Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Flying Solo for Christmas

The holiday season is in full swing! We are less than a week away from Christmas, and everyone is hustling to finish off all their last minute shopping, trying to find that perfect gift for everyone on their list. I picked up the final gift for my mom today during my lunch break, and I am proud to say that I have officially finished all my shopping. Others are not so lucky. I have a lot of friends still scrambling to get it all together before Sunday, and many are coming to me asking for ideas or suggestions for parents, syblings and significant others. I cannot give much insight anymore on the last one, so I usually suggest jewelry or a watch, or maybe a picture frame with a sentimental photo.

It can be difficult to be alone during the holidays, especially when everyone else seems to be settled comfortably in serious relationships. But instead of getting down about it, I've decided to look at the brighter side of flying solo this Christmas.

One big positive is that I can use the money I would have spent on a gift for him to buy more things for my family and friends. Or better yet, a gift for myself. Thisyear, I used the extra cash to buy a couple small items for my parents in addition to their larger gifts, and two housewarming gifts for my friends. As for me, there might be a couple new pairs of errings in my jewelry box, as well as a couple cute holiday tops for special occassions. And why not? I deserve a treat, too! If you think about it, I'm just following along with the majority of Americans this year who have decided to go the route of self-gifting.

Also, there is no need to feel pressure about getting his family something for Christmas. I would say that's definitely something most single people can agree on.

Being single around the holidays means I can pick and choose the various activities I want to partake in--holiday parties, shopping adventures with girlfriends, zoo lights, Christmas festivals and craft shows--without worrying about catering to what he wants to do. It gives me the chance to branch out and meet new people, experience different things and discover more about myself.

I already have my plans for Christmas in order, but if I didn't, I would most likely take a trip to some exotic location. And since I don't have to worry about what anyone else wants, it can be to a place that I really want to go. While many of you might think it is depressing to travel alone at Christmas, there is also something very empowering and liberating about it. Solo travel--as I have talked about before in this blog--is definitely something that everyone should do at least once in their lives. It gives you the ability to handle a trip all on your own (courage and independence, anyone?) and the freedom to explore all the places and do all the things that you want to do. The experience around the holidays is even more rewarding, because you are going against the grain. And even though you may be choosing to spend time alone, who is to say that your will actually end up by yourself. You never know who you'll meet! And travel tends to bring people together in mysterious ways.

Another positive thing to note about the holidays is that you're never actually alone. Christmas is a time when people get to spend time with their families, the people they care about the most in the world. I am one of those lucky people that get to go home and see my family and friends. I will be surrounded by the people I love and who love me, so there is no way I could possibly feel sad!

P.S. Who knows who will be waiting for your under the mistletoe this year!

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