This year, I decided I would do something a little different over a holiday. For Thanksgiving, my family celebrated the weekend before. Since I didn’t have in-laws or a boyfriend’s family to visit, and had 5 days off from work already, I decided to take a vacation.
And I vacationed all by myself.
Instead of sitting at home over the holiday thinking of places I’d like to visit one day with a spouse, possibly feeling sorry for myself, or shopping for things that I didn’t need, I decided to take a trip.
I put my money towards an experience and memories that would last longer than any Black Friday purchase.
It was my first trip by myself. To say I was anxious about the details would be an understatement, but I bought my tickets, got to my destination, and had a great time!
I went sightseeing, saw some theatre shows, wrote and read in my hotel room with a view of mountains and the downtown lights below, and enjoyed the little luxuries of a really nice hotel. I was mindful about traveling around by myself, checked in with my family daily, and was able to get some great deals with smart planning.
The ability to do what I wanted to do and go where I wanted to go, on my own schedule, was a nice change and made for a great trip!
I gained more confidence in my season of life and myself. And it kept me in tune with God’s constant hand of protection over me.
In the past, I’ve gone through different phases of how I feel about being single during the holidays. The truth is, I’ve been single for the majority of Christmases I’ve celebrated.
Looking at it one way, this gives me freedom to do what I want with my time. It’s a sweet time. A time to have “extra” downtime with my family and friends while others may have more obligations to celebrate with their “other half’s” side.
It can also be a time that highlights the fact of singleness. It’s hard being by yourself without a romantic interest to share in the holiday with. That is why it’s so important to accept the love, covering, and companionship that God brings our way.
It might not be romantic, but it can be even more fulfilling.
So this Christmas, if you find yourself unsure of how to move forward through the holiday, here are some tips for making the best of it in during your “season” of singleness:
1. Love on your family and friends.
Your family, as colorful, small, or big as it may be, is important. God gives us the greatest commandant which is to love the Lord our God and secondly to love our neighbors as ourselves. So love on your family and friends! Enjoy the moments you have with them this Christmas. We aren’t promised to have them with us next year, so make this year count.
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:34-35 NIV)
2. Answer the infamous “Are you seeing anyone?” question with grace.
Sure, when you feel like you’re standing in front of a target range with a big flashing arrow pointing down above your head that says “SINGLE” on it, it can feel a bit overwhelming. And yes, sometimes the question can strike a chord. But remember this: The majority of the time people are just asking to ask. It’s not malicious. So check your heart. Make peace with your life as it is this Christmas. Try to answer with grace and a smile and remember the blessings you do have.
3. Do something different. Get out of your comfort zone!
I’m not saying to skip your family time, but if you have a chance to take a trip during your time off and do something you’ve wanted to do, you should go for it! If the idea of going anywhere alone seems sad or depressing, by all means, grab a friend or two and go together!
4. Remember that many people are lonely. Not just you.
It can be easy to live in a bubble during the holidays. To get on Facebook and see picture perfect scenes and think you’re the only one lonely this year. But remember that whether you’re single, married, divorced or widowed, anyone can be stressed, anyone can be lonely, and everyone needs love!
And when it’s all said and done, the main reason for Christmas, the get-togethers, dances, and dinners are rooted in the only important fact: The birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ!
Keeping in mind that Jesus truly is the “reason for the season” can put your own “season of life” in perspective.
Mandy Smith is a joyful 30-something single living in GA. She is a full-time Speech-Language Pathologist. Her loves include Jesus, her family and friends, creativity, playing guitar and singing, coffee, laughing, and of course, writing! You can read more of her writing on her website www.myjoyousheart.com and connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.