When it’s Empty Under the Mistletoe

“Ho, Ho the Mistletoe
Hung where you can see.
Somebody waits for you,
kiss her just for me.”

Christmas can be a nightmare. Tons of non-religious Christmas song involve love and happiness of the romantic persuasion. Even the simple ones.  Winter Wonderland tells us that we can build a snowman who has magical powers to perform a wedding.  Baby, It’s Cold Outside (why is this a Christmas song again?) talks about an argument between a couple about staying in during a snow storm and not wanting to be perceived as having sexual relations by family and neighbors. I think you get the point. Christmas can make you want to set fire to that snowman named Parson Brown and eat his carrot nose right after punching Andy Williams in the face for telling you, It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.

Speaking of Andy Williams (wow that last sentence was pretty violent, sorry), he states in the aforementioned song that there will be much “Mistletoeing” and “hearts glowing when loved ones are near.” Well, what if there is no mistletoeing? What if being around loved ones does not make your heart glow? What if you combine these two? Loved ones asking why there is no mistletoeing in your life. Most of the time the only hearts that are glowing are the ones left over from the radioactive fallout.

It is no understatement to say that Christmas time is a very difficult time for single people. Especially in their late 20’s and early 30’s. When around family it can make you realize that by now you should have had your own family. Even if parents don’t say anything the feeling can still be there. And, if parents, friends and extended family do bring up the issue, how do you survive? How do you avoid a Blue Christmas?

Face It Head On

The worse thing you can do is ignore, duck or avoid the question. Brace yourself. It is going to come up. Don’t get offended. Don’t get defensive. As soon as you do this they are going to remember and pester you more. Say something. Be honest. Have a really good response. Some of the favorites I’ve heard are:

(A) It’s your fault. Those Disney movies you made me watch so you could have your peace and quiet set the bar to high. I know too many Gastons.
(B) I’m an empowered women.
(C) Would you rather I have married that other girl/guy I brought home last Christmas?

They do actually care

This may seem hard to believe but whenever your parents, family and friends rib (pun intended) you for being single it is because they care. They want you to experience happiness and all of that mushy-gushy stuff Justin Bieber sings about on his new christmas album. A lot of times when you take up the defensive you miss this. You feel attacked. Maybe you are but maybe you are being attacked…with love?

Why are they really asking?

Hidden behind some of these questions is the fact that the person asking it thinks you should not be single. They might just think positively of you. Think about it, if they are bold enough to say to your face that you should be married then they obviously would be bold enough to tell you that you are nowhere near close enough to marriageable material. It may be a back-sided compliment but it is one, most of the time.

Actually tell them why you are single

When people ask you about being single it stems from them not knowing what’s going on in your life. They lack the details. Many times we think the reason they are asking is because they are saying we are imperfect or missing something. In my experience that is not always the case. They might not know your story. Why not tell them? Why not tell them how difficult it is? Why not tell them about the stalkers? If you reply with your story it usually only takes a couple of minutes till they zone out and you are in the clear.

Why are you single?

If you are bothered by the fact that family pesters you then you are you actually okay with being single? That’s what makes this question annoying, a lot of times you are asking yourself it. What have you come up with? Why? Are you putting people off? Are you emotionally available? Are you active socially? Investing in lives? Are you being friendly? Are you being kind? Are you being selfless? Self-introspection is a really good thing and if you’ve done that then your confidence will come across when you are asked by family and friends. A lot of times those who love us can pick up on our laziness or unavailability. Be honest. Be friendly. Take the questions and resist the Blue Christmas because it could be worse. You could be singing that God-forsaken Last Christmas song.