As Woody Allen once said, “Having sex is like playing bridge. If you don’t have a good partner, you’d better have a good hand.”
That pretty much sums up Christmas for me. If I don’t have a good partner (and I don’t this year), then I had better enjoy my own company.
I’ve started quoting Woody Allen this year to ward off people’s uninvited pity towards me when I tell them I am spending Christmas alone. The wide eyes, the furrowed brows, the gentle touch on my arm, the response that always starts with “Ohhh”. Is it within the holiday spirit to tell them to be fruitful and multiply, but not in those words? (Bonus marks if you recognized another Woody quote.)
Everyone I know is going back home for the holiday, back to their childhood houses, their core families, their old memories. And, of course, their old familial issues. It’s hard not to be triggered when you find yourself cornered in the den by Uncle Leo the conspiracy theorist, or your sister who’s mistaken your relationship for the Olympics where everything is a competition, or your mother who doesn’t understand why you’re not married with kids like your Cousin Enid, or your father who always puts air quotes around the word writer when referring to you.
So as you can imagine, I am quite content to spend the day by myself.
There’s no fighting over the white meat versus dark meat (pretty easy when there’s no turkey, period). There’s no bracing myself for the family drunk trying to remove his boxers without taking his pants off. I don’t have to explain to Aunt Edna what a freelance writer actually does. I don’t have to defend my choice of city to live in (Los Angeles), eating habits (healthy), or departure time (early).
And I do enjoy my own company. The voices in my head are quite entertaining. But aside from the ongoing inner narration-slash-judgment, Christmas for me this year will involve: opening gifts and immediately folding the used wrapping paper and placing it in a bag, thereby saving myself the anxiety and time of cleaning up the clutter later on; brazenly starting in on the rum-laced eggnog before noon; spending some time doing what I love most (writing); eating my favorite meal which does not involve turkey, stuffing or anything pumpkin; going to a movie and sneaking in my own candy. And, best of all, not justifying any of these activities, addictions or disorders to anyone.
Someone once accused me of being anti-social. Not true. I am just selectively social. Sometimes I really enjoy being around others, and sometimes I feel like shutting out the world. And I’m not the only one. Other famous loners are Albert Einstein, John Lennon and Beatrix Potter. Not to mention Batman.
I highly recommend spending time by yourself during the holidays at least once.
That way I’ll get the chance to give you a taste of your own pity medicine. Kidding. Seriously though, it’s a great opportunity to get to know yourself, raise your self-esteem, discover new things you enjoy, and relax. Not to mention, put on a bat-themed costume in order to fight crime….
Selena Templeton is a blogger for JenningsWire, a blogging community created by Annie Jennings.
JenningsWire.com is created by National Publicist, Annie Jennings of the NYC based PR Firm, Annie Jennings PR. Annie Jennings PR specializes in marketing books for getting authors booked on radio talk show interviews, TV shows in major online and in high circulation magazines and newspapers. Annie also works with speaker and experts to build up powerful platforms of credibility and influence.