It is rather rare for me to be resentful of my status as a singleton. Like the little girl with the curl in the middle of her forehead, however, when I notice, I REALLY notice. St. Valentine’s Day is a pain, mainly because it seems to remind every settled adult in my life to ask about boyfriends, and I get tired of explaining why getting a guy to give me chocolate isn’t the highest priority in my life (or having to resort to the handy excuse-for-a-boyfriend. I’ll have to tell you about him sometime). Valentine’s, however, is really just one day with nice chocolate sales following.
Christmas lasts for a month and a half, conservative estimate.
Please don’t misunderstand: I love Christmas. It is probably my favorite time of the year. I love turning off all of the house lights and sitting with a cup of peppermint hot chocolate and staring at the patterns cast on the wall from the blinking tree lights. If I’ve had a particularly rough day, I have been known to grab a few blankets and a pillow and sleep on the couch, just so I can fall asleep watching the lights. I find wrapping therapeutic (most of the time), and the only thing prettier than a decked out tree is one with packages beneath it. Christmas plays are apt to make me tear up, especially if performed by kids (and I’m talking real Christmas plays, not each grade singing a bland version of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer or Jingle Bell Rock to a bunch of parents going “that’s my kid!”). I’m not such a huge fan of all the shopping, but I doubt most people are. That said, Christmas seems like the loneliest time of the year.
I’ve felt the loneliness for a few years now, but I didn’t pinpoint it exactly until the other night—Christmas Eve. I was finishing wrapping a few packages late in the evening, and I realized that I didn’t want to go to bed alone. It was cold, my back hurt, and I wanted to just stare at my tree, and the only solution to all of these problems seemed to be to have a mate. Shadow watching is fun when you can lean against someone. Cold? Snuggle up, there’s two of you.
Christmas Eve is one of the most beautiful times of the year, but its brilliance diminishes when you realize you are alone. It is a wonderful time to relax and remember—but then, you can’t create memories on your own. At least, not really, really good ones. But I’m not ready to turn in my single card yet.
I don’t have a cure for loneliness, either (sorry, guys). But I do know that there are other people out there that are spending their Christmas Eves alone, physically, spiritually, or both. And to you, dear friends, I raise a glass, and wish that, next year, you have someone to snuggle with.
Cheers, and Merry Christmas.