Here’s what I think about the ability of a single woman to be happy during the holidays — it doesn’t matter if you’re single. I believe that your relationship status has no bearing on whether or not you’ll be in good spirits. If you’re going to be happy this holiday season, you’ll be that way regardless of whether you’re in a relationship, and vice versa with people who are unhappy.
Now, of course, I’m saying all this in general. If you’ve just ended a long-term relationship, or if you continuously dream about snuggling with a warm body in front of dancing Christmas tree lights — sure, you might rue the fact that you’re single and place the blame there for your negative spirits. But being part of a couple certainly doesn’t give you an automatic one-way ticket to Happy Land.
I’ve had my share of high and low periods just like anyone else, so I feel like I can say all this from first-hand experience. I realize that everyone is different, and I know certain times of the year tend to affect some people more than others, but look at it this way: someone who’s “attached” is just as likely to have an unhappy holiday season as someone who is single. Maybe they’re even more likely to be unhappy, due in part to stress levels and familial expectations.
And think about this: if you have a partner, you automatically have more people to buy presents for. It could be just that person (if it’s a new relationship), but if you’re married, or you’ve been together for a long time, you probably have in-laws (or future in-laws) to consider. You have to attend your partner’s holiday work party in addition to your own; you have to visit their side of the family when maybe you’d prefer to be with your own family.
If you’re single, YOU get to decide who you’re buying presents for. YOU get to decide which party invitations to accept. YOU can choose to spend the days surrounding Christmas with family, or you can go to a warm, tropical locale instead (apparently this is an increasingly popular option).
I’ve never minded spending holidays with my family as a single female, because my family doesn’t ask silly questions like “When are you going to get yourself a boyfriend?” They could really care less about my relationship status as long as I’m happy, and they’d much prefer I remain single than get into a relationship that isn’t right for me. (Who can blame them?)
One thing that can tend to fall to the wayside when you’re living on your own as a single woman — at least as a young single woman — is putting forth the effort to be in the “holiday spirit,” at least when it comes to things like Christmas trees and house/apartment decorations. This has certainly been the case for me. If you live in a small apartment, or if you move frequently, who has enough space to store fake trees and breakable ornaments? Who has room to save those festive wreaths that you only bring out for a few weeks a year? I certainly don’t have that kind of extra space, but I do look forward to visiting other people and seeing what they’ve put on display.
I think it’s easier for me to have a casual approach to Christmas because I don’t let myself get (too) stressed out with holiday shopping, and I don’t put undue expectations on myself — like thinking I should be happier during the holiday season than I am at other times of year. (I mean, if you think you should be happy just because it’s a certain time of year, and you aren’t as happy as you want to be…that’s just going to make things worse, right?)
[Read the rest of this post at BlogHer]