Why Spend a Holiday Alone?
Avoiding Holiday Hassles
Holiday hype highlights the word lonely for a lot of people. For the shy that's not such a bad thing, and there are others who are actually happy for the alone time. But if dread is the first thought that comes to mind, think again and plan ahead!
Give to Others
Attention: do not say duh. We’re going somewhere with this. It’s a tried and true method for changing up what some say is a bunch of foolishness. It may also be stepping out of one’s proverbial comfort zone, but everyone knows that taking a gallant step means amazing things can happen.
Be creative in finding out where people are needed. Neonate intensive care units have programs that allow volunteers to cuddle babies so their comfort and well-being are increased. How breathtaking would that be?! And always there are the much more common opportunities present in nursing homes and homeless centers.
These activities require a bit of research and planning, but doing it can give a whole new meaning to Valentine’s Day. Once a person has some experience volunteering they are then qualified to share information and encourage others to do the same. That makes this a gift that truly keeps on giving!
Not Your Grandma’s Take-Out
Eating by ourselves has its benefits, but going to a restaurant on Valentine’s Day is not ordinarily going to be the first choice of someone spending it alone. Sure, planning ahead and making a special meal at home is a good idea with its own benefits, but think outside the box for a gift to self.
Ordering typical take-out is not recommended, but a restaurant meal is. Make ordering a dinner from the best restaurant in town the priority. Plan ahead and spruce up the house or apartment for the day. Make sure candles are on hand and there is music (and maybe a movie) waiting in the wings.
Theme the evening around a trip planned for the future, refreshing a goal for the New Year, or a personal project you want to finish. Spend time focusing on the how, when, and wherewithal of it all.
Don’t wait until the last minute to order or disappointment might be the bill of fare. Consider all the available options--unless you live in NYC or LA. We have to be reasonable! Just think of what sounds like the best meal possible and have a one-time soiree with it.
Give Yourself a Gift
Another rather obvious item on the list unless one goes at it in an uncommon manner, but an unexpected gift is difficult to give oneself without some consideration.
A thing is not the particular goal. Think about how extraordinary it would be for a home body to decide to go to a theme park. An exciting experience may be the best choice, but it should be personal, not something decided on just because it is a popular trend.
Maybe learning to draw is a long-wished-for but at-the-bottom-of-the-totem-pole desire. Dare to do it. Sign up for that class before Valentine’s Day, then spend time that day buying supplies, deciding where to begin–portraiture, landscapes, kids toys, greeting card designs...
Spend the big day/evening enjoying some relaxing practice sessions. Let that initial exercise be the beginning of new drawing habits and see where they lead. Laugh, have fun, turn negative feelings into excitement about the lessons.
No matter how this concept is applied, dig in the heels and part ways with everything else for the day. Don’t let previous hindrances block the joy!
Give Yourself a Valentine
Before the big day plan a quiet evening at home. A glorious meal isn’t the focus here. Freshening up the body and mind from the day would be the first priority.
Then, be prepared to settle down with a new, clean notebook, a newly sharpened pencil, a nice writing pen, and maybe some colored pencils. Have some melodic music ready to play in the background. Shut out the rest of the world for this evening.
Begin writing yourself a letter, starting with some history. Include something of where you are and design it to end with where you want to go. Take time to create hand drawn graphs, charts, or lists that help you see things from different perspectives, and be sure to include some drawings just for fun. Don’t worry about a lack of skills, just enjoy the experience.
This project is for a person to create, to hold on to, to continue working on, and to eventually change if they so choose. If done with one’s heart it may, for reasons that can’t be seen now, turn out to be a valuable annual activity.
Make Yourself Laugh
Break up the humdrum of the day by doing something unpredictable to reap the benefits of laughter. First, arrange for flowers to be sent to your lovely self. Write a note that amounts to a corny joke from a secret admirer to be included. Send them to your workplace so you’ll have to carry them out of the building at day’s end.
Smile a lot all day long. Say nothing. If questions are asked, roll your eyes. Be sure to leave the note’s envelope open on your desk when you take a break or go to lunch. The most cowardly nosey person will not be able to withstand the temptation. And be ready with some more corny Valentine’s Day jokes for the persistent enquirer.
Here are a couple of jokes to get you started. What are love birds called? Tweethearts. What did the chocolate syrup say to the ice cream? I’m sweet on you. Now get busy looking up more. Be ready to laugh at your own corny jokes and make others laugh with you! Sure, there will be the naysayers, but who cares? Enjoy those who have fun with you!
Do Yourself a Capital Favor
Plan ahead to rethink finances on this holiday. B-O-R-I-N-G? Nope, you’re wrong. And if it’s done right you’ll have done yourself a great favor. Doesn’t everyone need to periodically take stock of where their dollars are at, what their long and short term goals are, and how they can make needed changes?
Have a nice but quick meal at home so you can S-T-O-P and T-H-I-N-K. Take time to do some research on what can be done immediately to stop outflow and build a bigger reserve. Inquire about getting information from an organization like Financial Peace University or 48 Days. Learn some techniques of people who live like the wealthy.
The warning about the love of money is still good advice, but sensibly working hard doing what some will not so that later we can do what will be impossible for those who didn’t really is a smart strategy. Love yourself enough to do it!
Find Summer Somewhere, Somehow
Say it slow--s-u-m-m-e-r-t-i-m-e. There’s no better antidote to winter holidays than chillin’ on the beach, but if you can’t buy a ticket to go down by the seaside, find a salty place in your town.
Celebrate with a warm swim in an indoor pool filled with saline water. YWCAs that are switching from chlorine to salt water for their pools could be a fine choice, and New York’s Skyline Hotel is a great example of an indoor salt water pool that is reasonably priced for a splurge.
Some gyms and spas have heated saltwater lap pools and may offer a one-time trial membership. It could be that a better than best idea is to slide over to a place that sells the units. Just slip and slide a bit of summer right on home to stay. Saltwater systems are easy enough to locate these days.
Hmmm...I may have to drive to the coast after I finish this hub!
Are People Waiting to Hear from You?
So, alone it is and nothing that comes to mind appeals. Perhaps the best thing to do is think of people we’ve been needing to contact for a long time. Writing that relative, friend, or business acquaintance that became not quite a friend but was more than business to us could do us much good.
Preplanning will provide the best outcome for this diversion. Deciding who needs to hear from us will guide in buying the special card(s) or stationery. It might be fun to hand make these or generate them electronically ahead of time. Don’t forget the stamps.
Then, settle in to write the love notes on Valentine’s Day, forgetting self and loving others:
Dear MiMi, Aunt Megela, Rodger, Lupa...
It’s been so long, but I want you to know I love you more than...
Memories of our summer in Twillingate come to mind when I see...
You may not know/remember/realize it but...
The love and care you gave me when I was...
Your kind and generous spirit toward everyone has inspired me to...
I’ve never forgotten how you...
With much fond love,
With warm appreciation,
Finish it/them for mailing the next day, then wait for the lovely responses that will surely come. Handwritten letters have a long history of impressing people and they continue to hold their value.
Yes! Celebrate Being Alone!
Celebrate being alone? Why certainly. A person does not have to be an introvert to do it, either. The dimensional reasons to be glad about being alone range from humorous to sad.
Someone hurting from a loss of any sort likely welcomes a day or evening alone to rest and not worry about being interrupted when family or friends are bustling around with a celebration. Unless they have been there, done that, it might be hard for others to understand, but enjoying the alone time rather than having to cheer up for their sake could be something to truly celebrate.
Appreciating spending Valentine’s Day alone and just being glad for not being inseparably attached to someone who is hard work could be a great choice. Too many people cannot be satisfied, do not enjoy the simple things life has to offer, or are so wrapped up in material things they cannot connect with anyone on important levels.
Celebrating alone-ness on holidays is not something that happens every year. But, oh yes, enjoying doing nothing or making it a respect-for-me day is a strategy for raising life’s bar a notch or two.
Dispense with the Silliness
Skip it. Yep, just skip it. Ideas will come once this one is thought out. Read a good book or watch an old movie that used to be a favorite (anything but a romance). It may seem unimaginative at first, but it’s very satisfying.
Take the time to plan a small unValentine’s party with friends. Um, wait...isn’t this about being alone? Yes it is, so the unValentine’s party would focus on anything but being with someone (as in a romantic relationship).
The event’s rule would be that nothing nor no one can wear, bring, speak, sing, eat, drink, or even smell anything about Valentine’s Day no way, no how. To accomplish this set a theme that everyone can participate in together.
An old-fashioned board game night with childhood kids’ games and fun appetizers for the evening might be just the ticket. If it’s girls or guys only, think about a cooking themed evening that everyone can participate in with a plan for conversation around a few unusual topics, or a book.
Don’t forget the corny jokes.
Many people find them difficult. Some would say tedious, some might describe pain at the very thought of them. Whatever the case, taking the concept of not celebrating them traditionally but applying an idea like one of the above could be very useful. No matter what a person decides to do, there’s no excuse for not doing something they can enjoy and benefit from in the process.
A Note on Volunteering Your Time
People who are involved in volunteer work need encouragement to stick with it. A Servant's Heart might be just the gift you can offer someone who has faithfully been working to help others for some time. Its service focused devotional thoughts could also be used to encourage those who are thinking of volunteering to go ahead and make a positive decision.
More by this Author
A creative look at America's Flag Day to help you enjoy a little trip across the country to celebrate June 14. Relax and check out some coast to coast photos and patriotic videos.
✧ Seventh in a series of very short stories themed around Home for the Holidays, "Perfect Traditions" is about special happiness in a family setting.
- EDITOR'S CHOICE42
Design a handbag for holidays or everyday! Customize your purse with these directions and photos using basic sewing skills by repurposing a denim skirt.