A singles’ survival guide to Christmas

SOS tips for a Christmas alone
Christmas can be a lonely time of year but it can also be one of the most brilliant. If the thought of Yuletide alone fills you with dread, heed our words…

1. Mix things up
Don’t be afraid to do things a bit differently. Your nearest and dearest might want you at the dinner table this Christmas Day but, if a pal invites you on holiday or for a singles’ Christmas dinner, don’t be afraid of accepting. Christmas is the time for traditions but it’s also a time for you to have a good time, and if that means spending it away from your family then so be it. You can always make time for them before or after the big day.
 

2. Couple trouble
It doesn’t do any harm giving yourself a reality check once in a while. You might crave to be in a relationship around Christmas time, but don’t forget that couples have troubles too, especially around December. Booze combined with in-laws can be a lethal combination, and the strain can often be felt by even the happiest of couples. You, on the other hand, are free to spend the holidays however – and with whomever – you feel.

3. The power of one
It might be more fun to have a plus one to tag along to Christmas parties, events and carol services but, if you have no one to invite that doesn’t mean you have to stay at home with a turkey ready meal. Be bold and go anyway. Let the host know you’re coming alone so they can introduce you to lots of people, and be friendly and welcoming to everyone you meet while you’re there. You never know, you might find someone to kiss under the mistletoe.

4. Explore the options
Don’t wait until the New Year to make some changes. If you don’t want to be single, ask your friends if they know anyone they could set you up on a mulled wine and mince pie blind date with. Browse your local club listings for festive speed dating or singles’ nights, or pour yourself a glass of wine and do it from the comfort of your own home by signing up to online dating.

5. Feel the force
You might be dreading the inevitable conversations with friends and relatives about your lack of a partner. Steel yourself against their lack of tact and use it to your advantage instead. Agree with them, say it’s a real shame, and ask them if they know anyone who might be suitable. Your great aunt’s best friend might not be the most likely matchmaker but if you don’t ask, you’ll never know.

6. Mistletoe and whine
Identify a single partner in crime. Not only might they be the perfect wingman or woman for the festive outings, but they can also be there when you’re feeling particularly Bah Humbug about it all. A good whine over a glass of wine can not be overestimated. If you’re living away from friends and family, the same effect can be achieved over the phone or via Skype.

7. Save a penny
Yes, it’s upsetting not having a special someone to spoil rotten on Christmas Day. But look on the bright side, that means less time spent battling the hoards of shoppers. It’s a whole lot cheaper too, so you’ll have extra cash to spend on yourself come the January sales. You could also vow to spend the money on something feel-good in the New Year, such as a gym membership or a new haircut.

8. Share the joy
Christmas isn’t just about couples. There are plenty of other people to spoil when it comes to the festive season. You could organise a Secret Santa for your colleagues, spinning class pals or choir. Spread the seasonal goodwill by volunteering at your local homeless shelter or offer to wrap presents for the retirement home, and see all those Scrooge-like feelings disappear like Father Christmas down the chimney.