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Single woman enjoying Christmas and the holidays.
Decide to thrive and not just survive this holiday season.

Slightly dreading the Holidays?

A box of Kleenex. Puffy eyes. That large bag of chips that we swore we were only going to eat 1/3 of. Are we really happy crying over the ending of that predictable Christmas movie or are we actually a little sad to be single for the holidays?

As a teen, I envisioned my holidays as an adult. Married to my current crush, lots of cuddling, hot chocolate and memory making.

After college, my holidays still looked a lot like when I was teen. Still imagining and fantasizing about my real adult life. Technically, that didn’t start until I got a solid job right??

I finally got the solid job and it seemed that my childhood fantasies of the perfect holiday season were in the near future. Except that they weren’t. Holiday after holiday passed and I found myself in the wretched loop of surviving as a single gal during the holidays.

The anxiety used to start for me right after Halloween. I knew that Thanksgiving was just a few weeks away and my wheels would start spinning wondering how I was going to have the perfect fantasy life by the fourth Thursday of November.

Most wonderful time of the year?

The holiday season is truly the most wonderful time of year…if you are surrounded by loving family and friends, have unlimited cash flow to buy perfect gifts for everyone and unlimited vacation time to visit all your closest friends and family.

But let’s face it, most people are just trying to get through the holiday season. It’s hard to admit that the most wonderful time of year for many is the worst time of the year for a lot of us. It can especially be true for the single ladies. Holidays focus on families and whether you are widowed, divorced or just plain single, this time of year can be a painful reminder of your marital status.

Fake Smiles and Netflix Binges

Binge-watching Netflix over the holidays to survive.
Planning to Netflix your way through the holiday season?

I consider myself a veteran of being single during the holidays, after all I am flirting with 40 and have lived on my own for my most of my adult life. No amount of “love yourself, do you, follow your dreams, etc” mantras can shield us from the hustle, bustle and let’s face it, loneliness of the holidays.

So how do we thrive through the holiday season instead of surviving through fake smiles, busy schedules, dry bank accounts and living vicariously through Hallmark movies? Well, first we have to admit that we need to make some changes in order to make it the most wonderful time of the year for us. If you already feel like you have amazing holiday seasons as a single lady, you can stop reading now and say a quick prayer those of us who have already binged several Netflix Christmas movies.

Seven Survival Tips For Singles

Single ladies having fun over the holidays.
Invite your girls over to kick off the season.

1. Take the lead.

Instead of waiting on invitations to Christmas parties, dinners and mixers, plan your own. If you wait, you may be waiting for a while. Do this soon because people’s holiday calendars fill up pretty quickly between work Christmas parties, church functions and family activities.

2. Limit your Netfilx intake.

The easiest thing to do when everyone else seems too busy and happily living the life of their dreams is to binge Netflix. Think of all the memories you could be making in that 3+ hours you spend bingeing the first season of whatever the trending show is. According to statista.com, almost 40% of women binge up to 3 hours of Nextflix at a time. Yikes.

3. Deepen a friendship.

You are not the only person who is lonely or single during the holidays. Take this as on opportunity to reach out to that person that you connect with and make a few plans to get through the season together.

4. Make a Christmas list and stick to it.

There are tons of people that you will begin to feel obligated to buy a gift for. But if you are living on one income, buying obligatory gifts can destroy your budget. Make your list of the main people that you want to buy gifts for, set a realistic budget and stick to it. Set one day or weekend for buying for those gifts and don't buy any more gifts after that.

5. Serve.

Ok, I know that Christians are always telling single people to serve but I want you to be selective about service opportunities. Don’t just sign up for every volunteer event. People may expect you to because they assume you have more time, but the truth is, you have the same 24 hours a day that others have. You get to choose how to spend that time and finding just one or two worthy service projects this Christmas will warm your heart and not leave you overwhelmed.

6. Go on a fun date.

Maybe you have already downloaded Bumble or Tinder and it is sucking the life out of you, but hear me out. Most people will meet up for coffee for a first date and honestly that can either be really good or super awkward. Go ahead and write a list of 5 holiday date ideas that you would really enjoy. Next time your match wants to meet up in real life, send them one of your date ideas. Even if the chemistry isn’t there, you got a fun date off of your bucket list 😊.

7. Travel!!

Being single is one of the prime times in your life to travel. You can go exactly where you want to go and do exactly what you want to do. Christmas in the smokies? Go for it! New Years Eve on a cruise boat, why not? Even if you just decide to take a short road trip with a friend or do a solo trip to rest and rejuvenate, a special holiday trip is sure to create some polaroid worthy memories.

Single woman on a roadtrip for the holidays.
Grab your favorite guilty pleasure fast food and hit the road this holiday.

Have I convinced you to try at least one of these? The holiday season is long but it is also too short to waste by not actually enjoying it on your terms. Despite the pressure to have a perfect relationship and life for the holidays, make the most of it by being intentional about how you want to experience this season, make new friends, travel, go on exciting dates, ditch the obligatory gifts and take the lead for your holiday season.

For a few laughs and a more detailed look at how I'm navigating my single season GRAB A COPY OF MY EBOOK CONFESSIONS
Nina Elaine's book about her journey of abstinence entitled "Confessions".
"This book was a breath of fresh air for me ..." Tiffany, Amazon Review

Christian Encouragement

Scripture: Colossians 4:12 describes a faithful Christian who did battle for his friends who were far away: “Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ Jesus, greets you, always struggling on your behalf in his prayers, that you may stand mature and fully assured in all the will of God.”

The air force warehouse worker drives the forklift, lifting the missiles into the belly of the airplanes. But he may never see the airplane fly over enemy territory. He may never see the missile fly into enemy territory, winning a victory for his country.

The writer diligently publishes the work God placed on her heart and may never see the woman reading her words across the ocean, with tears in her eyes, recommitting her life to God because of the writer's faithfulness.

The kind person in the drive through that pays for the meal for the next person may never know that person had been praying for weeks for a sign that God cared about them and that very small act of kindness was a beacon of light.

Even though we may never see the success, our actions are important for someone's victory. No matter how insignificant your life may seem, you are playing a critical role in battles that our natural eyes cannot see.

In the same way, we offer our prayers from the solitude of our own homes. We may feel that our prayers never go further than the ceiling of our houses. But in reality, our prayers are far-reaching. They win victories that we never see. Our prayers can hit targets of enemy strongholds, even on the other side of the world. Even if you never see the effects of your prayers, don’t stop offering them!

Challenge: Start a journal of prayer requests. As you pray diligently, mark the ones that God has answered!

Even if you don’t ever hear the details of how your prayers were answered, you can trust in him. He is working, even when you don’t see it!

Scripture: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7

Meditate on the attributes of God. Prayer is not only asking but acknowledging who God is. “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation.” Exodus 34:6-8

As you think on the character of God, thank him for his love, compassion, faithfulness, and justice.

Thank God for answered prayer. Make a list of the most recent blessings you've received and answered prayer. Gratefulness has been correlated with better overall health, and gratitude is a command. As you start your time of prayer, spend time thanking him for his blessings.

Ask for your needs. God is honored when you ask him for help. In Psalm 50:15, God says, “Call on me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor me."

As you praise Him, thank Him, and give Him your requests!

Challenge: Set your timer for 10 minutes one day this week and work through these three steps.

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