How to Enjoy Being Single at the Holidays

The holiday season doesn’t seem like a time built for a single person – the typical winter scene is a picture of large families gathered together enjoying snowball fights and sing alongs. Dating website eHarmony says that almost half of singles dread being alone at the holidays. So if you’re flying solo this holiday season, how do you keep from feeling a little sad?


Surround Yourself with “Framily”

This recommendation has become more common in recent years, with Friendsgiving becoming a November tradition in its own right. Some friends are as close as family, and there’s no reason why you can’t join them for a group celebration, or even ask to add yourself to their family festivities. If you have close friends who will be nearby for Christmas, be brave and ask “Your holiday always sounds so warm and fun. Is there any chance you’d be willing to invite an extra to dinner? I’m a whiz at doing dishes!” It feels momentarily uncomfortable to ask, and you certainly wouldn’t want to ask your cube-mate whose last name you barely know, but a dear friend might love to have you join the fun.


Get A Little Crazy

There’s probably something on your bucket list that just seems too wacky to contemplate. But if you’ve been toying with the idea of painting a mural in your dining room, or choreographing a belly dance routine, or picking up the ukulele, why not start on Christmas? Single people often get advice to do something nice for themselves on holidays, but skip the spa day and take it one step farther. Do something that will leave a lasting impression on your life (and maybe your dining room walls.)



Get Busy Giving

Research in my book The Giving Prescription shows that there’s no better way to cope with our own struggles than by helping someone else. (click here if you know someone who needs the book!) By volunteering at the holidays, you’ll not only feel filled with the Christmas spirit, but you’ll be giving yourself an incredible boost of perspective. Giving back to others helps us feel better because it shows us that no matter how far off track we feel, or how “low” we are, we have the power to life someone else up. That power – and seeing someone else smile – can’t help but make you feel some holiday magic.


Don’t Buy Into The Perfect Picture

A smart woman once told me, “Never compare your insides to somebody else’s outsides.” Everyone else’s life looks shiny and happy when we hear about it or see it on social media, and never more so than at the holidays! But you don’t know the true story behind those pictures – some families go deeply into debt to finance Santa’s visit. Other families have been fighting since Election Day. If you assume that everyone else is having a picture-perfect holiday, you’ll make yourself miserable. Instead, recognize that everyone is having a totally human holiday, just like you are. And in your case, no one is nagging at you for drinking the last of the Cabernet!



Being single at the holidays can mean extra time for reflection, for giving, and for doing things that are meaningful to you. In other words, what the season should be about! Don’t dwell on what you don’t have this holiday season; instead, realize you have everything you need to have a joyful celebration.

Wishing you a happy holidays.