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What Do You Do for the Holidays? Onely Wants to Know! December 23, 2009

Posted by Onely in Food for Thought, Secret Lives of the Happily Single, single and happy, Your Responses Requested!.
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So here I am, typing this post while lying on an uncomfortable air mattress in a claustrophobic book-lined bedroom in my parents’ tiny townhouse near San Jose, California. I’ve listened to my parents bickering and complaints – and contributed my own – since I arrived last Thursday (with a notable exception over the weekend, when I stayed overnight in San Fran with my older brother, and today, which I spent in a coffeeshop drafting a short article that’s due January 1st). I’ve visited the ocean; eaten some delicious clam chowder and fish tacos; visited Pacifica to see if I could witness California’s coast disappearing (watch the video — I saw it from a distance!); toured San Francisco’s Academy of Sciences and Conservatory of Flowers for the first time; enjoyed some amazing South Indian food at Dosa to celebrate my mom’s birthday; and visited Yosemite National Park. I have two brothers, but I’m the only one who arrives from out of town and who actually stays with my parents for a prolonged amount of time — so I find myself simultaneously spoiled shitless and driven crazy.

Happy Holidays, Copious Readers! Welcome to a version of what I consider pretty “normal” every late December. I love it as much as I hate it — I experience as much discomfort as I do pleasure being here during the holidays, some of it certainly emerging from my enjoyment of being single, independent, and living far away from my family. Perhaps most importantly, being here makes me fully appreciate the temporary nature of this season — I always feel refreshed when I return to “normalcy,” my happily single habits and life.

Please, tell us what you love and hate about being Onely during the holidays – is it better or worse to live near family? What are the benefits and disadvantages of being single at this time of year? Do your parents, or other family members, question your singleness – or do they leave you alone, and why? Do you find you have less “alone” time — and/or what happens when you demand it, as I must? Or do you forego family visits altogether and enjoy the holidays alone, or on an adventure, or with friends?

Also up for discussion is whether the infamous Charlie Brown-with-Christmas tree image, pictured above, is sad, singlist, and/or superb! 🙂

I’m looking forward to hearing your opinions and stories… And in the meantime, I hope everyone is enjoying a safe and happy holiday season!!

— Lisa


1. Alan - December 23, 2009

My Christmas is spent with family…usually going to my cousin’s for Christmas lunch. The last few years I also usually attend a Christmas party at my sister’s in-law’s house afterwards. No one asks me about marriage or relationships. Or at least it’s been so long I can’t remember the last time anyone has.

No real problems here being single during the holidays.

Onely - December 26, 2009

Yay for your supportive family, Alan! Glad to hear about it 🙂

— L

2. Matt - December 24, 2009

Boy can I identify with being relieved to return to the ‘normalcy’ of daily life after the holidays! I’m lucky (I see it that way, at least) to live in the same area as the bulk of my family, so I am not forced to travel at all (except for about 1/2-hour), although at least one of my brothers has to travel to get back home. Still trying to figure out an official response if and when I’m asked about why the hell I’m not married yet.

Spent tonight at Starbucks reading ‘Against Love’ and loving it.

Onely - December 26, 2009

LOVE it that you’re reading “Against Love.” Nothing like some Laura Kipnis to put you in the holiday spirit!!!

— Lisa

3. Heather - December 25, 2009

I’m a single parent, I spend the holidays with my kid and often with extended family. I enjoy it. The only issue I’ve had is with the work party at one of my jobs. It’s an evening party outside of work and last year, my first year at this job, I showed up by myself. Everyone else had a spouse or BF/GF with them and treated me like I was some kind of freak because I didn’t. Like I should have been ashamed to be there alone or like they felt sorry for me because I couldn’t find anyone. I do stuff by myself all the time and think nothing of it but it was such a horrible experience I didn’t , I thought nothing of doing this alone too, but it was such a horrible experience I didn’t go to it this year. Not worth it!

Onely - December 26, 2009

AUGH! Sorry to hear about your bad work-party experience. That sounds just awful!

😦 L

4. singleandalmost30 - December 25, 2009

I loathed my work holiday parties…I can’t wait for this season to be over…

Onely - December 26, 2009

Sorry to hear about your bad experience too, singleandalmost30… At least you and Heather can commiserate here 🙂


5. Matt - December 26, 2009

For two straight nights now I’ve been exposed to movies that reminded me that correct-people are married and want to have kids.

Here’s a question… has there ever been a Christmas movie that’s not singlist?

Onely - December 26, 2009

Excellent question, Matt! Christina and I will need to do some research on this one 🙂

— L

Onely - December 26, 2009

PS, I’m curious — which ones did you see? I just went to see Up in the Air w/my folks this afternoon, and it’s not a Xmas movie, but I found it weirdly pro- *and* anti-singlist. I can’t figure it out. May have to post about it sometime in the next few weeks…

— Lisa

Matt - December 26, 2009

We watched Four Christmases, which was pretty funny at least, and another one, the name of which I can’t remember, about a Puerto Rican family in Chicago and their Christmas shenanigans. I’d say the first was both a little singlist and ‘pro-parenting’, while the second was mainly just pro-parenting … in both, the immature couple doesn’t want to have kids, then by the end of the movie they ‘grow up’ and see the light…

6. wagdog - December 27, 2009

“has there ever been a Christmas movie that’s not singlist?”

Hmm..”Home Alone”? The main lesson being that families are a pain to keep together during the holidays. Also, a creative child can have a whole lotta fun alone.

But more seriously, and going back a bit, there was an 80’s TV movie “A Christmas Without Snow“, about a woman who “moves to San Francisco from Omaha after her divorce. Leaving her young son with his grandmother while trying to build her life again, she joins the choir of a local church.”

If you think about it, “A Chistmas Carol” is about a single guy who comes to terms with his past life choices, not by becoming The Family Man (a la Nick Cage), but by embracing the Christmas spirit through enriching friendships and acts of kindness.

Matt - December 30, 2009

I guess you’re right about A Christmas Carol… I haven’t seen it since I was a kid, so I kind of forget about it…

7. Sixty and Single in Seattle - December 29, 2009

I love going to movies alone, but Up in the Air was an experience. I was there on a Friday night — okay, perhaps bad planning — and the place was full of couples, but I like couples. It’s just that, once the lights came up, I was EMBARRASSED to be sitting alone! And I’m pro-coupling.
Plus, didn’t you feel set up by that blonde?

Matt - December 30, 2009

How is Up in the Air? From the previews, I’m assuming it’s pretty singlist and pro-coupling, and thus I’m rather uninterested, regardless of how many fancy awards it gets nominated for.

Onely - December 31, 2009

I’m so curious to see it now–I almost saw it over Christmas with my parents and sister, but we got iced in the house.

Onely - December 31, 2009

I’m pro-single and pro-couple (well, non-annoying singles and couples!) but I admit that I might feel a little wierded out being in a movie theatre by myself. I’ve done that before, but not for a long time. I should do it again. I wonder how much of that feeling is *habit* (“I should feel wierd!”) versus *insecurity* (“people are looking at me!).


Onely - December 31, 2009

Oh, and also, maybe a day will come when Friday won’t be a “worse” day to go to the movies than other days!
= )

8. Blog Review: Kris Kringle for Singles « Onely: Single and Happy - December 31, 2009

[…] kris kringle for singles, single during the holidays, singles blog trackback While working on Matt’s excellent comment (31 Jan edit: It was wagdog’s comment, not Matt’s! sorry!) “Are there any […]

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