It’s that time of year again. Baubles, lights and all things twinkly. While you may be impatiently counting down to some well-deserved time off, you can have a very merry Christmas while also changing the chain of events when you are planning to spend the festive season on your own.
There are all sorts of reasons why we may be spending Christmas alone. Christmas alone might be what we wish for, or working or living abroad means you might be away from family and friends are just two.
You may not need it, but here is some inspiration for spending time alone during Christmas. You have 101 ideas to choose from, and we have created two lists – one with a list of things you can do over the entire festive season and another with ideas for a solo Christmas Day. Inevitably, some can overlap because, let’s face it, who are we to say what to do, when and with whom? We hope there will be at least one or two ideas you can take away and help you enjoy your solo Christmas!
1 Treat yourself like royalty and eat breakfast in bed from a silver platter.
2 Take a walk around your neighbourhood and admire the festive decorations.
3 Go for a refreshing run in the countryside.
4 Explore local woodland and use the tree as a canopy as shelter if it rains. Perhaps there will be snow, and you’ll be taking a walk in a winter wonderland.
5 Head to the nearest beach and dare yourself to walk barefoot on the sand. You’ll feel ALIVE.
6 Stay in your neighbourhood and put your smartphone camera to good use by photographing empty streets for some dramatic shots.
7 Skip the turkey and sprouts this year and opt for global cuisine like Indian, Turkish or Vietnamese instead. (More and more restaurants are open on Christmas Day).
8 On your way to the restaurant, go on a ‘sniff-walk’ at lunchtime and try to guess what your neighbours are cooking.
9 Find a luxury non-alcoholic drink that you like and drink it all day! (No hangover – yay!).
10 Eat well for the whole day – Christmas isn’t a time for self-deprivation!
11 If you stay at home, take your Christmas dinner outdoors picnic style to eat in nature. Who owns an outdoor heater or wood burner?
12 Cook one very decadent dish and savour every mouthful.
13 Choose a very guilty pleasure and indulge yourself for a day.
14 Take pampering to the extreme with a full hair, face and body beauty mask.
15 Turn the heating up to max and spend the day naked! (Remember to close the curtains!).
16 Treat yourself to an extra-long and relaxing bubble bath.
17 Give yourself the gift of silence and practice meditating for a few hours.
18 Boost your self-esteem by writing out a list of 15 things you love about yourself.
19 Video call family members who live far away for a catch-up.
20 Go online and play a free video game for a day to see how far you get.
21 Watch one of the most popular films released this year.
22 Watch a box set back to back or movie trilogies – Back to the Future, anyone?
23 Make yourself laugh out loud by watching your favourite comedy shows on Netflix.
24 Read our Solo Christmas Short Stories and Short Stories based around single life and characters living alone. A real treat.
25 Choose one of the best books of 2022 to read.
26 Play your Christmas playlist and dance your heart out! (you know, the Christmas playlist you created in number 38).
27 Decorate your bedroom with fairy lights, close the curtains and pretend you are floating in outer space.
28 Challenge yourself to build a house made out of your Christmas cards. See how tall you can stack your cards before they fall down!
29 Borrow a karaoke machine and spend the day dancing and singing your heart out.
30 Make a Christmas time capsule with a few non-perishable festive items, then bury it in your garden.
31 Spend the day making your New Year resolution list – then edit it to include only the realistic things you know you can do.
32 Do something you’ve been meaning to do but haven’t gotten around to as yet. Something fun!
33 Write a self-care list for the next year prioritising you. Doing what will bring out the best in you?
34 Write out 12 pampering treats you would love on post-it notes. Fold and place them into a bowl. Draw one out at a time and book yourself that treatment on the 1st of every month for the rest of the year.
35 Deck your hall walls with strings of sparkling fairy lights.
36 Create some hand-made Christmas decorations and decorate your home – make them eco-friendly!
37 Choose a different theme for your Christmas. Research a different culture and recreate their traditional foods, drinks and decorations.
38 Create a Christmas playlist of your favourite songs to play throughout the festive period.
39 Seek out your single friends and invite them over for Christmas Day.
40 Treat yourself to a gorgeous new sustainable outfit that will stand the test of time.
41 Buy 12 different flavoured, very expensive hand-made Swiss chocolates and eat just one every day for the 12 days of Christmas.
42 Check the opening hours of local pubs and restaurants and treat yourself to a drink and at least one meal out this Christmas. Book a decadent solo lunch at a busy time, and no one will notice you are dining solo.
43 Buy yourself a special Christmas gift and resist the temptation to open it and use it until Boxing Day. Can you do it?
44 Give yourself a new look and learn how to apply makeup with a YouTube tutorial. Do you want smokey eyes? Fuller lips? Neater eyebrows? You got it!
45 Buy a gift for yourself that will arrive in the days following New Year.
46 Walk in a local park and enjoy watching people spending time together.
47 Treat your dog or cat to a day of pampering.
48 Borrow a dog for Christmas! Many people go away at Christmas and cannot take them along. Help out someone local by joining Borrow My Doggy and looking after a cute pooch in your home over Christmas.
49 Take part in a Parkrun and then spend the day recovering!
50 Take a drive to a town or village you have never visited before.
51 Start a conversation with a stranger – you may make a new friend!
52 Bake a batch of Christmas cookies and give them to your neighbours.
53 Buy and wrap up some spare gifts to keep for unexpected visitors.
54 Hide a small surprise gift in a friend’s home. See how long it takes them to find it.
55 Wrap a gift and leave it on your neighbour’s front doorstep.
56 Bake some festive-themed fairy cakes to take to work on the last day before Christmas.
57 Hand-write a letter to an elderly relative that doesn’t do digital.
58 Volunteer at one of your favourite local charities for a day or more.
59 Hold a Christmas tea party for lonely elderly locals through Reengage.
60 Ask your local hospital if you can visit patients on Christmas Day to read them stories or the newspaper.
61 Call in on an elderly neighbour for a cup of tea and a chat.
62 Host a Christmas drinks drop-in one afternoon for your friends going to and from places. Maximum stay 40 minutes!
63 Organise a Christmas movie fest with back-to-back festive-themed movies.
64 If you go to church, ask if you can help out with anything for a day.
65 Find a barista or waiter working extra hard and give them a generous Christmas tip.
66 Load your iPod full of Christmas carols, go for a walk and sing along loudly to make people smile. (Just witnessed someone doing this the other day!).
67 Spend a day surfing the internet – without feeling guilty!
68 Check out app stores for life-hacking apps that will help and save you time next year.
69 Chat with new friends on Facebook groups and get to know other solos at Christmas time.
70 Make a day of video calling your friends around the globe.
71 Spend a day researching a brand new hobby.
72 Make your own Christmas playlist of your favourite songs, festive or not so much!
73 Choose three books to read from your ‘must read’ booklist. Or create your ‘must-read’ booklist—the one you have been meaning to read for some time now.
74 Use your imagination to write a short story. Share it with a friend and get some feedback.
75 Choose a favourite song to use as a backing track and re-write the lyrics to create a modern Christmas Carol.
76 Write a short film script where you act out all of the parts.
77 Research the history of Christmas and make a YouTube video of your results. See if it goes viral.
78 Remember the 5000-piece jigsaw you bought last Christmas now gathering dust? It’s time to get that jigsaw done – accept the challenge!
79 Try to set a new world record and submit it to Guinness World Records.
80 Load up NORAD Santa Tracker, visit Santa’s Village and follow Santa as he goes around the world in real-time.
81 Use Google Earth to see 360-degree sites where Santa lands – even uninhabited islands.
82 Fancy a crafty Christmas? Challenge yourself to a simple yet fun day of crafting by choosing a craft and following the steps on instructables.com.
83 Set yourself a challenge to learn how to knit. Your task is to knit yourself a Christmas jumper to wear next year. Good luck with this one!
84 Choose a piece of your furniture to upcycle to give it a new look or new purpose—anything from a trinket box to a sideboard.
85 Learn how to make felt ornaments on WikiHow. Challenge yourself to make one new felt ornament each month, so you have 12 hand-made ornaments to hang on your Christmas tree next year
86 Become a ‘house-sitter’! Do a Kate Winslet this Christmas and swap your home (and life) with someone else, just like in the Christmas film, The Holiday.
87 Stay in a hotel between Christmas Eve and Boxing Day and feel part of the festive hustle and bustle.
88 Go on a Christmas spa break, relax and let yourself be pampered and waited on, hand on foot.
89 Visit a country that doesn’t celebrate Christmas in the same way and enjoy a different culture.
90 Go on an adventure or activity break and try a new experience.
91 Go on a wellness retreat in a sunny and distant location.
92 Check out Google’s Arts and Culture App and visit art galleries and museums worldwide from your armchair.
93 Savour being single by making a list of things that you are NOT going to miss at Christmas, like sitting at a table dodging awkward questions from others about marriage, being single, politics and children.
94 Revise your daily routine to see if you can make time savings somewhere. How’s your morning routine, by the way?
95 Take a challenge and set a goal. It could be to finish a crossword book, write a blog post or level up three times on a video game.
96 Thinking about making a career move in the New Year? Get your plans in order by updating your CV (A little boring? Maybe, but you will be ahead of the crowd come New Year.).
97 Dig out last year’s New Year resolution list and do something on that list that you haven’t accomplished yet.
98 Forget Christmas for one day and do something normal instead.
99 Give your garden an overhaul by raking up leaves and removing dead plants.
100 Wrap up warm and sit in the garden drinking hot chocolate while reading a book.
If you’ve managed to read thus far, you may be wondering where number 101 is on our list. Let’s just say if you are spending Christmas alone, it really is a time and day of your choosing. Spend the festivities and Christmas day as you wish – packed with activities or doing very little. It’s up to you. Whatever you choose, feel good about it! You only have yourself to please (and you’re instructed not to feel bad about this, either!). From celebrating in unusual ways to exploring the outdoors, you’ll find spending Christmas alone and relying on your own company can be surprisingly enjoyable – so why not embrace it?
Thank you for this loving and practical list of things to do on Christmas.
I’ve just lost my adored husband, Joe, this year. I know that there are many people who have also lost precious loved ones recently. And that makes celebrating Christmas a bit challenging,
But do recall one Christmas years ago that I sat alone singing Christmas hymns and making a gratitude list. It was one of the loveliest, most uplifting days I’ve ever enjoyed.
So I may include these activities along with ideas you’ve shared this Christmas.
I’d like to wish you and your son a very special Christmas this year, too!
With Christly love,
Auckland, New Zealand