by Eleanore Wells, for GalTime.com
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As soon as the weather dips below 90-degrees, holiday decorations line the aisles of stores. And so the stress begins. Holidays can be challenging to just about everybody. There are decisions to be made, plans to put in place, and money to be spent. And while this is true for everyone, many single people feel an extra layer of stress.
The holidays would be tough for me if I didn't have a loving network of people around me. I make it work. For example, I often host Thanksgiving for what I call my "straggler" friends. It includes single people, those who can't or don't want to get together with their family, people whose plans changed at the last minute, and couples without children (I have to draw the line somewhere).
The holidays get a bad rap by single people, but they’re often filled with moments and events that are quite good -- there’s the feeling of festivity in the air, the parties, the gifts, the music, and catching up with people you like but haven’t seen in a while. And some things about being single are actually better during the holidays because we have more flexibility and fewer rules what what one is supposed to do. Here are a few:
You don’t have to get a tree. Trees are festive, but the needles, the watering, and the space it takes up (especially in a small apartment)…well, they’re a lot of work. If you have kids and/or a husband, you might not be able to get away with not having a tree. It would be way too bah-humbug. But when you’re single, you can be more creative. Put up a wreath, buy a few poinsettias…and done!
No baking or cooking. And if you do, people make a very big deal about it -- “Wow, look at what the single lady pulled off!”
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No one really expects you to send holiday cards. These days, holiday photos of well-dressed children and/or children placed in really cool, interesting spots (at the family beach house, Macchu Picchu, et.c) are the norm. If you don’t have children, no need to send a card. No postage, no paper waste, and no idea-generation on cute outfits or cool spots for the pictures. If you’re married and don’t send cards, you could be stricken from every card list, no matter how old or dear the friendship. But as a single person, no one seems to mind.
You don’t have to accompany the husband or kids to parties you don't really want to go to.
No in-laws to fight with or about. This is always an issue with my married friends and they tell me this fight can get old really quickly, and yet, they have that fight every year.