Ideas for Spending the Christmas Holidays Alone
Doing the Holidays Solo
Most of the seven years I lived in Los Angeles, I elected not to return to the East coast and my family during Thanksgiving or Christmas so I usually wound up spending the holidays by myself. Since I've becoming something of an expert at surviving the day alone without feeling wretched, here's my Christmas Alone Ideas for getting through the holidays when family and loved ones are far away.
Skip the Pity Invites
If you can't spend your holiday with your own family or significant other, spending it with someone else's family usually sucks. I've done it a couple of times and have always regretted it. You'll spend half your time answering questions about where your family is and why you aren't with them, so it's not exactly a way to make your forget you aren't with them. The rest of the time you'll spend uncomfortably witness other people's holiday dramarama. Skip it!
If you really need to celebrate with other people, there are two options:
Spend it with other people who are also alone for the holiday. Start talking to your friends and find out who isn't going home and then start planning your own celebration. Pass the word around your office and social circle that anyone who is going to be alone is welcome to come to your party -- I suggest making it a potluck or a buffet of some kind. Just make sure it doesn't turn into a couples party. It's fine to invite some couples, but balance the guest list.
Or spend the day volunteering with strangers:
Just keep in mind that homeless shelters and other places that need holiday volunteer help tend to look askance at volunteers who only call them once a year. They have regular volunteers who are committed year round and frequently have all the volunteers they need for the holiday itself from their regular pool. So if you want to go that route, call them in September (or call them NOW!) and start volunteering immediately. Don't wait until the week of Christmas to call. It is too late by then.
Finding Restaurants Open Christmas Day
Make a Plan - Especially for Dinner
If you're determined that you are going to spend the day by yourself, then start making plans for your own holiday meal. If you decide to eat at home, splash out and get yourself a nice bottle of bubbly to go with your dinner. Find the local upscale supermarket and see what kind of holiday meals they are putting together. You'll save yourself the annoyance of cooking for one and get the same home comfort tastes.
Would you prefer to go out? There are always restaurants open. The trick is finding them. If you want a traditional menu, try a fancy hotel. Most hotels will have at least one restaurant open on Christmas day. But I would start calling around and checking menus early in December. You may need to make a reservation. If you're okay with non-traditional, many Chinese and Thai restaurants, and some Indian restaurants, will be open in the evening. You may want to check out some local Jewish delis as well if you have a sizeable Jewish community in your area. They may be open as well.
Other places that stay open are chains like iHop, Waffle House, Bickfords, etc. but I usually only go to places like that as a last resort.
Christmas Action Movies
- 12 Days of Cinematicalmas: Christmas Action Movies - Cinematical
A Rundown of some great Christmas Action Movies
Rent some Movies or Go See a Movie
In every major city, all of the movie theatres will be open Christmas Day, but they may not always do the matinee shows.
You will not be the only one in the theater. It will be packed! Get there early or pre-order your tickets.
or Rent some movies and stay at home
My suggestion for fun movie rentals are Christmas-themed action movies. Avoid all the soppy family-themed Christmas movies. Skip It's a Wonderful Life and the Miracle on 34th Street. They will get you nowhere.
Rent LETHAL WEAPON instead. That one is my personal favorite. You can watch Mel Gibson totally lose it in a Christmas tree lot.
Or rent Die Hard, Die Hard II, or Reindeer Games. Ooh, and don't forget Strange Days. That one's good through New Years!