Many of us are facing the prospect of and preparing for a solo Christmas day this year as a result of the pandemic and restrictions. However, spending Christmas home alone can be a very positive thing to do! The thought of spending Christmas Day alone may initially seem sad to a lot of people but seasoned Solos accustomed to spending Christmas Day alone will raise an eyebrow in response. Yet, we also understand you may be preparing to spend Christmas Day alone for the first time.
Whether intentionally solo for Christmas or hoping to spend Christmas in the company of others – should restrictions be lifted by then – there is no harm in mentally planning to spend Christmas Day alone. It would mean, for those of us who have never spent the day alone and don’t intend to in the future, we will be better prepared to enjoy the novelty of what may only happen once in our lifetime.
Let’s face it, when presented with a barrage of headlines like, “Easy ways to cook a Christmas dinner for 20 people” and “50 Christmas dinner table place setting ideas” – you can let out a huge sigh of relief that you won’t be spending the whole of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day foregoing sleep to meet impossible tasks.
Quite frankly, some of the more outlandish Christmas ambitions should only be attempted by the certified insane! What is so wrong with taking a simpler approach, staying home alone, wearing your most comfortable pyjamas, and eating all the mince pies you want in one sitting, anyway? Especially during what has been a difficult and challenging year for most of us.
Being a rebel with a cause
Being intentionally solo, especially during Christmas time, shows others we are and can be happy and content choosing a less traditional path. Rebelling against the stereotypes portrayed on endless Christmas TV adverts, cooking shows and festive Hollywood films.
Doing a Solo Christmas Day can be just what you need! Just imagine having the freedom to wander around all day in your favourite pyjamas and comfy slippers and drinking champagne for breakfast. If it is to your liking, then watching five of the greatest Christmas films ever made back to back is what you may do. Or snuggling up in an armchair with a mug of hot chocolate and getting yourself lost in the pages of (ahem…) a lusty bodice-ripper – no-one is going to know or judge you!
Ultimately, Christmas Day should be about peace, rest, harmony and happiness, and sometimes being alone is the only way you can find that particular blend of contentedness.
Embrace the quiet and go for a walk
Christmas Day alone gives you the perfect opportunity to embrace the quiet time away from the usual interruptions life throws our way. Make the most of taking a break from those annoying cold calls from insurance companies, no bills falling through your letterbox, no emails or messages from your boss and no WhatsApp notifications.
Spending Christmas Day alone can be the holiday for your senses money cannot buy. Take a walk in the countryside and enjoy listening to the wind rustling through the branches of the trees. You can visit the Woodland Trust website and enter your postcode to find a wood to explore near you. An early morning Christmas Day walk along a beach can also be an excellent start to a day focusing on you.
Alternatively, walk along clear and empty streets without being disturbed and stop to take in a breathtaking view without being distracted by the idle chatter from someone else. Admire the shop window Christmas displays in your local town and appreciate the effort shopkeepers have gone to making the world a brighter place.
The tiny moments a quiet Christmas Day affords you can be too valuable to pass up.
Hosting a micro-Christmas for yourself
If you enjoy this time of year and want to keep some of your traditional Christmas Day routines alive with a Christmas dinner for one and decorating your home, then there are steps you can take to make the event feel just as festive as ever.
You can still make yourself a feast that is indulgent, over-the-top, and delicious. Plus, you can prepare everything you like without having to cater to other’s food preferences.
Instead of decorating your home for the sole purpose of Christmas, why not decorate for the whole of winter with beautiful decorations that can remain displayed up for longer? This will help cheer up your home and lift your spirits during the chilly, grey days of January.
Choose to warm your rooms with gently flickering candles, cheerful twines of fairy lights draped over bannisters or curled up into a ball to illuminate a cut glass bowl to make it sparkle with light!
The scent of winter scented candles can help make your home smell warm and comforting with cinnamon spice and apple, or gingerbread and clove.
Prepare in advance
Even though you are preparing a feast for one, there will still be lots to prepare, especially as you won’t have people visiting and bringing side dishes with them. If you want to go all out with a three-course meal, then plan out what you want to eat in advance, buy-in everything you need and stick to your plan.
It could be the day when you take your time and truly indulge in the foods you find a real treat. Are there foods and drinks you only enjoy eating on Christmas Day? For instance, some people don’t eat turkey for the rest of the year. Perhaps you want to start new traditions for yourself. If so, then now is the time to start thinking about what indulgences will make Christmas Day special for you.
If there is food you can prepare and cook before Christmas Day and freeze, then doing so will save you a lot of time. Getting things done over the weeks and days running up to Christmas Day means you can relax more and work less on the big day. It will help you get into the Christmas spirit. Time spent in the kitchen listening to your favourite Christmas tunes, audiobooks or podcasts while you cook can be bliss.
Preparing and cooking Christmas Day food and drinks doesn’t have to feel like a chore and can involve taking some smart kitchen shortcuts. Just because it’s Christmas doesn’t mean you need to buy and roast a whole turkey or prepare everything from scratch. Why bother when you can choose a small turkey crown, a turkey leg or a seasonally stuffed joint instead. Think ahead. Deciding what you will cook and prepare yourself and what pre-prepared food you will buy-in from the shops could mean there is more time for the other Christmas Day activities you plan to squeeze in on the day.
If you want to skip the whole cooking experience entirely, then why not support one of your local restaurants offering a complete Christmas Dinner to take away or have delivered? If this year has proven anything, it is that this Christmas will be an excellent time to show support and appreciation for your favourite chef and a local restaurant that may be struggling through these extraordinary times.
Stay socially connected online
If it’s too chilly or wet outside for your liking and household mixing restrictions are still in place, then staying socially connected online can be the next best thing to keep in touch with your nearest and dearest. No matter if you fancy a bit of conversation or catching up with the gossip on your favourite celebrities, there are plenty of chatrooms and forums you can join.
For a good start, you can head over to Solo Living’s Facebook groups: Super Solos Living Alone Community and Solo Dining and a Table For One to share great conversation with other like-minded Solos. Maintaining your social connections on the internet for a whole day is something you cannot do on a typical day, so why not indulge yourself if it’s important to feel as though you are in the company of others.
Catch up on music and unread books
Choosing a cosy day in on Christmas Day can give you the chance to catch up with a bit of culture. Is there a book on your reading list that is calling to you? Do you fancy listening to a bit of classical music?
You can read and listen to music at the same time. Try pairing the two together for a truly immersive experience! You can let your imagination run wild, translating the words from a page into vivid action in your mind with a dramatic backdrop of stirring classical music.
A Champagne pampering day?
How often are you given a gift of luxury bath products or toiletries for Christmas only to leave them sitting on your bathroom shelf for months on end?
Why not crack open that jar of expensive bath salts, plaster your hair with a deep conditioning treatment and take to the bath for an extra-long soak, while sipping on a glass of chilled Champagne! Ask Alexa to play some relaxing music, and you will have everything you need for a guilt-free spa treatment.
You could even take a favourite novel or magazine with you to read while your muscles un-knot and relax in the warm water.
Christmas could well be different this year. Our usual plans may be thrown into question and we may need to adjust, plan and get used to the idea of spending Christmas Day alone. We have been writing about going solo during Christmas for a few years now, even before the pandemic. The current situation may force the reluctant Solos amongst us to spend the day at home alone.
However, it is not terribly unusual to spend what is traditionally regarded as a day to gather with family and friends on your own. Being home alone on Christmas Day can be some people’s idea of utter bliss. So, no matter if you want to stay in your pyjamas all day and eat an entire wheel of brie, it would be rude not to make sure it is a day of your choosing!
Read our heartwarming fictional short stories written by Hannah Westman in 2019 following five Solos navigating the festive season.
One thing we can look forward to is Christmas even though as we write; we’re not sure whether or not we will be able to celebrate with others. To help prepare for a solo festive season, please find a selection of articles written for the living alone community over the last few years.