The Christmas season is filled with excitement, joy and love. No matter where you go, you can't escape the festive feelings. There is Christmas music playing, lights twinkling, red and green galore and an abundance of decorations. This is a truly magical time of year.
But for many single men and women it can also be a depressing time of year.
For the single, Christmas is a reminder that they are quite alone. When you look at the scenes of Christmas time they are so often filled with happy couples, hand in hand, enjoying a winter wonderland or dressed up for a special party. Dating, marriage and pairing up in general are front and center.
Is this a recipe for a Christmas spent in despair? Are singles stuck as onlookers, wishing for not just gifts under the tree, but a date on New Years Eve? How do we avoid spending this time of year in a state of ill-contentment and dissatisfaction?
What follows are just a few suggestions for the Christian single looking to spend Christmas in a state of joy and excitement, despite the fact that they aren't part of a couple and don't have a date on the horizon. The focus of the holidays can get stuck on what we don't have: a date, someone buying us a special gift, a hand to hold on an ice-skating rink, a person to surprise with the perfect present. But if we get stuck adding up our have-nots we miss the incredible blessings we are enjoying as singles.
This year if you are spending December and New Years as a single I pray that you will embrace the privilege of enjoying this season of celebration as a party of one. After all, Christmas isn't about having a date on Friday night. It is about celebrating the date in history that our Savior made His entrance into this world. Christmas is a special opportunity to stop the routine of our daily lives and simply praise God for the gift of His son: perfect, merciful, loving, gracious son. While you marvel in the overwhelming power of that love enjoy these simple suggestions to celebrate the season as a content and peaceful single.
1) Find the perfect gift.
So there is no Mr. or Mrs. Right in your life, but there are kids all over the world who would love to receive a specially picked gift from you. There are many ministries and organizations that provide an outlet for this type of giving. Find a ministry that you trust, respect and want to support and then go out and get the perfect gift. My personal favorite is Operation Christmas Child. They ship shoe boxes of gifts to kids all over the world. The giver picks an age group and gender then gets to shopping for just the right toys and clothes to pack in a shoe box to be sent to their special child. This ministry, and others like it, are a beautiful way to share Christ's love with kids who, otherwise, might not receive a single gift on Christmas morning.
2) Go on a date.
Nope, not a date with a table set for two. No, not a date that you find through the classifieds or Match.com. I'm talking about a "God date". This is a phrase that I've coined to define the following: a special activity, set at a specific time, shared by you and God alone. This isn't devotional time or Bible study. This is a date with God! I'm talking ice skating, dinner out, a Christmas Tree lighting… anything that you consider a "date" can be a "God date." You don't need to spend your God date on your knees and you don't even necessarily need your Bible. Enjoy an outing with God. Set a time and a place and meet Him there. Enjoy the adventures and outings of life in His company.
3) Pour out love on your family.
The time of singleness is a golden opportunity to show your family (birth family and church family) an abundance of love. Bake cookies for loved ones, cook soup for a friend who's sick, send cards to the special people in your life, thanking them for who they are to you and reminding them how much you care for them. Everyone loves to feel loved. Share that love with the people you care about. Don't be stingy. The season of singleness is a chance to learn how to show love. What you glean from this time in life will be vital; a priceless understanding of how to display love to a spouse someday in the future. Christmas is the perfect time of year to be deliberate in your sharing of love.
There is no better way to take the focus off yourself then to get your hands busy doing for someone else. Pick a place, a ministry or a cause and get involved. Serve at a soup kitchen, decorate with a church, carol at a nursing home. Look around, spot the need and then jump in and fill it. I guarantee that you will find it hard to be lamenting life's singleness when you are busy helping those around you that are in need.
This list could go on, I'm sure. But these suggestions are great starting points for enjoying the Christmas season as a single. This time of year is really quite perfect for singles if you ask me. After all, Jesus was a single and isn't this time of year really all about Him? Enjoy the season, fellow singles. Marvel at the gift of Jesus Christ born in a manger. Embrace the celebration of our King.