Embracing Solo Holiday Cheer: Ways to Make the Most of Christmas Alone


How to Have a Magical Christmas on Your Own

Whether you’re working, live far away from family or friends, or just aren’t in the mood for festive cheer this year, there are plenty of reasons you could be spending Christmas alone. And while the festive season is famed for being about time spent with family and friends, spending Christmas alone can be magical too, just maybe not in the traditional sense. According to Google, there’s been a 309.75% uplift in the past month of people searching for ‘spending Christmas alone,’ so if you’re one of the many people planning to spend December 25th solo, we spoke to Emily Carr of CreateGiftLove for her advice on how to make the most of a solo Christmas.

1. Reframe Christmas

“First things first, reframe the typical Christmas stereotype,” says Emily. “Ultimately, no matter how a person spends Christmas, their intention is to feel joy, and there is no reason that you can’t feel joy when spending Christmas alone. Christmas Day is a chance to press pause on fast-paced 21st-century life, and spending the day alone presents a rare opportunity where you can do whatever you want, whenever you want. Empower the day by making a list of activities that you always want to do but never have the chance to. Whether it’s reading a book, partaking in some meditation or even cleaning. If it gives you a sense of accomplishment or joy – put it on the list!”

2. Structure the Day

“If you are dreading spending Christmas Day alone, it can be easy to put off thinking about it,” says Emily. “Instead, structure the day so you know exactly what you’re going to do and when you’re going to do it. This will avoid a sense of boredom kicking in or negative feelings.”

3. Treat Yourself

“Spending Christmas alone doesn’t mean that you cannot receive gifts,” says Emily. “Purchase a gift for yourself that you wouldn’t usually buy, large, or small. Don’t open it until Christmas Day and even wrap it to make it feel extra special.” Emily is right that treating ourselves is key to happiness; studies have shown that treating ourselves leaves us feeling less exhausted and with a greater sense of happiness and life satisfaction – if that’s not what Christmas is for, we don’t know what is!

4. Indulge in Guilt-Free Self-Care

Many of us feel guilty for spending time on ourselves, but consider Christmas Day the ultimate opportunity for this. “Empower Christmas Day by declaring it a guilt-free 24 hours,” Emily encourages. “If you can’t be bothered or are not a fan of a roast dinner, make your favorite meal instead. Binge-watch your favorite TV shows with your favorite snacks, have a bath with candles. Do all your favorite things, and do not feel guilty about it.”

5. Ignore Comparison Culture

“Stay away from social media on Christmas Day,” encourages Emily. “Chances are, your connections are going to be posting the highlights of their day. Remember, these are just their highlights. If social media is likely to rob the day of joy, delete the apps for the day.”

6. Go for a Christmas Walk

Research shows that surrounding yourself with nature can improve your mental well-being and see your whole body relax. “Being in nature lowers the stress hormone cortisol and has even been shown to lower blood pressure,” explains Emily. “Scheduling in a walk when spending Christmas alone can boost your mood and chat to other people.”

7. Remember It’s Just 24 Hours

“Christmas Day has the same 24 hours as any other day of the year and you don’t have to celebrate it at all,” says Emily. “If you feel that acknowledging the day will conjure too many negative feelings, refrain from celebrating it at all. Those 24 hours will pass just as quickly, there’s no reason to mark them if you don’t want! Tomorrow is another day, after all.”

Visit HELLO!’s Happiness Hub for more optimism-boosting content.


Micheal Kurt

I earned a bachelor's degree in exercise and sport science from Oregon State University. He is an avid sports lover who enjoys tennis, football, and a variety of other activities. He is from Tucson, Arizona, and is a huge Cardinals supporter.

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