Last Christmas. All I Want for Christmas is You. Time to Fall in Love. The Christmas Prince. The Knight before Christmas. Gifts for Him. Gifts for Her. Abundant mentions of mistletoe and warm nights in intimate company. Is anyone else spotting a pattern here?
Like all annual hyper-commercial events, Christmas zeroes in on couples with all the precision of a reindeer aiming for a rooftop. After all, couples can be easily profited from. They have finely-tuned anxieties, expectations, a fragile contract which a bad Christmas can make or break and therefore there is an unusual pressure not to be single during the festive season, second only to Valentine’s Day.
First of all, it’s worth bearing in mind just how commercially driven the rose-tinted view of Christmas romance can be. Everyone needs to sell at maximum drive during the holiday season and that includes the romantic cards, rom-com and pop song markets. That doesn’t mean they reflect reality. Not everyone is in love and having a perfect romantic Christmas while you sit alone or surrounded by bickering family members. Love is a beautiful thing, but it’s not the be-all, and a Christmas without doesn’t mean anything’s wrong or you can’t have a wonderful time either by yourself or in the company of family.
Life isn’t a Hallmark card
That isn’t to say you can’t have a wonderful Christmas just with yourself and your partner, because from experience, you can. There’s a definite freeing joy in spending the festive season without family and purely with someone you love. So long as you can be fluid with tradition and be a team capable of making each other happy there is a lot to gain from leaving behind the insanity of the family gathering or the solitude of a Christmas alone. But with that said, the holiday season does not fix all relationships or make everyone magically happy. Life isn’t a Hallmark card. Christmas brings its set of challenges, and sometimes those challenges work best with a partner, a family, or on your own terms entirely.
This December, I’m single and it’s not the worst thing in the world. I can spend time with my family abroad, not have to worry about finding the perfect gift and not have to negotiate any complex arrangements of family gatherings in a very tight time-frame. It’s definitely not a perfect experience as family troubles and drama come to the surface, but it’s a loving group and when the cards are down, there’s something nice about whole-heartedly throwing one’s self into traditions without any worries about those I’ve left behind in the UK.
Make sure to wrap up warm – either with someone else or with a particularly ambitious scarf
Something important to bear in mind is that everyone has their own variation of Christmas, and that no two are alike, nor is one better than the other. If you’re not in the right place for a relationship then Christmas won’t magically make things better. It’s a season which ties us together, but also an important time to remember we’re human and need each other to be honest and kind. It’s more than okay to be single at Christmas, no matter what Mariah Carey says. Wherever you are and whoever you’re with, there will be something to treasure, and at the end of the day, that’s all that matters. Merry Christmas and make sure to wrap up warm – either with someone else or with a particularly ambitious scarf.