The best part of the holiday season is spending it with the people we love. Unfortunately, that’s not going to be an option for everyone this year. Due to COVID-19 concerns, many of us will be spending Christmas apart from family and friends, and some of us may even be celebrating alone. How can you make the most of the holidays while safely social distancing?
If you’re unable to be with your loved ones this December, you might be wondering if it’s even worthwhile to celebrate in the first place. Why not just skip the festivities this year and hope for better things in 2021?
We’re not going to tell you that this can be the best Christmas ever if you just try hard enough. You’re going to miss your family and friends, and no amount of decorating tips or hot chocolate recipes is going to fix that. However, that doesn’t mean you should draw the blinds and spend December 25th avoiding anything holiday-related. Maybe this Christmas won’t be the way you pictured it, but it doesn’t have to be miserable!
In this post, we’re going to give you our top tips on what to avoid when you’re flying solo for the holidays. We’re also going to recommend some alternative activities to make the season a little brighter! If you missed our last blog post, you can get caught up here. Otherwise, here are our do’s and don’ts for celebrating Christmas alone in 2020.
Don’t: Skip the Decorations
Since no one’s coming over for the holidays, you may think decorations won’t be necessary. You’re the only one who’s going to see them, so what’s the point, right? Well, how are you going to feel on Christmas morning when you wake up to a home with no string lights, festive greenery, or joy? The answer you’re looking for is “bad.”
Do: Put Up a Mini Christmas Tree
If decking the halls sounds like too much work, here’s a happy compromise to bring a little holiday cheer into your home with minimal effort. Country Living has some creative ideas for decorating mini Christmas trees that are easily a one-person job. Plus, it’s a proven fact that mini versions of anything are always 100% cuter.
Don’t: Listen to Christmas Songs that Make You Cry
For a season that’s supposed to be merry, there sure are a lot of songs about heartbreak and homesickness! Don’t add these to your holiday mix, and definitely don’t listen to them on repeat while sitting alone in the dark with a pint of ice cream. Cathartic as it might seem in the moment, it’s just going to reinforce negative emotions and make it that much harder to get through the day.
Do: Create a Festive Holiday Playlist
Instead, set a positive tone for the day by curating a playlist of holiday music that usually puts you in a good mood. Pick out some favorite childhood carols or songs with cheesy lyrics that make you laugh. If holiday music isn’t your thing, even on a typical Christmas, that’s ok, too. Just listen to whatever makes you happy!
Don’t: Wear Pajamas All Day
Enjoying a leisurely breakfast in your PJs can be a cozy way to start the day, but don’t let Christmas morning extend into afternoon and evening. Wearing pajamas all day makes it harder to get started on any activities you might have planned. Then, when you find yourself going to bed in the same outfit you woke up in, it’ll feel like the day just passed you by.
Do: Wear A Cute But Comfy Outfit
What you wear has a significant impact on your mood. While you don’t have to get dressed to the nines to spend a chill holiday at home, a fun sweater or a pair of candy cane socks can help to brighten your day. If you’re looking for festive outfit ideas with just the right combination of comfort and glamor, The Oprah Magazine has you covered.
Don’t: Try to Survive on Junk Food
We’ve all been there. Alone and feeling down, you cave into fast food cravings to avoid cooking. Unfortunately, the salty, greasy comfort of this experience is short-lived, and all that remains is heartburn and empty wrappers. This isn’t a fun scenario even on an ordinary day, but spending Christmas alone with a bottle of antacid is probably something you want to avoid.
Do: Prepare a Delicious Holiday Meal for One
If you have the energy and resources, cooking a delicious meal can be a great way to treat yourself on Christmas. Plus, it’ll make your house smell amazing! If you’re looking for simple holiday recipes, check out Good Housekeeping. These meals are designed for two, which means you’ll have leftovers for the next day!
Don’t: Put Off Christmas Shopping
Many of our favorite holiday traditions are being put on hold this year, but, unfortunately, last-minute stress-shopping isn’t one of them. If you’re planning to send some thoughtful presents to friends and family this year, don’t wait until Christmas Eve to start tackling your list. Panic-scrolling through web stores isn’t a fun way to spend your holiday, and neither is pretending that the gifts you ordered “weeks ago” must have gotten delayed in the mail.
Do: Send Heartfelt Gifts to Your Loved Ones
Sending a sweet gift to someone you miss can be an excellent way to feel connected even when you’re celebrating Christmas alone. If you’re looking for personalized gifts your friends and family will love, our 3D Photo Crystals let you recreate a favorite memory in a luxury keepsake they’ll want to show off. Want to send unique Christmas cards this year? Our pop-up greeting cards are sure to deliver holiday cheer.
Don’t: Spend Too Much Time on Social Media
While many of us will be social distancing this holiday season, you probably know a few people who are planning to visit their relatives or host a small gathering. That means your social media feed is going to be bursting with photos of their perfect Christmases.
It is very, very important that you don’t spend your day scrolling through these pictures. You may think you can be happy for your friends without comparing your holiday to theirs, but no one is that strong. Hide your social media apps in the deepest, darkest corners of your phone and don’t open them until Christmas is over.
Do: Call Your Family and Friends
A much better way to stay connected to your family and friends is to give them a call. Consider planning a time to open presents together over video chat or organizing a virtual caroling session! Even texting someone you love a simple, “Happy Holidays!” can help you feel closer to them.
Don’t: Spend All Day on the Couch
It’s a great idea to enjoy some relaxation over the holidays, but there’s such a thing as too much unstructured leisure time. Laying on the couch for hours on end can have a negative effect on your mood, even if you’re watching movies or reading. It can also give your mind a lot of free time to dwell on dark or pessimistic thoughts.
Do: Get Out of the House
Just because you’re spending Christmas alone doesn’t mean you have to stay inside all day. Getting a little fresh air and exercise can be an excellent mood-booster! Go for a walk around your neighborhood and admire the holiday decorations. If it’s too cold to be outside, you can go for a drive instead and blast your favorite songs!
Don’t: Take on Extra Hours at Work
If it’s financially feasible, it can be a good idea to give yourself a break from work on or around Christmas. It’ll keep the holiday from feeling like just another day and give you some time to rest and recuperate. You’ll need to use your judgment, though. If working is something that makes you happy and keeps your mind off the people you miss, go for it. Just don’t get buried in extra hours without giving yourself a little space to celebrate.
Do: Take Advantage of Your Me Time
One small downside to spending the holidays with others is not having any control over the agenda. This year, you have a unique opportunity to do all the things you’ve never been able to get your friends and family interested in. If there’s an unusual dish no one else is brave enough to try, or a movie marathon only you would enjoy, this is your chance to celebrate Christmas your way!
Don’t: Pressure Yourself to Keep It Together
Being away from the people you love is never easy, and it’s even more difficult at this time of year. If you’re not coping as well as you thought you would, don’t beat yourself up about it or pressure yourself to have an incredible Christmas. You’ve been through a lot this year, and you’re allowed to feel whatever it is you’re feeling.
Do: Ask for Help
If you’re struggling this December, there’s no shame in asking someone else for help. Call a relative or friend you trust and tell them what’s going on. If you think you need to talk to a therapist, you can find some excellent online resources at Verywell Mind. You may have to social distance this Christmas, but you don’t have to do it all by yourself.
We hope this post gave you some helpful tips for getting through Christmas alone. For more holiday inspiration, you can check out our blog here. To find unique personalized gifts for everyone on your list, visit our shop.