The Christmas carols play everywhere you go, chasing you through the produce section and into the dairy aisle, where it's slim picking with eggs but rich with eggnog. I've been there, and I've done all the major holidays alone at some point or another.
Knowing you're spending Christmas alone can feel bleak. But a little re-framing and an idea (one that's exciting to you) of how to spend Christmas day when you have no family or friends nearby during the holidays can lift your spirits. I discovered there's a lot of sparkle in spending the holidays solo.
Spending Christmas Alone 101
Accepting you're facing a holiday alone may be the hardest part — it was for me. It's difficult not to have friends or family nearby at Christmas. But once I moved past that hurdle, I could dream of how I wanted to spend my free chunk of time, where I was accountable to nobody but myself.
With that in mind, although you are playing both Santa and gift-recipient this year, know you are not alone. Around the world, there are people spending this Christmas without friends or family. So even if you currently lack a physical community, you still have a place in the solo Christmas community.
12 Ideas for Spending Christmas Without Friends & Family
For the 24 hours of Christmas day, when you want to add a touch of tinsel to your personal time, pick a few of these ideas that speak to your heart.
Dive Into a Good Book
Whether it's a favorite or one that's been sitting on your to-be-read pile for so long, today is a great day to read. Enjoy a novel over your morning cup of coffee, through to a glass of wine during afternoon snack time, and then snuggled under the covers before you fall asleep.
Ready, set, snuggle on the couch with some snacks, and load up on pop culture! Finally watch the TV series or movie you've heard so much about or catch up on your favorite guilty pleasure.
Watch Holiday Movies & Television
Many streaming platforms have a holiday section, so watch the Christmas and holiday episodes of your favorite TV shows. Spend quality holiday time with your favorite sitcom pals.
Unleash Your Inner Gamer
Yes, this is one of the few days you can play video games for hours without anyone knowing what you were up to or guilting you. Embrace it!
Head out the door and go for a walk. You'll be surprised at how many others you find doing the same thing! Make it a full activity by seeing how many red cars you spot, how many Christmas trees you see in windows, or soak up your favorite podcast as you walk.
If a morning or afternoon devotional speaks to your soul, wander or drive to a local church or similar gathering. Or, if meditation is your thing, spend some time with guided meditations and mindfulness.
Dine Out (or In)
Depending on the size of your city, there's bound to be a local restaurant that's open. Grab your jacket and hang out with the staff working the holiday.
Soak in the self-care with a bubble bath, an everything shower, a face mask and/or hair mask, and slather yourself with some lotion. Don't forget to follow up with the fuzziest, softest socks and hoodie that you have. Whatever way you want to self-care is perfect.
Give your friends and family a call! Video chat with the ones you're missing a little extra today, or those who are somewhere alone, too. There's nothing like having a buddy to be alone together with. They can even join you in streaming a show or movie.
Treat yourself the same way you'd treat a guest. Try out a new recipe just for you (but make sure you have all the ingredients before Christmas day). For me, I love to take these days to make focaccia or bagels from scratch.
Speaking of cooking, take the time to meal prep for yourself for the coming weeks! Take the day to set yourself up for success. Future you will thank you.
Go to a Movie
Catch a movie at a movie theatre! Whether you decide to use your stocking to sneak in your favorite snacks is a secret between you and yourself.
Why Spending Christmas Alone Can Be Great
A phrase often jumps to mind when I find myself with a day of nothing to do but take it easy when I want to be busy: if you don't pick time to rest, the universe will do it for you. Think of Christmas alone as a way to fill your cup (or your stocking!) with love for yourself. Take it easy, read a book, or tackle a project or two you've been putting off. The only person who needs to be happy with how you spend your day is the person you're spending Christmas with: you.
Solo Christmas Is Self-Care Christmas
Spending Christmas solo is a balancing act, and the first one may not be perfect. But there's a magic about spending a holiday exactly how you want. Wake up when you want, shower or not when you want, eat what you want, and sprawl out on the couch and watch what you want. Or go for a walk. Or volunteer somewhere.
Whether it's a no-contact Christmas (hello, 2020 — we remember you), a have-to-work Christmas, or a can't-get-home Christmas, the best way to spend Christmas alone is with a little extra self-love, self-care, and jingling the entire way.