Unless you are a particularly religious person, the secret to enjoying Christmas as a single person is to regard Christmas the same as any other day: it is your responsibility to make it as good as you can. With a bit of forward planning, chances are you’ll have a much better time than you expect. Don’t try to lock Christmas away in the closet, like Scrouge. It is not going to go away! During December, and sometimes even earlier, you will be confronted with jolly festive music in every shop. There will be Christmas lights everywhere. Join in and enjoy! Put up your own decorations to cheer yourself up.
Start with the basics. What does Christmas mean to you? Do you usually go to a carol service or midnight mass on Christmas Eve? Even if you are on your own and never usually attend church, it can be a very uplifting experience and you will always find a warm welcome there. This will set you off with a good feeling to carry you over until the next morning. If you cannot get to a service, you will always find one on TV to get you into the true spirit of Christmas.
If you are used to being the hub of the family, and your family have now fled the nest, regard this Christmas as a well earned rest. Buy yourself something you’ve always wanted, even if it is only a box of chocolates. Wrap it up in pretty Christmas paper well before Christmas and unwrap it on Christmas morning, to the sound of jolly festive music with a glass of your favourite tipple by your side. Don’t have a refill yet though – you don’t want to get maudlin!
Make sure you have planned your Christmas well in advance. Do you belong to any social groups? If not, join some and by the time Christmas comes you may have made some friends who are in the same boat as you. Being a proactive member in a social group, you may find you get invitations to help others enjoy their Christmas. Try inviting some people round for drinks and nibbles one evening during December, so you can get to know each other better. You will soon find people including you in their festivities as well. Perhaps you could suggest meeting up with each other for Christmas lunch in the local pub, if you can afford it. If not, you could even invite them round to your place and share the cooking experience together. While you are cooking the turkey or nut roast, each guest could bring some other contribution to the meal: one could bring the starter maybe, another the Christmas pud, someone else the crackers. For cheap after dinner entertainment, buy some fun games to play from a local charity shop, and your guests will want to stay all day.
If you have access to the internet, join a social networking or interactive game site beforehand and get chatting to others who are alone too. You’d be surprised how many lonely people there are out there just waiting for someone to come on line to chat to them, and you could make their Christmas Day. Knowing that you have probably improved someone’s day 100 per cent, will be a reward in itself.
Do you have friends or family you haven’t spoken to recently? Make sure you give them all a call some time in December, and ask what they are doing at Christmas. Chances are they may be on their own too, and you could get together. Even if they already have a house full of guests for Christmas, they may appreciate an extra guest when they realise you are spending it alone.
Have you thought about volunteering? There are many local charities or care centres who need extra help over the Christmas period. You could help out in a soup kitchen. You will be surrounded by people, and have the extra reward of knowing you have helped to give others a good Christmas.
If all else fails and you really do have to spend Christmas on your own, make sure you cook yourself a special Christmas meal. You can always freeze the left overs. Remember your feathered friends, and keep their feeders topped up. They will be a constant source of interest during the day. Think about starting a new project, a new hobby or revive one you used to enjoy. After all, it is only one day, but it is up to you to make it special for yourself.