Today I'm writing for my single friends. By single, I mean unattached. If you are in a relationship of any kind, including but not limited to marriage, you are not single for the purposes of this discussion.
I'm going to take the gloves off and tell you the hard truth.
This is not an easy time to be single. No one wants to hear this, and lots of well-meaning people want to shovel sunshine over it. I think you deserve the truth. The holidays basically force single people to spend long periods of time surrounded by family who wonder why they are still single (and have no problem asking over the dinner table), by couples at their coupled-up best, and by the newly engaged. The holidays force single people to confront both mistletoe and New Year's Eve.
It's not easy, and I think anyone who says otherwise probably has some other lovely platitudes to offer single people. Coupled people, take notice. Single folks do not want to hear that they deserve better, that it is that other person's loss, or that someday somewhere somehow, someone will come along.
(A good coupled friend once asked me what a single person in breakup distress did want to hear. The answer is nothing. Single people want you to listen.)
I'm digressing. This is not going to be a diatribe about what a bummer the holidays are. This is my world – Below the Fold! I'm going to tell you single folks how to make the holidays sexy.
Let us count the ways.
1. You do not have to do anything. The vast majority of coupled people spend a significant part of the holiday season fulfilling the obligations created by their partners. Some of them don't mind doing that. Some of them are just saying they don't mind. You don't have to go to a partner's work party, family gathering or anything else that person is required to do for some reason or another. You also don't have to buy presents for those folks. The next time you feel holiday blues descending, just remember the things you don't have to do. Those people who just started going out a few weeks ago are in an awkward spot right now.
2. You can choose to do anything. You could go to some holiday singles events, if that's your thing, but that's not really what I'm talking about. Seek out an artistic endeavor. Try a day seminar in digital photography. How about nude figure drawing? Oh, yes, it's real! My bartending school had a sample class in December – that entertaining lark turned into a job. Dance lessons abound – group lessons where you'll have lots of partners and a New Year's Eve party, and lessons that will help you find the single goddess inside you, like belly dancing, burlesque, and striptease. There's still time for a solo trip to the location of your choice, if you check into last-minute travel opportunities. Being single, at its best, is about being spontaneous, and spontaneity is sexy!
3. Enjoy your solitude. Take yourself on a sensual tour. Wherever you are, you're surrounded by lights and decorations and scents and sounds that will all disappear in about a month. Get out into the cold air. Listen to the holiday noise – my favorite sound of the season is the Salvation Army bell, and I only get it for another few weeks. Look at the faces of people going by. The bell ringer's smile when I put change in his kettle. A shopper's delight when she's found exactly the right gift. Friends sharing a laugh over drinks. Check out the Santa at the center of the mall, and really consider – that's a real person there, listening to a child's guileless recitation of what he wants. The child takes this for granted – where else would Santa be? Isn't it more magical for you, knowing what you know? There's real purity and magic in this time of year. Slow down and enjoy it.
4. Indulge yourself. Buy yourself something. Jewelry. A book. A flashy, sexy outfit. A massage. Coupled folks often have trouble finding the time or the resources to do something purely selfish, but I'll let you in on a secret. Most of them secretly long for the luxury of selfishness. Try not to rub their noses in it.
5. If you're legal, have a drink. At a bar. Sit there with something nice and warm (I'll have some suggestions next week on my blog) and make nice with the bartender (that's on my blog right now). It's easy to make merry with a bartender as your ally!
The holidays are finite, and once they're over, I think you're going to miss them. In the meantime, remember your friends, even the coupled-up ones, and share some of that good fortune with them when you find a moment.**Alexa Day loves this time of year but hopes one year to actually make some sort of a schedule/plan for it. When she's not enjoying the luxury of selfishness, she spends the holidays volunteering with homeless animals or reading a nice, hot interracial romance novel. Check her out at http://alexaday.net for more everyday sexy!