So, You Want To Spend Thanksgiving And Christmas Alone?

To many, the thought might be inconceivable, but do you have moments when you feel you want to spend Thanksgiving or Christmas alone? We bet you might also be asking yourself why you feel this way. Maybe you haven’t fully understood those feelings yourself, yet it’s an untapped desire. Compounding those feelings, you might be troubled about how you might let your family and friends know. We dive into the reasons you might want to spend the holidays alone and give you some help on how to let your friends and family know without letting them down.

So, You Want to Spend Thanksgiving And Christmas Alone?

Sharing the desire to spend Christmas and Thanksgiving alone can be challenging, rooted in a mix of personal and societal expectations. The difficulty often arises from the fear of disappointing loved ones or the guilt associated with deviating from traditional celebrations. Society places significant emphasis on togetherness during holidays, and many of us may feel pressured to conform to these norms, fearing judgment or misunderstanding. This sense of togetherness with the social gatherings that entail can put pressure on many people who live solo or are single and spend much of their time accustomed to solitude.

Moreover, the cultural significance of these holidays adds an extra layer of complexity. Family and friends may have long-standing traditions, and breaking away from these shared moments can evoke feelings of nostalgia and loss. There’s a concern that expressing a desire for solitude might be misinterpreted as a lack of love or appreciation for those close to us.

The fear of loneliness is another factor provoking a mixed bag of feelings. Even if someone genuinely craves personal time, the anticipation of spending holidays in solitude can trigger apprehension about feeling isolated or disconnected. This internal struggle between your personal needs and the desire to maintain harmonious relationships can make the decision to communicate this choice particularly challenging.

In essence, the difficulty in expressing the desire to spend Christmas and Thanksgiving alone often stems from the delicate balance between identifying individual needs and societal expectations, as well as what can be a deep sense of concern for the emotional impact on those closest to us.


Why do I want to spend Thanksgiving and Christmas alone?

There are various personal reasons why someone might choose to spend Thanksgiving and Christmas alone. It can also take time to unpack those feelings. The reasons can be diverse and inter-connected, causing us to reflect on our unique circumstances and preferences. Here are some common motivations:

Self-reflection: Some of us use holidays as the little time available for introspection, self-discovery, reflection and personal growth that we cannot dedicate time to throughout the year.

Rest and relaxation: The holiday season can be stressful, and spending it alone allows for a break from the hustle and bustle, providing an opportunity to rest and recharge.

Personal healing: Those of us facing challenges or dealing with loss may find solace in spending the holidays alone, allowing time for healing and coping.

Autonomy: Choosing solitude during holidays grants the freedom to set one’s own schedule and engage in activities without external expectations, being free from obligation. You choose when, where and with whom you opt in.

Cultural differences: In some cases, cultural or religious differences may lead to a preference for solitude during holidays traditionally celebrated in a different manner. In some countries, celebrating Christmas does not take on the same traditions or place the same expectations as where you might happen to be at the time.

Travel or work commitments: Some of us may have work obligations or personal reasons that necessitate spending holidays away from family and friends. It’s also fair to say that if you spend a large proportion of your time travelling for work or concentrating on your work, then holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas can provide days you can set aside to be free from those obligations and the expectations placed on you by others.

Introversion: Introverts may find comfort in spending holidays alone to recharge their energy, as large gatherings can be draining. Not everyone thrives in small or large groups, particularly when you might be asked to keep the company of people you don’t know very well or see often.

Financial constraints: Holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas can be a considerable expense for everyone and for Solos, an expense which disproportionately impacts a single income. Therefore, economic considerations might limit travel or participation in traditional holiday celebrations, leading to a choice to spend the time alone.

Creativity and hobbies: Some of us value the holiday period as an opportunity to delve into personal projects, hobbies, or creative pursuits without distractions.

Preferential relaxation: Choosing to avoid the stresses of planning, organising and coordinating gatherings, we might opt for a quiet, stress-free holiday alone.

Wellness focus: If we have limited time for days off and holidays, we might want to prioritise physical and mental wellbeing. Instead, we may wish to use the holidays to engage in activities like meditation, exercise, healthy cooking, pampering or other activities like reflection and future planning.

Avoiding family dynamics: For some, the holidays can amplify family tensions or dynamics, and spending time alone may be a way to avoid potential conflicts.

Spiritual practices: Those with specific spiritual or religious practices might choose solitude to engage in meaningful rituals or prayer.

Travel exploration: Some of us may choose to go on a solo holiday to explore new places, cultures, or experiences during the festive season.

Celebrating non-traditional customs: Choosing to spend the holidays alone may align with personal beliefs or non-traditional customs that prioritise individual experiences. It’s a given that choosing to spend time alone during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays is going against established norms, so you will be creating new traditions for yourself.

Why might family and friends not understand that I want to spend Thanksgiving and Christmas alone?

Family and friends may express concern or reluctance about you spending Thanksgiving and Christmas alone for several reasons, often rooted in their caring and protective nature:

Tradition and expectation: Holidays, especially Thanksgiving and Christmas, are traditionally seen as times for family and friends to come together. Your loved ones may have strong emotional attachments to these traditions and might be disappointed at the thought of you not being part of them.

Concern for wellbeing: Families and friends often worry about the wellbeing of their loved ones, particularly during times when the emphasis on togetherness is heightened. They may fear that spending the holidays alone could lead to feelings of loneliness or isolation.

Familial bonding: Thanksgiving and Christmas are viewed as opportunities for bonding and creating shared memories. Your family and friends may value these moments and worry that your absence could affect the collective experience.

Misinterpretation of intentions: There might be concerns about the underlying reasons for your desire to be alone during the holidays. Your loved ones might worry that you’re experiencing emotional distress, depression, or other issues that they want to support you through. Indeed, many might not understand that there are positive reasons why you might want to spend the holidays alone.

Cultural or religious significance: Depending on cultural or religious backgrounds, the holidays may carry specific meanings that emphasise familial togetherness. Your choice to spend them alone may be perceived as a deviation from these cultural or religious expectations.

Unspoken expectations: Families often have unspoken expectations about holiday gatherings. Your decision to be alone might challenge these expectations, leading to discomfort or concern among family members. Spending the holidays without them might lead to them questioning their relationships with you and wondering if you are examining the relationships you have with them.

Emotional connection: Families and friends typically derive joy from each other’s company during festive seasons. Your loved ones may value the emotional connection and joy that comes from being together during Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Fear of Missing Out (FOMO): Your family and friends may worry that you might miss out on the joy, laughter, and shared experiences often associated with holiday celebrations.

Support system: Holidays can be emotionally charged, and families often serve as a support system during these times. Your loved ones may feel responsible for providing emotional support and connection during the holiday season.

Cultural stigma: In some cultures, spending holidays alone might be stigmatised, and your family and friends may be concerned about potential judgment or negative perceptions from others they know.

How do I tell family and friends that I want to spend Thanksgiving and Christmas alone?

It’s important to communicate openly with your family and friends about your decision, addressing their concerns and explaining your motivations. Assure them that your choice is a personal one and that you appreciate their care and concern. Providing clarity about your wellbeing and assuring them of your intentions can go a long way in easing their worries.

Communicating your desire to spend Thanksgiving and Christmas alone with family and friends requires sensitivity and clarity. It’s not easy letting your family and friends know that you are spending Thanksgiving and Christmas alone, but here are 20 ways to get started and help you express and frame your choice:

Be honest: “I’ve been feeling the need for some quiet time this holiday season, and I’m thinking of spending Thanksgiving and Christmas alone.”

Express your feelings: “I’ve been reflecting on the past year, and I feel like I need some alone time to recharge during the holidays.”

Emphasise self-care: “I’ve been thinking about prioritising self-care this holiday season, and I believe spending time alone would be beneficial for me.”

Highlight personal growth: “I’m in a period of personal growth, and I feel that spending the holidays alone will allow me to reflect and focus on myself.”

Share your plans: “I’m planning to have a quiet and introspective Thanksgiving and Christmas this year, and I’d love your support in that decision.”

Frame it as a choice: “I’ve decided to spend the holidays alone this year as a personal choice for reflection and rejuvenation.”

Acknowledge their feelings: “I know it might be unexpected, but I’ve been considering spending the holidays alone to take some time for myself.”

Communicate early: “I wanted to let you know in advance that I’m planning to spend Thanksgiving and Christmas alone this year. I hope you understand.”

Assure your love: “I want to spend the holidays alone this year, but please know it’s not a reflection of my love for you. I just need some solitude.”

Use “Me” statements: “I feel like I need some quiet time for myself during the holidays, so I’ve decided to spend them alone.”

Set expectations: “I’m looking forward to some alone time this holiday season. I hope you can respect my decision, and maybe we can catch up afterwards.”

Offer an alternative: “I’m planning to spend the holidays alone, but how about we plan a special get-together before or after to celebrate together?”

Frame it as a temporary decision: “This year, I’ve decided to spend Thanksgiving and Christmas alone to focus on personal growth. It’s not a permanent decision, just something I feel I need right now.”

Focus on gratitude: “I’m feeling grateful for the year, and I believe spending the holidays alone will help me appreciate everything even more.”

Share your intentions: “I’ve been thinking about what I want to achieve in the coming year, and I believe some quiet time alone during the holidays will help me set my intentions.”

Mention your busy schedule: “As you know, my schedule has been quite hectic, and spending the holidays alone will provide the rest and relaxation I need.

Explain your energy levels: “I’ve noticed that my energy levels have been low, and I think taking some quiet time during the holidays will help me recharge.”

Express the need for reflection: “I’ve been craving some introspection, and I believe spending Thanksgiving and Christmas alone will give me the space I need for reflection.”

Appeal to understanding: “I hope you can understand that I need some solitude during the holidays to recharge and reflect. Your support means a lot to me.”

Be gracious: “I appreciate your understanding as I make the decision to spend Thanksgiving and Christmas alone this year. It’s a personal choice, and your support means a lot.”

Ultimately, the decision to spend Thanksgiving and Christmas alone is deeply personal and can be influenced by a combination of these factors or other individual considerations. It’s about honouring one’s own needs, values, and circumstances during a time often associated with connection and tradition. If it is still what you want, we wish you well with your holiday time spent in solitude and hope your family and friends understand.

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1 thought on “So, You Want To Spend Thanksgiving And Christmas Alone?”

  1. Heya.

    This is what I did in order to lower stress. I had two friends over on Xmas eve for a small festive early lunch and dinner. We had half of a roast chicken, potatoes, fruit, biscuits, red and white wine. Plus a cracker or two to open as well.

    On the actual day in question I prepared the food early on. There was a roast chicken, potatoes, biscuits, fruit, cheese and white wine. Gifts were opened too. The whole festive meal was a lot of fun.

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