Single Baby Boomer’s Dos and Don’ts for Surviving the Holidays
The internet is full of ideas on how to survive the holidays. It isn’t just single Baby Boomers who’ve difficulty getting out of bed and feeling the joyful emotions we’ve been brainwashed into thinking we should feel. Often, if we had children, we carried on the traditions we learned from our parents. However, Generation X sometimes rejects the “family duties” we felt we must perform. Unlike our parents who often married, had children, lived in the family home, and stayed with their spouses until their death, we may be divorced, live in another state or country, and not see our children and grandchildren during the holidays. Also, friends who are in relationships or have children living near them have someone with whom to spend these days. So what are we to do to celebrate or just get through this time of the year?
Do maintain your regular schedule most days and enjoy the parties, music and colorful décor. If you belong to a church or organizations, attend their festivities and enjoy the company of single and married friends just as you do the rest of the year.
Don’t stay home bemoaning your single status and avoid your usual activities and friends who’ve plans for the holidays. Often they’re as stressed as you are. They’ve the added responsibility of shopping and preparing special meals for relatives. They have to meet the expectations of others and worry about coming up short. I find it stressful enough when I have to get a Dirty Santa gift and often just buy a gift card. It’s not very imaginative, but everyone can use it.
Do visit family, if it’s feasible. If you’ve a family who gets along, it’s a lot more fun. Seeing your parents, siblings and their families can bring your family closer together, so if tragedy strikes you still have a bond. However, if they argue and bring up best forgotten slights, you may want to make an excuse to stay away.
Don’t just visit your family. Remember your single friends. Often we get caught up during the rest of the year when we’re working, traveling or busy with our usual activities. Even if they don’t call you, be the thoughtful person who sets up a lunch, makes a call, sends a card, email, message on social media or a text. I’ve found that just a text from a grandchild can brighten my day. If someone actually takes the time to call me or meet for lunch, I’m thrilled.
Do go to a movie even if you go alone. Go to an action film or a silly comedy. In a dark theater with a tub of buttered popcorn and a drink, you’re in good company even if you don’t know a soul. There’ll probably be a lot of singles there, so don’t feel like you’re the only one. My Christmas plans include the new Star Wars flick. The nostalgia for the film that I remember from my younger days gives it a certain appeal. Even though Harrison Ford has aged, he’s still not bad looking. Harrison and I have some things in common. We both have gray hair, broken several bones, like experimental aircraft, flying, and crash landed a plane. I also have other interests related to the film. I’ve always been fascinated with space travel and galaxies far, far away.
Don’t go to a romantic comedy or a sad drama no matter how much hype surrounds it. They all end the same and you can rent them from Redbox or stream them for a lot less. You don’t want to be shedding any tears.
Do make positive affirmations like repeating “I’m thankful that I can do whatever I want to make this season special for me.” If someone asks you how you’re doing, say something positive about what you really enjoy about the season, even if it’s a small thing like, “I really enjoy seeing the lights on the houses in my neighborhood.”
Don’t complain about the holidays and be a ‘Debbie Downer’. It ruins the festive spirit of everyone around you when you tell them how much you hate the holidays. Find a professional counselor, if you need to resolve your problems surrounding this season. Complaining can make things seem worse than they really are. You can start to obsess about a problem and your perception of it can make even a small challenge seem like a disaster. It can ruin friendships and it’s not healthy for you either.
Do eat your favorite foods even if they’re full of calories and have no nutritional value. I prepare a modified version of my favorite holiday meal. I have to admit that fruits and vegetables aren’t featured much in the menu, but I do include a sweet potato, cranberries, and my favorite fruit salad, which is laden with whipped cream and marshmallows. Jennie-o makes a turkey pot roast that’s all dark meat, which is my favorite. However, if you like the leaner, white meat, just buy a turkey breast. You might like a less traditional meal. It’s your celebration, so anything goes.
Don’t count calories for a week. You can start again on January 2nd. Remember there are left-overs to be enjoyed the week after Christmas and champagne for New Year’s Eve. Dieting can be one of the New Year’s Resolutions you may or may not choose to make.
Do give yourself a gift. You’re not in a relationship, so the money you’ll save on a gift for them can go for that new outfit, a trip or something you want for your home, and I don’t mean an appliance.
Don’t feel like you can’t spoil yourself. Pat yourself on the back for all of your successes even if they’re as small as taking a walk every day. Don’t dwell on your failures. Forget them or resolve to fix them later. Next year is soon enough. You should do this all year long, but it’s especially important this time of the year.
That’s my advice. Add it to the other suggestions you’ve heard and find what works. Next year is only a few days away and with the holiday comes some vacation time for most. I hope you’re one of those people. Remember, solitude can be a wonderful thing if you know how to make the most of it. Relax and do the things you truly enjoy.
If you have any New Year’s Resolutions you plan to make, let me know in the comment section or on my Facebook Page, Single Boomer Life. I’ll include them in my next blog. Thank you for being loyal readers. I’ve enjoyed sharing my ideas and the thoughts of others with you on my blog.
I hope you have a wonderful holiday and a happy, healthy new year.