How To Enjoy The Holidays: A Single Man’s Guide
Halloween has past, and Thanksgiving is quickly approaching. We will soon be in the Christmas season, in which the sounds, sights, and spirit of the winter holidays permeates all. This can be a particularly trying time if you are single man. What makes it so is the load of expectations that suddenly descend on you from your family, and sometimes even your friends. It seems that everyone wants a piece of you—to visit and feast and make merry at their home at various times throughout the month.
Such a state of affairs is certainly not without its benefits. This is the time of year that you will be able to more often forgo your usual dining routine—eating out or picking up a ready-made meal at your local grocer—and enjoy the rich and flavorful sustenance of a home cooked meal. But this comes with a cost. You will not be allowed to just eat and run. You will be expected to stay and participate in the activities of family life. Whether it is with your own family or that of your closest friends, “family time” is not a mode of feeling and action that you are used to, and being involved in it can be quite inconvenient.
So, the challenge is: how to get the most out of what is good about the holidays while minimizing the impositions that come with them.
Let’s start with Thanksgiving Day. It is one that you will have to give over entirely to your family. No one has yet invented a way to avoid the horror of pre-Thanksgiving travel, so it is best to make your reservations as early as you can and reconcile yourself to traffic jams and flight delays. The day itself will consist of the kinds of eats and treats you’ve long missed. And you will of course have to brace yourself for the rantings of your crazy right-wing uncle who has convinced himself of the truth of the latest conspiracy theory circulating in the blogosphere; or the equally tiresome ruminations of your hippie aunt who will talk of nothing but the latest news from the Bernie Sanders campaign. These things aside, you should use the time to stuff your face with momma’s cookin.
Spend the next day—Black Friday—away from the family home, and if you can away from your family. If you know that old friends of yours are in town, call them up and arrange to meet for lunch. Make a day of it if possible. In most of the major cities, there is a tree lighting ceremony the day after Thanksgiving. Believe it or not, that is actually a great event to meet women. When I was in college and went home to Atlanta for Thanksgiving, I followed this routine three years in a row. Each time I went to the tree lighting ceremony I met a different girl. You are only in town for a few days, why shouldn’t you have a little fling?
You should also come up with a plan for the Christmas-New Year weeks. I’ve always been a firm believer in a non-family New Year’s Eve policy. For New Year’s Eve is hunting season for the single man. No other date on the calendar is more favorable to your prospects for getting laid than New Year’s Eve. Packs of single women go out in droves to night clubs and other venues. Nearly all of them are half drunk before midnight, and most of them are desperate to be kissed or to be shown affection of some kind when the clock strikes twelve. It is the one night of the year in which you don’t even have to try to hook up. Taking advantage of it is best done on your own turf under your own terms.
Christmas Eve and Christmas Day must of course be spent with family. However, the week leading up to Christmas is another time rich in opportunity. If your married friend invites you for a Christmas cheer, ask him to ask his wife to invite one of her attractive single friends. You never know what beauties are being kept from you, and you never will unless you ask. There is also the office Christmas party; but there are dangers in hooking up with one of your co-workers, so you should think carefully before going all in.
The holidays can be just as exciting and enjoyable for the single man as they are for men with wives and children. It is the time of year that people—women especially—experience a heightened desire for companionship and affection. Take advantage of that, and endow your Christmas with merriment that is both familial and libidinal.
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About Christopher Reid Chris was born in Washington, D.C. and lives in Britain. He works as a blogger, essayist, and novelist. His first book, Tea with Maureen, has just been published.