Why It IS Better To Be Single During The Holidays

single at christmas and new years eve
Contributor
Family, Self

Another year. Another holiday season single. While it may be tempting to refill your eggnog, bake an extra batch of fudge and stock up on elastic pants, being alone need not be that dour. Flying solo when the calendar reaches November and letting that single status bleed into the New Year is truly, and honestly, a blessing. 

And when family asks? Blame the economy. There was no room in the budget for a holiday relationship and you'll just have to wait for the new quarter. Done. Gift-Giving Etiquette For Tricky Situations

Inspired by the "12 Days of Christmas," here are a dozen reasons your true love need not appear or gift you anything this year.

1... fewer gift to buy. Partridges in pear trees aside, the holiday season is a pricey one. Without a significant other, you're giving yourself the gift of one less purchase. It's been a tough 12 months—why not splurge for that deep tissue massage your shoulders have been asking for all year? Your back muscles are stuck with you—loyal by default—why not do something nice for them this holiday season? Recession Dating Realities—Things Have Changed
 
2... times the chance to meet new loves. As Twanna Hines, who writes a dating blog Funky Brown Chick, says, "single for the holidays doesn't have to mean solo." There are holiday parties to attend, New Year's Eve bashes brimming with champagne and eligible singles at every corner fresh (and freshly buzzed) from office parties. Use these social events as your very own holiday dating service. If you start to view it as such, at the very least, you'll see that you really aren't missing very much by being single.

3... French kisses under the mistletoe. Kissing someone new under the mistletoe is 100 percent more exciting than kissing the person you kiss everyday. It's a scientific fact. (OK, not really, but it is good for you.) 5 Reasons Kissing Is Good For You

4... more friendly encounters. Hines, who's single, looks forward to Thanksgiving with her girlfriends. It's a tradition that she's upheld since college, and she's happy a significant other doesn't disrupt the pattern. Bethany Minton, a Chicago-based writer, is absolutely "thrilled" to be single this holiday season.

"Last year, I traveled across the country to stay with my boyfriend's family for Christmas and New Years," she says. "A little part of me died every time I flipped through Facebook pictures of my friends whooping it up on New Years without me," she says. "My eyes got watery when I received a text from them while I was sitting by the fire watching the ball drop with his family."

5... silent nights. All the blinking Santa lights vering on seizure-inducing? "All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth" making you want to remove your own (or somebody else's)?  We feel you. And since the only people you have to please are you and yourself, feel free to draw the shades and enjoy the silence.

6... fewer liars lying. Mark Maurice, a NY-based entrepreneur, had to use some creative story-telling to get out of spending last Christmas with his ex-girlfriend's family. "They are absolutely insane," he says, wide-eyed. "At some point or another, I always ended up cornered by her Robert DeNiro-like Meet the Parents father and her crazy mother, who kept dropping wedding hints." Deciding that he would give himself the gift of a Solo Holiday, Maurice ended up spinning a tall tale involving an 11th-hour business meeting. When his web of deceit unraveled two months later, so did his relationship.

7... days of doing whatever the hell you want.

The holidays can mean time off from work. Why not travel? Pack up and take an impromptu trip. Though it may feel like it now, it isn't likely you'll be alone forever. So use this time to hop on a train and do something spontaneous.

8... more hours of sleep. Vacation from work should mean kicking back, refreshing and reloading. Exhaustion from a snowboarding trip with friends is one thing. Exhaustion from spending two of your five days off on a plane schlepping from one family to another is completely different. Relish in the uncomplicated.

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9... fewer gray hairs from fighting. "What happens often in the holidays is that the relationship takes a back seat to the event," says Hines. "It's similar to people getting married. They often forget about the relationship and just focus on the wedding." This kind of selfishness, intentional or not, is recipe for a plethora of fights. Minton says that, a few years ago, her boyfriend at the time ruined everyone's holiday by acting like a spoiled 5-year-old when he argued with his brother and then accused Minton of not taking his side. 9 Things To Say During A Fight

10... conversations with family. Is it just us, or is bonding with your family that much more relaxed when your other half isn't there? Cherish this time to peacefully help your mother prepare, or zone out in front of The Simpsons with your brother. 

11... gaudy decorations to add (or delete). You want more tinsel? You got it! A clock that chirps a holiday carol every half-hour? Wind 'er up. Or, on the flipside, does all that campy kitsch make you secretly want to travel far, far, far away at the first hint of the holidays? Then shun it all, baby, and soak in your white walls and wrapping-paper-free floor.

12... more months until you have to worry about it again. Thank God.