The holiday season is meant to be a time for bright lights, desserts, presents, and cute decorations. However, enjoying this time of year can be hard if you’re not sure where you plan on spending these special days. Lane Moore, author of HOW TO BE ALONE, shares her tips on how to be happy if you’re alone for the holidays this year.
No, you don’t deserve this.
You’re not alone during the holidays because you deserve to be—everyone deserves a great family who loves them and makes them feel safe. The fact that you never had that is not the result of your being unlovable or because something is wrong with you. I know (because I am you) that you’re, like, “Duh, I know that,” but seriously, around this time of year it’s so easy to subconsciously think otherwise. But I know you deserve every bit as much love and normalcy as everyone else. Never doubt this. Though I know you do. Again, because I am literally you.
No, you’re not a monster because you hate this time of year.
I hate, more than I can tell you, how much our world neglects people who have a hard time around the holidays. Do you remember [insert devastating family traumas]? Yeah, so, uh, of course you might not want to deck the halls (also you live in New York City, so you have like one hall and it’s covered in weird black marks from ghosts, or rats with markers) or hear even the opening bars of “All I Want for Christmas Is You” while paying for your groceries (a true torment, though the song is pretty, yeah, yeah, I know). That’s normal, and it’s not because you’re joyless and cold, but because you’re in pain. It makes sense you’d want to avoid things that cause you more pain—that’s just coping.
Yes, you’re allowed to celebrate or not celebrate the holidays however you want.
So if you’re currently prepping for the holidays via a combination of “not acknowledging the holidays at all,” “turning my phone off and watching movies while eating snacks,” with a possible side dish of “crying, so much crying,” I support that manner of “choose your own adventure, but whatever you choose, just stay alive.” Oh, also, you have every right to be spending the holidays alone or with people, crying or not crying. It doesn’t make you weak or a bummer or antisocial. Most people will not understand how you have chosen to survive—and they don’t need to. Fuck anyone who tells you your plans are “sad” or pressures you to be around them even though they don’t feel safe or fun or you just feel like a misfit toy in the corner with one eye missing. You understand your choices and they’re helping you get through it and that’s enough.
Find out more tips on how to be alone this holiday season from HOW TO BE ALONE by Lane Moore.
Tips on Life & Love: How to Deal with Nosy Relatives at the Holiday Table
Excerpted from How to Be Alone by Lane Moore. Copyright © 2018 by the author. Used by permission of the publisher. All rights reserved.
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