Written by Sara Fender Capano
With Covid cases continuing to soar across the US, Canada and other parts of the world, our holidays are looking a little different this year (surprise, surprise). Plus, holiday travel and being around large groups of people is not exactly high on my list of things I want to do.
Don’t get me wrong, this girl LOVES the holidays and everything involved – lights, music, movies, themed-wardrobes, parties, food, drinks, décor – but I also love the idea of not risking my health or the health of my family and friends. I’ve been very careful and conscious throughout this entire pandemic and I don’t plan on lapsing now just because it’s the most wonderful time of the year.
So, how am I planning on still being festive while staying home alone? It’s pretty simple, really, and it all starts with my mindset. Just because you can’t do the typical holiday shenanigans with the typical people doesn’t mean you can’t be festive.
Personally, I decorate my house every year and no one sees it except for me. I mean, I might have a friend or two come by but that’s highly unlikely – I like to leave people’s houses, not wait on them to overstay their welcome and leave mine.
Sure, things are going to be different this year; especially if you live alone and are used to traveling to see friends and family, but instead of succumbing to the holiday blues and focusing on what you are missing, use this as an opportunity to do whatever you want. This is your time, your day(s), and a time to start your own holiday traditions.
The first time I spent a major holiday alone I was in my late 20s and was starting to feel depressed about the whole situation when I had a light bulb moment. Instead of traveling from house to house and spending the whole time focusing on everyone around me and being exhausted by the end of the day, I became excited at the prospect of doing none of that and just taking a day off. A real day off. A day where I didn’t think about work or bills or errands. A day where I stay in my pyjamas from wakeup until bedtime. A day where I watch whatever I want without taking others into consideration. I day where I eat whatever I want, regardless of what the “typical” meal for that day is considered to be. Ham and stuffing be damned! I’m eating pizza!
For example, this most recent Thanksgiving I caught up on a bunch of random HBO shows from the comfort of my couch, with my kitty, in my warmest pair of jammie-jams while drinking eggnog, eating ramen and taking the occasional nap. Later on the afternoon I decided I wanted some cranberry sauce so I put on some Christmas music and whipped up a batch (yes, I keep frozen cranberries on hand).
I wasn’t a complete miser. I had a few FaceTime calls with family and friends scattered throughout the day as well, but I called them, so again, the whole day was on my schedule.
And the best part? As the sun was going down, I brought in all the holiday decorations from the garage, put ‘Elf’ on the TV, drank sparkling apple cider, put on a special outfit (red leggings, red and white striped knee socks, a white crop top sweatshirt and light-up reindeer ears) and spent the next couple of hours putting everything up, decorating, reorganizing and getting into the holiday spirit.
Sure, I was technically alone on a day that used to be filled with activities and people, but I felt happier, more rested, relaxed and in better spirits than any other holiday that I could remember.
So just keep in mind, as you navigate through this unprecedented holiday season, that we are all doing things a little differently this year and that this is your opportunity to do things the way you have always wanted to and to start new traditions with yourself that you can carry into the years to come. Relax, enjoy, eat, drink and be merry. We are all in this together. Happy Holidays!