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It’s not really Christmas, is it?

It doesn’t feel like Christmas this year to me and so I’ve been doing some reading on how to make yourself feel good when you are alone during the holidays. This may sound really strange to some of you because I’m still young, but it’s the first Christmas in a decade that I’ve been single, and I don’t know what to do with myself. I didn’t get to give a million little presents to Neener, and I don’t get to receive a million little presents from him either. We did buy one another a gift (I bought him a new bathrobe and he bought me new flannel pajamas … which to me scream “married-people-gifts”) but it’s still not the same. Normally my Christmas-time is split between five different houses and I’m busier than a one-armed-wallpaper-hanger. This year it’s the exact opposite, and I’m having a hard time not feeling sorry for myself. I know that I could be worse-off and that there are millions of other people who are worse off than me, but it’s been hard being just THROWN into this situation. I know that Neener is also having a rough time, but he still has three houses he’ll spend Christmas at – and he is very close to his family.

So, the “article” that I found I agreed most with was actually an article from eHow. I copied & pasted it directly only adding my own notes in italics because I agreed with most things!

STEP 1: Treat yourself to a vacation you’ve always wanted to take, whether it’s a cruise, a week at a ski resort or a New York shopping-and-theater binge. I am hoping to take a cruise next year. If I’m single I’ll take my best friend Weena with me; her parents will understand the kidnapping!

STEP 2: Cook your favorite dinner, light a fire, curl up on the sofa and watch a feel-good video. Since I’ll be alone this Christmas night (gotta work on Tuesday) I’ll do just this. I’ll have to think about what I want though. My favorite meal … hmmm … I still have turkey from last weekend so maybe I’ll make dumplings too.

STEP 3: Start that book you’ve been meaning to read, or reread a childhood favorite. I have How the Grinch Stole Christmas so I could pull this one out. It involves almost cleaning out the hope chest though! LOL

STEP 4: Pick up the phone and call a friend who always makes you laugh. Merry Christmas, it’s Sarah; make me laugh! I have a tenative online catch-up date with a long-time friend who I just got in contact with and she makes me laugh, too, so this will probably work out.

STEP 5: Write in your journal, or start one. Lately, this has been a depressing job for me. I have been skipping my paper journal and writing here instead. I’ll probably post here on Christmas day just to keep my mind occupied!

STEP 6: Get around to projects you’ve been putting off, such as making a scrapbook of last year’s vacation mementos, painting the bathroom or refinishing that antique dresser Aunt Louise left you. Most likely you’ll find the process meditative, and you’ll have lasting results to show for your efforts. All of this, just on Christmas? Around the holidays I can see this being productive. Today I cleaned my room really well, and tomorrow before I head South to see my family I’m going to clean the bathroom. Maybe Christmas night I’ll clean out the downstairs closet (that is a disaster) or hang the pictures that have been sitting in the living room since I moved in!

STEP 7: Take your dog for a long walk. If you don’t have a dog, borrow someone else’s. I don’t even KNOW anyone who has a dog!

STEP 8: Grab your sketchbook (or buy one) and head outside. Drawing, even if you think you can’t, makes you see the world in a whole new way. Uhm, unless you really CAN’T draw … then it makes you feel depressed! LOL I’ll write instead; I know I can handle that. Thankyouverymuch!

STEP 9: Plan a special treat for every day if your solo period will be an extended one. Choose things that please you: a visit to the art museum, dinner and a play, a hike in the woods or a walk on a wintry beach. This makes sense. Today’s special treat was not showering and drinking TWO cups of coffee. LOL Tomorrow’s special treat will be opening presents. Monday’s special treat will be cinnamon rolls and knowing that I will survive Christmas every year from here on out!

STEP 10: Assemble a solo-party emergency kit, especially if you live alone in snow country and your plans include holiday travel. Stash some favorite delicacies in the pantry and freezer: bottles of your favorite wines and spirits; books, CDs and videos you know you’ll enjoy; firewood, bubble bath, candles – whatever makes you feel indulged and contented. Uhm, firewood? For what fireplace? LOL I could have a campfire on the back patio if I want to get kicked out of my condo! LOL

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