Have Yourself a Merry Single Christmas

So here we are again. Christmas is right around the corner. And here I am again, alone. Watching an almost constant barrage of “Every Kiss Begins With K” commercials. (Am I the only one that really, really dislikes them?) And Facebook posts with couples and parties and presents and joy. Bah Humbug!

When did Christmas become such a romantic holiday? And whose idea was it to start kissing under the mistletoe?

Did you know that mistletoe is actually a parasite? It attaches itself to a tree or shrub and absorbs the moisture and nutrients from the host plant. (Sounds like a couple of boyfriends I’ve had.) It can even eventually kill the branch or entire shrub it clings too! Doesn’t sound so romantic to me. I did some research though and did find the probable origins of the custom. It most likely started with the Celtic Druids. Because mistletoe can bloom even during the frozen, coldest of winters, the Druids viewed it as a divine indication of life and energy. They began to use it as a fertility drug. (Just one more reason I choose stay away.)  I guess throughout the centuries the custom evolved a bit and it took on a life of its own.

There are other elements of our holiday traditions that seem sweet and romantic at first glance. But things are not always as they appear. Take Christmas songs for example. (Now stop with the eye rolls. I don’t hate Christmas music. At least not ALL Christmas music.) However, you gotta admit there are some questionable ones out there.

 For example…

“Baby, All I want for Christmas is You”…
I don’t care about the presents
Underneath the Christmas tree
I just want you for my own
More than you could ever know”

Now for starters that’s most likely not true. But even if it is, that is one possessive and neurotic person right there.

Then there’s..

“Baby, It’s Cold Outside”
“I really can’t stay
Baby, it’s cold outside
I’ve got to go away
But baby, it’s cold outside.”

The poor girl is trying her best to leave. I’m sure it was cold when she got there and she most likely has a coat and a car with a heater. But she can’t seem to get away. Doesn’t anyone else see that as a little creepy??

And let’s not forget

“Santa Baby”

Santa baby, Been an awful good girl
Santa honey, I'll wait up for you, dear”

Know any girls like this? Trying to lure a married man, who is working none the less, to hurry over and give her expensive gifts. That’s just wrong on so many levels.

And last, but certainly not least..,. the beloved classic “Winter Wonderland”.

Now for what it’s worth, I love this song. But here’s the thing. Maybe I don’t want to conspire and dream by the fire. And who is Parson Brown anyway? If I ever do get married again, it certainly won’t be by a talking snowman impersonating a minister.

Ok, ok, so enough of the silliness. I’m really not a scrooge. (Regardless of what my children might tell you.) And even though I’m not really concerned about being ‘single’ this Christmas, there is a little of the whimsy missing when you go through it alone.

There are many reasons why someone can find they are unattached at Christmas. And for many the holidays are not all that happy.

Some have lost loved ones; spouses or partners. This season can be especially difficult and sad when you are missing someone’s laugh. Or their touch. Or their shoulder to lean on. Memories are bittersweet. These precious people put on a brave face and do their best to enjoy the festivities, but just know they are still hurting inside. If you know one, give them hug. Send them a text. Let them know their loved one is not forgotten. Maybe share a Christmas memory if you have one. Don’t forget to tell them how much you love and appreciate them too. I promise you it will make their day. Maybe even their holiday.

Divorce takes a huge toll on Christmas spirit as well. Traditions are lost or have to be shared or divided. Children are shuttled between family gatherings or worse, miss out on being with one parent at all. Divorce also causes financial distress that can become apparent when looking under the tree. There are no easy answers here. Sometimes it is just difficult. I guess the best we can do is try to show a little extra compassion. If you are in this situation, please try to avoid conflict in front of the children; even if they are older. It may seem like a good idea to let them know who caused the problem, but in the long run it really doesn’t. Children just need to know they are loved and treasured. The dollar amount on the receipt never replaces the hugs and giggles and memories you make.

And sometimes, through no fault or tragedy, we are just alone at Christmas. And that’s not necessarily a bad or sad thing. Just a fact thing. Being single at Christmas usually isn’t an option we hope for, but it definitely is not a curse. Don't think me to be bitter or jealous. I love all my couple friends and I am very happy.  Because I know for me I am richly blessed. With family. With friends. With you. And this I believe, that for the most part the Christmas Season brings out the best in people. There is a little more patience. A little more joy. A lot more love. And that is what I wish for all of my friends; single or not.

But if the parasite… I mean mistletoe… is not part of your Christmas this year, here is my advice. Gather with friends. Attend a church service. Call someone who would love to hear your voice. Hug your kids. Watch all the sappy Hallmark movies you want. (Or not.)  Drink the eggnog from the carton. Eat all of Santa’s cookies. Wear your flannel pjs to bed. Spend all the gift card money on yourself! And most important of all…..

Have A Very Merry Christmas!!

Hope Out!