BY: KEZIA ROYER-BURKETT
The holiday season is meant to be a joyous, fun, memorable time or at least that’s how it’s advertised. But for most, it’s a time of high expectations, anxiousness, guilt, and disappointment. I never really loved the holidays, I saw it as a time that people came together and were fake and ate yummy food. One year when I was fifteen years old the phone rang on Christmas day, and it was my boyfriend at the time. I thought he was calling to wish me a Merry Christmas, and I was so very excited and I answered my house phone on the first ring. Instead of my boyfriend wishing me Merry Christmas since I wasn’t expecting a gift from him, he told me that sometimes when we were together, he missed his ex-girlfriend, Samantha, so he was breaking up with me. He broke up with me on Christmas day and crushed my poor teenage heart, and his sorry sad excuse was that he didn’t realize it was Christmas because his family didn’t celebrate holidays. I’ll never forget being dumped on Christmas day, and even seventeen years later my expectations for holidays have remained very low. Last year right before Christmas I changed my phone number so none of my exes could contact me even if they wanted to.
Being a single parent during the holidays has been another tough pill to swallow. I always dreamed of spending Christmas morning and the holiday season with my husband, our children and our extended family. Instead, I feel like during the holiday season I am always reminded of how much my little family doesn’t look like the cookie cutter, mainstream status quo of a family. Usually, I’m ok with my family dynamics, but during the holiday season for some odd reason, I feel inadequate. And questions like when are you getting married? don’t seem to help my situation either.
Social media can sometimes make the holiday season even more depressing, if you haven’t unfollowed all of your ex’s on social media, do it NOW!!!. It’s hard to see the appearance of your ex moving on and enjoying their holidays with someone new. They may not be enjoying the holiday season, but the appearance alone can send some into a deep depression. So, I have come up with ten reminders and strategies to get any single person through the holiday season.
1. Understand that the advertisements on television, billboards and social media, is a form of idealism and NO ONE lives a perfect life
2. Unfollow exes and frenemies on social media. (no need to follow people you don’t like; that’s called stalking LOL)
3. Stop looking to the past for better days; your best is yet to come. Remember the present is called that for a reason
4. Let go of the idea that being single during the holidays makes you less of an accomplished person. Being in a relationship shouldn’t be for status!
5. Remember the holiday season is customizable, do what makes you happy with the people that make you happy. No need to keep up with the Jones’; Christmas is just another day
6. Give yourself some perspective and remember some children all over the world have nothing and that being single is the least of your worries, being single is a first world problem
7. Create/start new holiday traditions with yourself or with anyone in your community
8. Use free time wisely to connect with yourself or start that project that has been on your mind, DO not to wallow and just watch television to distract yourself
9. Find and focus on the images and aspects of the holiday season that best suit your lifestyle and your way of living and leave everything for everyone else. Feel confident in your life situation and accomplishments
10. Buy yourself a gift or treat yourself to an experience that you want, so you can remember that you are the primary person that can provide for you what you truly want and need
Bonus: Enjoy all the seasonal food and remember Joy and Goodwill are the reasons for this season.
Have any stories you’d like to share about love and relationships? Are you dealing with being single during the holiday season and have some advice for the readers? Email me at Kezia@carib101.com Always, Love and Light.