Whether Covid restrictions or circumstances are to blame, many of us will be spending Christmas Day with just ourselves for company this year.
A potentially bleak and upsetting predicament, there are ways to give December 25 shape and meaning, even if you’re facing it solo.
Here are a few ideas for making a Christmas alone bearable – and maybe even enjoyable…
1. Have a schedule and a plan. In normal life, Christmas Day is almost always plotted out. Having a bit of a plan in place, and making sure you get up and out and about, will hopefully help stave off the desire to stay in bed, crying and feeling like a spare part.
2. Indulge in a marathon film day. Either go all out on the Christmas films, or see this is an opportunity to mentally escape. Pick horrors, epic travel documentaries, or outrageous comedies. No weepies.
3. Plan a cooking challenge. Never made a Wellington before? Want to attempt a Michelin star meal? Now’s your chance to tackle one, make a total mess of the kitchen, all without any pesky backseat chefs. AND you get to eat the lot of it, too.
4. Don’t overcommit on the video calls, as you’ll likely end up resenting it and being bombarded. Instead, think about what you’d like to do and who you’d like to speak to – and get the times plotted in, so you know it’s happening.
5. Treat yourself. Spending December 25 alone does not mean you need forgo the cheese board or the tin of Quality Street. Or presents for that matter. You’re worth it. Don’t scrimp on the treats.
6. Go for a walk or festive run with a friend. Despite Covid restrictions, in most areas, it’s still possible to meet up with another solo pal for a festive walk or run. Everyone needs a bit of fresh air on Christmas Day. And if you’re both spending the day alone, it’s a good chance to have a cathartic rant.
7. Take a long cycle ride. We so often get trapped in front of the telly at Christmas; so consider breaking up the day with a bike ride. Fingers crossed it’s beautiful and frosty.
8. Do something really nice for yourself, that you’ll love but would never get to do at your usual family Christmas – like signing up for a great zoom yoga class, or gong bath.
9. Turn Christmas Day into a whole spa day. Soak in the tub, stay in your dressing gown, apply a face mask, try some meditation, play soothing music and block out the rest of the world.
10. Agree with your family to abandon the day entirely, and reschedule Christmas for spring.
11. Prioritise you. Don’t fancy family zoom bingo? Don’t do it. Want to eat crisps all day? Go right ahead. Keen to sleep through the whole afternoon? Feel free. Happier pretending it’s not Christmas at all? That’s completely understandable. Christmas is tough enough as it is; of all years, being kind to yourself is crucial.