A few years ago, I was feeling sorry for myself.
The pandemic had wrecked my travel plans. I wasn’t able to travel for my big city Christmas. I was grieving the loss of all that fun and friends and the shopping and the magic.
I knew many people were in the same boat. They weren’t able to travel and do the big family gathering, either. Christmas Day was looking pretty quiet and small.
When we can’t have the Christmas we wanted, we have to find a way to make do with the Christmas we have.
What can you do when you’re on your own during the holidays that you couldn’t do otherwise?
I want to challenge you to explore your pleasure this Christmas.
Being on your own gives you an opportunity to explore what makes you feel rested, rejuvenated, and loved.
Now that your usual plans have been scrapped, what will you do with that freedom?
Now that no one expects you for Christmas, what will you do for yourself?
You can make up a completely new way to celebrate. And I’ll help you do it.
You’re the Honored Guest
We have this idea that we should spend Christmas with the people we love.
If you can do that, great! But what if you can’t?
If you can’t, then you spend Christmas with the one person you love more than anyone in the world…
And that’s yourself.
Christmas is a time for love. It’s a time to slow down, celebrate simple pleasures, and ground yourself in what really matters.
That’s what you’ll be doing this Christmas.
Enjoy the quiet. Put up a Christmas tree if you want. Decorate just for yourself if it makes you happy. Buy yourself yummy treats. See it as an opportunity to be really good to yourself.
You’ve pushed yourself so hard all year. We all have. It’s been rough.
That’s why you need to give to yourself this Christmas.
Thank yourself for all the sacrifices you’ve made, all the tough times you’ve endured, and everything you’ve managed to accomplish despite hardship.
Treat yourself as the honored guest at Christmas. Bring out the expensive wineglasses and dishes. Put on your favorite music. Spend the day feeling gratitude for getting to spend this life being exactly who you are.
Christmas doesn’t often get to be like that.
Often, the holidays are filled with pressure, stress, and expectations. Where are you going to go for Christmas? Are you going to be judged if you don’t get the right presents? Are you going to end up in the same old family fights? Spending Christmas with family does not always make you feel rested, rejuvenated and loved.
It’s nice to know that you have options.
My First Christmas Alone
One of the great things about being on your own at Christmas is you can choose activities that make you feel good. It’s a great time to volunteer. It’s a great time to get together with other single people.
I spent my first Christmas on my own in my early twenties, when my family was traveling for Christmas and I didn’t have the energy for that long drive.
I remember being alone in the house on Christmas Day, feeling incredibly naughty. I had the entire day to myself. I could do anything I wanted.
I ended up spending a lot of the day wandering around outside. It was fascinating to me how quiet the neighborhood was with so little traffic.
There was a magic to that day that was different from anything I’d experienced before.
And it was good that I did it, because for many years I was on my own at Christmas. I was traveling in places where I didn’t know anyone. Sometimes I’d end up being the third wheel at someone’s Christmas party. I had to get used to not getting any presents pretty quickly!
Give to Yourself This Christmas
The most important lesson I learned from that time is that it’s up to me to give myself what I want for Christmas.
We have this idea that there’s something really sad about buying yourself a Christmas present. But why?
Why is a present that someone gives you—something you may not have even wanted—any better than a lovingly chosen gift you bought for yourself, to celebrate yourself after a long year?
It is wonderful to open a present from someone who loves you. You are someone who loves you. You are the only one who’s going to be there for yourself all your life. People come and go. Your love for yourself is the constant.
In many ways, then, what you give to yourself on Christmas is the most important gift of all.
So this Christmas, if you’re on your own, if you don’t know what to do, ask yourself what would make you feel really good. What is your favorite thing in the world to do? What would you really like more than anything?
Then give it to yourself.
And celebrate the beauty that is you this holiday season.