Last time I checked, Christmas is that fattening holiday where we can be stupidly and utterly happy. So since when did pop culture pick up Christmas as some sort of dreaded death anniversary, meriting its own survival guide for those spending it alone sans a beau?
They say the holidays are colder without a partner when really, all you need is a thicker sweater—and maybe a thing (or six) to do during Jesus’ 24-hour shindig. Get out of that singlehood slump, and realize that the best gift the universe gave you this year is yourself. You’re in good company.
They say the New Year is the best time to start cleaning, but can you really handle all that mess by then?
Channel your inner (non-existent) Japanese zen master, and de-clutter the Marie Kondo way. The bestselling author of the cleaning bible The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing invites you to check out your stuff (also: life), and keep items that “spark joy,” and throw away those that don’t.
This mechanical way of purging is an effective solution to pent-up trash and feelings. To enjoy the rest of the holidays yourself, strip off bad vibes and things before you meet 2016.
#2 Splurge on a spontaneous food trip
Now that indulgent eating’s in season, clock out of the house after the filial celebration to try more daring options.
No one will judge you for your wanting appetite, point out your timely tummy bulge, or tell you you’re too heavy on their laps. Ah, now isn’t that the life?
#3 Squeeze in a post-Noche Buena fitness routine
If you don’t believe in holiday feasting—like some studies out there—that’s okay, too. Spare some time for quick workout sessions before heading to the annual family reunion.
Your anti-Christmas calories routine may consist of easy burpees, minute-long jumping jacks, crunches, push-ups, hip raises, and cross back lunges. Mix and match, but if you’re feeling less confident, consult suggestions online. Do it for physical maintenance and your own mental peace. (It’s okay, that ham won’t go to your hips.)
#4 Watch a non-holiday film or show because you can
Since you won’t be cuddling with anyone to a rerun of Love, Actually, pull out your horror or sci-fi films—or some other genre without Santa in it.
There’s no pressure now to get into the cheesy Christmas mood as you marathon American Horror Story or How to Get Away with Murder. Or maybe check out Erik Matti’s Honor Thy Father, and sink into a depressed mood as John Lloyd Cruz plays a bald dad with a deadly debt.
The point is, Christmas is what you want it to be, in whatever way that it makes you happy. Even when that means choosing the gory shit over G-rated Frozen.
#5 Be yourself in the midst of family and close friends
One less thing off your shoulders is pleasing possible in-laws. This Christmas, all you have to deal with is your relatives’ yearly “Where’s your boyfriend?” question and your grandma’s senile wrath.
But apart from that, be glad for the company you have. You don’t have to spend Christmas alone per se, and in no way should you feel lonely. Nobody checked your partner’s required attendance before your puberty hit. All those family parties really need is your awesome self. Here’s to hoping they can handle all of it.
#6 Take this time to be grateful
But perhaps cap Christmas with a thankful attitude. Find the silver lining in that rough year you had. And while you might want 51 other things than to spend Christmas single this year— please don’t be that person who whines for a “fucking boyfriend”—there were probably a hundred other intangible gifts that are better than Kylie Jenner’s lip kits.
All we’re saying is that Christmas isn’t the time to sulk over things you don’t have; it’s to celebrate what you do. If the Biebz gets it, you should, too. #blessed
so blessed. so moved. so grateful. cant believe this is my life. never going to take it for granted. always going to give back. thank you
— Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) March 1, 2012
Art by Dorothy Guya