Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Savoring Singleness: The Holidays

Christmastime is here! And goodness gracious did it sweep in like a whirlwind! Anyone else feel that way?! I'm working retail over the holidays, so that has only amplified the crazy, and highlighted the need to take intentional time to rest and reflect during this season as well. I love me some Anthropologie, and I am incredibly blessed to get to come home for the holidays, but I am missing my quiet evenings at home alone.

On that note, I've been teasing this post for quite a while, how to go into the holiday season as a single gal with the intention to thrive, but it has been harder than expected to punch out. Nevertheless, here we are! With three days until Christmas, at 5:00 in the evening, I'm reclaiming this space and reminding myself that thriving in this season IS POSSIBLE! Even if you're single, like me ;) So, for your reading pleasure + encouragement, check out the list below:

The Do's & Don'ts of Savoring 
Singleness During the Holidays
Making the most of your footloose & fancy free festivities!

  • DO savor the spontaneity! Girl, go for it! That is one thing I've heard most mourned when someone is no longer single, the ability to be spontaneous and let plans change with the wind. Savor the chance to call up a gal pal for coffee or make a last quick trip to the mall. Enjoy the flexibility you have!
  • DO get together with your single gal pals (or make it a mixed group even)! More than likely the other singles you know that are in town are feeling similarly, so... use that spontaneity and get the gang together. Or plan an event for the group that will make everyone's single season a bit more merry. 
  • DON'T sulk at the kids table. I know, I know, it can be a bummer to sit at the card table with the tweens with everyone else in the dining room, but make the most of it. Ask them about school, their hobbies, and really be intentional with them. What you learn (about them AND you) might just surprise you!
  • DO offer to watch the kids for a married couple or a single parent you know. Yes, it can be tough to feel resigned to the kids table or to watch the perfectly matching families wandering the lights festival together, but think about the added stress the new mamas you know might be feeling. If you can, call up that friend, cousin, or co-worker and offer to watch the kids so they can have a date night or to get some last minute errands done kid-free. It will make their week!
  • Do extend extra grace to, well, everyone. To the cashier at the grocery store or clothing boutique, to the relative that just wants to talk politics, to your family if you're living at home for a few days/weeks, and to yourself in the midst of all of this. Everyone is adjusting and doing their best, and a little extra grace goes a long way.
  • DON'T be a holiday texter. Now, let me clarify. Absolutely wish everyone in your contacts "Merry Christmas!" if you want to! Spread that cheer, girl! But check your heart when it comes to the kind of holiday texting that is, in my opinion, the equally as dangerous cousin of drunk texting. That guy that checks in every December 24th/25th then checks out around the 1st? Guard your heart and notice when you swoon for the attention that will disappear at the stroke of midnight. It might feel good, but it's fleeting. And if you're tempted to be the instigator, DON'T. It's not healthy for either of your hearts to let those thoughts linger when you know full well nothing will come of it. 
  • DO spend New Year's Eve however you'd like. If you want to go out, go out. If you don't, don't. If you're like me, the thought of partying it up on New Year's Eve, even with great friends, is a little overwhelming. I'd much rather watch the ball drop on TV, curled up with a good book, hot chocolate, and a cozy blanket at home, thank you very much. Also, to be completely honest, the whole midnight-kiss bit has been a little hard for my heart in years past. Now, I have handled it gracefully before, I am proud to say, but sometimes the comparison quicksand is at the ready and I step into it far too easily. 
  • DO remember what this season is all about! Yes, it would be nice to meet someone under the mistletoe, but if we spend these days wishing for something else, we'll miss the ultimate gift we have already been given. No matter how perfectly wrapped it might come, an earthly relationship will never fully satisfy. When your heart hurts or the holidays get tough (even when you are feeling perfectly secure in your singleness!) turn your focus back to Jesus. He's what we're celebrating anyway!
Now, to the married gals wanting to help: I know it can be tough to speak into the tender places of a friend's single season, especially when you're on the other side of the ring, but I promise there is a way to do it with grace! Here are a couple of do's that have helped my heart and would be welcomed in any season!
  • DO invite your single friend out to coffee or lunch. Quality time one-on-one may have slipped away once you got married or made the move (which is natural as your sphere narrows as it should!), but be intentional with her and show her that she is remembered, known, and time with her is valued, even if it is for a quick cup of joe. 
  • DO include her in group festivities when possible. Now, don't third, fifth, or seventh-wheel her, but again, extending her the invitation (then at the event making time to spend time with her without your significant other attached at your hip) can make a huge difference. 
  • DON'T push her under the mistletoe with her crush. You know, unless she asks you to ;)

Well there you have it, friends :) Did any of these ring a bell or hit a soft spot? And OOF, do I need to take my own advice and dive into some of these.  As we seek to savor our seasons together, we've got to be honest about the places where we lack and get real about where we struggle. The holidays are prime time for pangs of jealousy to do a number on my heart and steal the joy of Christmas. Don't let that be the case for you this year!

How do YOU savor singleness during the holidays?
Anything I should add to the list?
Married ladies, any recommendations for us single gals?
Merry Christmas, y'all!

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