Merry Christmas! (Plus Some Things To Do If You're Flying Solo This Year)

Christmas has been kind of weird in my family since my parents divorced when I was in college, and my little brother (my only sibling still at home) goes back and forth between my parents. But, this year is my first year ever not being home to celebrate Christmas with my family, and that feels really weird. Since I'm working in retail right now, driving home this year didn't seem feasible. Since I'm not religious, Christmas is really a secular holiday for me; it's all about tradition and being with my family on a special day. And since that wasn't possible for me this year, I'm keeping this holiday low key and staying at home and celebrating with my pup.

Merry Christmas from Jen & Olive!
If you're flying solo this year, here are some ideas for how to make this holiday special:
-Make yourself an awesome meal
-Gift yourself something you really want but would usually never buy yourself
-Send out holiday cards/email/e-cards
-Call--or better yet, facetime/skype--family and friends
-Use this extra day off of work to do a small project. Check your to-do lists, or browse through your Pinterest board for inspiration!
-Make some mulled wine or cider or eggnog (these recipes are everywhere!), drink too much, and dance
-Start writing up your New Year's resolutions
-Watch Christmas movies, or not-so-traditional Christmas movies (You've Got Mail is on my docket for the day!)
-Spend extra quality time with your pets
-Order chinese take-out
-Look at photos from Christmases past
-Get everything clean and organized so you can have an awesome, stress-free work week and NYE
-hone your snowflake-cutting skills
-write something
-binge read your favorite book, or pick up a new favorite
-download some new music (hint: All Songs Considered's favorites lists are up!)
-Pamper yourself. Light a candle, have a long bath, do a face mask, drink a hot toddy or tea, slather on moisturizer from head to toe
-Meditate (Headspace Take 10 is awesome for getting into it. If you haven't already, you need to try it. I promise it's worth it).
-Go to bed early
-Drink hot cocoa
-Make some cookies and bring them to work the next day
-Meet up with other loners for a drink
-Do some volunteer work

Thankfully, my mom and little brother will be visiting me next week and two of my sisters and my nephew were here for Thanksgiving, so I will have seen most of my family this year. Hoping to see more of them next year! What are your plans for the holiday?

Yours Truly, Jen


  1. i love this list! as a non-christian/official chanukah celebrater, i'm never quite sure how i'm supposed to spend the day where everything is closed and everyone is with their families. this year we convinced my parents that we should be stereotypes and go get chinese food, which is awesome, but i'm so excited about these other options too!

    i love the project idea (and i'm taking you up on it!) because everything is closed anyway. also, i slept in (since there weren't presents under the tree and no santa), and it felt amazing. last thing -- when i wanted to learn to meditate last year, i used Headspace Take 10 and it's awesome! i don't use it anymore, but now when i know i need to chill, i use the same techniques on my own. if you're looking to do a little yoga today (or ever) the website is really cool.

    merry christmas, jen! sending you so much love and light from austin!


  2. I hadn't thought about how relevant this list is for people of other religions as well. Nice! I was on a pretty good streak with the take 10, and then I got off of it somehow. Need to finish it up. I'll definitely check out that yoga site! I have a couple of yoga channels I follow on youtube, but I've generally found that I like yoga better elsewhere. Fewer distractions than at home. I'm glad you decided to do a project. I always feel better about days off when I get something fun and productive done.


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