of you know what I´m talking about, because after years of having been to weddings alone, of spending your birthdays waiting for people to call while sitting at work and also of spending all big holidays alone – that is not counting those where you get drunk with your friends – and of having to endure the parade of long, sad faces when you have to tell people that you are still single and don´t see an end to this tragedy, some of us have acutally perfected that particular face. It´s a pity, really, not to be able to simply say that, yes, I will be alone on Christmas, but, yes, I want to be alone on Christmas, because no one will understand that sometimes I just need to be alone and that being alone is not something I wish to be pitied for. I have seen the various expressions of pity over the years and I can tell you that in their heads they put together your age, your singledom, and your general lack of understanding that it is not socially acceptable to be proud of wanting to be alone over Christmas, and they´ll inevitably give you that face. It takes a thick skin to endure that look and it´s indefinitely better if you can put on the It-doesn´t-hurt-at-all-face.
Also, what you will need is a truckload of food, preferably something that you like and is easy to cook, not some elaborate fancy food that takes four hours to make, but will be gone in two bites. Though my doctor and every health fanatic would most probably disagree, I strongly advise pizza, because it always tastes good and it is incredibly easy to make. That is, if you don´t forget how the oven works. In that case, I advise you to write down clear and understandable instructions of how to operate the high-tech oven even in a state of utter drunkenness and tape them to the oven or at least somewhere near it.
In case you don´t like pizza or simply do not wish to be as mainstream as to sign a membership to the local gym at the beginning of next year because of all the unhealtly food you ate and the weight you consequently put on, you should buy food that is not that difficult to make. Also, always have sweets available. I myself prefer chocolate or chips, but you may do as you please.
And most importantly: alcohol.
I´m not saying that you should get drunk, but I´ve come to realize that with it it´s a lot easier to endure all the merry christmas posts and texts and the pitying slights that every one of these messages hold. I don´t see anything wrong with the fact that I spend Christmas on my sofa watching first The Hobbit and then The Lord of the Rings and drinking a glass a wine (mind you, no more than two), but it is so much easier to laugh about all those people who want to make you feel like you should reconsider your life´s choices, when you´ve had a glass of wine.
Also – and this is certainly the most difficult thing to do and somthing that definitely cannot be bought in a store – you have to realize that it is your right to have the Christmas you want whichever way you want to spend it. There are no limits to how you want to spend your holidays, unless it´s financial reasons, obviously, the greatest spoilsport there is.
It is okay to sleep in every day and not to call people on Christmas Eve or not wanting to go to church because you can worship god from home or wanting to just read or watch TV or watch movies or simply ignore the fact that there is Christmas to celebrate. It´s your choice – and after a while, this I can tell you, your Christmas is something you look forward to, because it is a time where you can do whatever you want and where you don´t have to think about others and where you can be who you want to be and where, for once, you don´t have to be afraid that others might object your decision making. When Christmas is over, you are not in need of a break like all the other people who rushed from one family party to another, so caught up with trying to stick to the schedule they don´t even have the time to enjoy seeing their family and receiving their gifts and simply being amongst loved ones. You don´t need that. Christmas a time for you, just for yourself, maybe the only family that you have and it is a tradition in the making – and what´s so wrong about that, I ask you.