Single for the Holidays

True Confession: Last year I walked away from my Thanksgiving festivities with a very full tummy and a very heavy heart.

Don’t get me wrong. It was a lovely evening. Full of great conversation, laughter and gluten free fare. It’s just, somewhere between the front door and my car, the realization that I was a one person family hit me hard. There is a very good chance that I started my car, turned on Pandora Michael Buble Holiday mix and cried glistening tears as I made the trek home to my single bed. Which was in fact a giant California King. But that is beside the point. I have a flair for the dramatic and a tendency to turn up the burn when I want to wallow. And last Thanksgiving night, I wallowed. Sad little single girl.

Christmas left me the same hum of discontentment. After deeper reflection, prayer and a moment of clarity, I sat down (or possibly while driving) created a list of my very own Holiday Traditions that I would put into practice next year.

Well, the time has come. May I present to you:

Operation Create Thine Own Traditions 2016.

  1. October 1st: Decorate for Fall. Check. This may be more of a Maui thing but I miss the seasons and need to “create” them by decorating my house. I buy a yummy fall candle and set out tasteful white plastic pumpkins. I pull out my fall kitchen towels and a cute little stuffed owl door stopper with Welcome Fall emblazoned on his chest. It’s simple. It’s enough for me to feel like the season has changed

  2. November 20 (this Friday) I will decorate for Christmas. This is new. I travel for the holidays and last year I waited til after Thanksgiving to decorate. And then…didn’t. Why? In my sad little state, my inner Eeyore was like “Only three weeks til you leave. Why Bother?” So this Friday marks 4 weeks til I leave to go home, giving me a solid month of Christmas anticipatory joy in my own home. This is also when I will allow my self to overindulge in Christmas music. Which I LOVE!!

  3. Thanksgiving Day. After my single gal pity party last year, I decided I needed my own Turkey Day tradition. Up to this point I had only participated in other people’s traditions which fun but didn’t fulfill me. So this year, I’m going to watch memorable Thanksgiving episodes of my favorite shows while I prepare my dishes to take to the party. I’m not sure how I arrived at this except when I watch certain shows I am transported back in time to when I watched them the first time. Friends=college. Greys=fall in Colorado. West Wing=time with MJ. It’s a new tradition. We’ll see how it goes.

  4. Christmas Eve-The day hasn’t felt special to me in a long while. Maybe because I’m out of my element, at the mercy of others and therefore can’t create that rhythm I thrive on. So this year, I’m going to create a countdown to Christmas extravaganza for the only people in my extended family I can still have influence over-the nieces and nephew. A few years ago I did a New Years countdown that is still legendary in their minds. This year, I’m moving it to Christmas Eve Day with church that night being the big finale. I’m picturing minute-to-win-it meets Happy Birthday Jesus cake meets Pinterest. Outcome: TBD.

  5. Christmas Day: Last year, I saved all my Christmas cards to open on Christmas morning and it was really special. I felt like I was sharing my morning with the people I love. Far and away.  It also led to some sweet text conversations as I waited for the family to get their groove on so we could get to the good stuff. Hearing my 4 year old niece exclaim “Oh my nerves!” as she wrestled with the tape on her gifts was my highlight.

  6. New Years: Last year I volunteered at Passion, a gathering in Hotlanta for 18-26 year olds and loved every minute of it. This year, I’m going back for more. I get to part of the intercessor team who will cover the 72 hour event in constant prayer. I am a HUGE Louis (and Shelley) Giglio fan so getting to be a part of something like this is fills my love cup to overflowing. College kids falling deeper in love with Jesus and finding their purpose. Yes please.

SO . All that to say I’m really looking forward see what unfolds this holiday season. Navigating this time of year is tricky for EVERYONE who has breath in their lungs. Here is the course I’m charting. What’s yours?Whether your house is a party of one or fifteen, I’d love to know your tips, traditions and trade secrets.

How do you make the holidays meaningful in your home?

I hesitate to ask because nothing looks sadder on a blog than a question with no responses but I’m feeling brave. Brave single gal.

Love, Love, Love,

The Girl Who Lives in my Head

PS Check out my Awkward Christmas Cards for a laugh. And to learn more about me.

19 comments

  1. I’m feeling the single-girl blues this holiday season maybe more than I ever have. The sheer number of engagement ring ads around! Blech. I’m finally starting to understand how hard this time of year is for so many people. But you’re inspiring me to take a proactive posture instead of just waiting for the season (which I actually do love) to roll over me. A couple times in past years I’ve gotten unattached friends together to dust off our cocktail dresses and go out for drinks, so maybe I’ll do that again. There are lots of people to cherish.

    Thanksgiving and NYE are very family- and relationship-centric and it sucks when you feel like a tag-along. But the thing is, Christmas actually has nothing to do with romantic love. NOTHING! Our culture tells us we can’t really enjoy it if we’re not blissfully attached. But it should really be a celebration of agape love, our rescue, the hope that still exists for the whole broken world. So if I can let the truth of God’s love permeate me a little more, fill in those cracks a smidge, that will be a successful season.

    Hugs from VA!

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    1. Jen-

      I hear ya! I had to actually give up “romance” for a year. I’ve stopped watching movies, reading books and listening to music that is focused on love and romance. I got to a point where my default was to think about what I didn’t have anytime my brain wasn’t preoccupied with life. I felt like the Lord wanted me to give up filling my heart and mind with those stories so He could reset my mind. It has been REALLY helpful with not feeling lonely or blue. After a Beth Moore simulcast in September I realized what I gave up was “counterfeit romance.” My focus this year is making Jesus the Supreme Romance of my life. Making my own traditions has been part of that process. I’m so glad that me sharing is an encouragement. Thank you for taking the time to write out your thoughts!! It makes we want to keep writing.

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      1. I think that’s very wise. I should probably give up all dating for a while, too, but that’s hard with 40 staring me down!

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      2. Oh! I’m not giving up dating!!! Just romantic music, movies and books. I find that they keep me focused on what I don’t have instead of treasuring what I do have. Date, girl! Marriage is a beautiful and biblical thing! I just found that all the romance stuff was making me heartsick over and over. Why keep pouring salt on a wound. I want my mind on Christ and the things above. Not on earth and what I wish I had. Does that make sense?

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  2. yes, yes, yes! Love your proactiveness (spell check does not think that is a word but it is . . . ) and your ideas. I need to be more intentional about the holidays rather than just trying to endure them 🙂 Thank you for sharing that girl in your head with us!

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  3. Christmases have rotates the last years between my sisters and my house and my parents. Some traditions transfer easily from one to the other; others not as well. Mostly you make me remember that the traditions matter, probably more than I give them credit for. And so I want to push to hold on to some of the ones we’ve let slide. Taking the time to all do only one thing at a time together when possible so that we are actively spending into together comes to mind. And maybe even something as simple as rewatching Sound of Music or something similar that we all watched as kids…maybe Miracke on 34th St? Maybe It’s a Wonderful Life? Either way it needs to feel like a celebration of family, of love, of all the God has and continues to give us every day.
    And so one thing I love, as you do, is Christmas cards and hearing where folks are and what they’re doing. So perhaps it’s time for me to make and send one for the first time in a while…

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  4. You go girl! I still need to do this. I’ve found myself at the mercy of others for all the holidays since we’ve moved here and that on top of it feeling like summer in winter has left me feeling less than festive for more than a few Maui holidays. I think creating traditions is important for every family of every size. A Thanksgiving tradition we started a few years ago is doing some random acts of kindness as a family and it really helped get me out of my own glum head and into the heart of thinking of others and finding ways to bring them joy. Thanks for sharing this!!

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  5. This has caused me to think of what I can do to make the holidays more special me. I love the decorating idea. I think I am going to come up with my own list!

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  6. Oh Leslie Leslie Leslie!!! I can’t wait until we have a bed that you may potentially have a sleepover in!
    I love your holiday plans and they sound stellar, I’m looking forward to them for you!
    And hoping your part of my holidays too!
    Boo hoo for us moving the week bwfire Christmas makes me really not want to decorate this year and I probably won’t. But maybe a very small shelf.
    I don’t have any traditions besides very normal stuff. Your inspiring me!

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  7. This is a whole new year of traditions for us. I have no ideas, but want to do something that marks this time well. I am inspired by yours. It has been cold so long here that I wasn’t feeling Christmas – y anymore, I will be pulling my decorations out this week too.

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  8. gosh I love you and your blog! I decorate for Christmas the weekend of Thanksgiving, like that Friday or Saturday or Sunday. With Christmas music blaring, no matter how hot it still is outside 🙂 one of my favorite things to do during the christmas season is window-shop all the pretty christmas decorations for sale at different stores. so some night after thanksgiving, I will treat myself to a fancy starbucks drink and go look at decorations for a few hours. I usually don’t buy anything, but just love looking at the displays and such. new year’s is still really awkward for me. need to figure out something fun to do for the eve night, but when I wake up on new year’s, I always watch the rose parade in california on tv. I grew up with it, and don’t care if no one else watches with me. 🙂 love you! cheers to better holiday seasons for both of us!

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