Christmas time. It’s noisy, frequently materialistic and irrevocably social. We plan for it, spend for it, live for it and dread it all at the same time, each year. Our societies Christmas ideal is to sit around a heavily bedazzled tree, or heftily set dinner table with every member of our family and friendship circles. But the truth is, many of us don’t meet or fulfill that ideal. Many of us wind up feeling lonely, isolated and disillusioned because of our lack of lack of close friendships or family members. We spend Christmas alone.
For many of us Christmas becomes not a time of celebration, but of dread and depression. Society tells us that to be alone, or to spend time Christmas alone is pitiful, a tragedy and a sad failure. The truth is, spending time alone is feared because no one knows how to be alone anymore. This is because when we are alone we have to face ourselves, our thoughts, and the irrepressible truth that we are alone, deep down. So we have learned to run from ourselves, and in the process, forget the delights of solitude.
In our society it is heretical not only to be alone, but heretical to find contentment and fulfillment by ourselves, in ourselves as well. As one middle aged hermit says in Lionel Fisher’s book Celebrating Time Alone, “we’ve been conditioned to press on mindlessly be part of the norm.” And that norm is to stuff our voids as full of stimulation and noise as possible. The fact is that we need to relearn how to be alone. If we ever desire true peace, self-knowledge and happiness – the kind that can only be discovered in solitude – we need to relearn how to be alone. We need to live all the days of our life by making peace with our aloneness. Fortunately, Christmas is the prefect time to celebrate time alone with yourself. It may be odd and out of the ordinary, but to live up to the standards of a sick, deeply flawed society, is a profound mistake. Below you will find a list of just over 50 quirky, challenging and enjoyable ideas to savor Christmas alone.
While some of these ideas cater to the playful, childlike and silly sides within us, others cater to our more serious, adult and practical inner dimensions. As a person who has spent a good many Christmas’ alone, I’m sure you’ll find at least one idea that appeals to you below.
51 THINGS TO DO BY YOURSELF
1. Spend the morning in self-deprivation, and spend the evening in self-indulgence.
2. Recreate outer space. Decorate your room with Christmas lights, and turn out all the lights.
3. Take a road trip to a place you’ve never been before.
4. Have a conversation with yourself all day.
5. Compose your own Christmas carol.
6. Practice sensory deprivation and try spending Christmas day without hearing or seeing.
7. Give yourself the gift of silence. Block out all noises and distractions and do what matters to you the most.
8. Search for the loneliest looking person in town and give them a present.
9. Sing karaoke to your favorite songs and dance around until you collapse from exhaustion.
11. Try to set a world record, and email Guinness World Records when you achieve it.
12. Give your face and body a makeover. Shave, wax, polish, paint, trim and moisturize every part you can find!
13. Take a bag full of old Christmas decorations and stuff someone’s letterbox full of them, to give them a surprise the next day.
14. Practice mindfulness meditation.
15. Become an indoor nudist for the whole day.
16. Think of one guilty interest (e.g. crystal healing for the skeptic) and spend the day exploring your curiosity.
17. Spend Christmas planting a ‘Christmas Garden’.
19. Do 3 good deeds that will make you happy.
20. Spend Christmas researching new hobbies and interests to broaden your mind, and world.
21. Create a fort or cave out of pillows and bed sheets, and spend the day inside doing what you love best.
21. Make your own Christmas decorations by hand, and cover your house in them.
22. Pretend you are the actor and director of your day. Make it movie worthy.
23. Come up with a list of 20 reasons why you shouldn’t celebrate Christmas.
24. Sit outside and eat your favorite food slowly, savoring every bite in complete mindful awareness.
25. Go to your local park and soak in the sights, smells and sounds of Christmas day. Feel the happy vibes.
26. Cook yourself something you think the Queen would eat, and enjoy it all to yourself.
27. Have a movie marathon.
28. If you have a pet, give it a special present. Treat your companion like royalty.
29. Buy something from the internet for yourself. You’ll have something to look forward to long after Christmas is over.
30. Create a riddle, put it where someone will find it, and hide a prize. Return to the place at the end of the day to see if anyone found it.
31. Open a map of your town, close your eyes, and point to a place on the map. Drive or walk there, and see what you find.
32. Take a walk in the late afternoon to smell all the delicious food emanating from your neighborhood’s houses. Guess what they’re cooking.
33. Go to the beach with your favorite novel, very early or very late, to avoid the commotion.
34. Collect items that represent your feelings and thoughts about Christmas day. Put them in a time capsule box and bury them in your backyard.