I wasn’t raised in church, so I don’t really care about the birth of Jesus anyway, but the Western world essentially comes to a standstill to celebrate it. And because Christmas falls on a Sunday this year, Friday through Monday is blocked off for holiday cheer and togetherness. Wonderful!
For years now, I’ve spent the holidays with people who aren’t my blood family. Every year I’ve had somewhere to go or someone to spend the day with; but this year, I’m in my new home of Chicago and very far from my chosen family, so I will be alone on Christmas for the first time. At first I was okay with it, and I was looking forward to the time alone. But because everyone I interact with has asked me what my holiday plans are and responded with a sympathetic face and a pitying “Awww, you poor thing. I’d hang out with you if I were in town,” I’ve started to feel really bad about being alone this year.
I know there are other queers out there who Santa will also skip, so I’m sharing my strategies for staying sane while alone, shut in my apartment for the next few days. Because if I’m not careful, I’ll spend my day wallowing in bed, Facebook stalking every person I’ve ever been friends with/had a crush on/slept with/dated, all while listening to emo band covers of classic Christmas carols, and no one wants that. No one.
So, here’s the plan:
Consume some sort of media. I’ll be watching something, anything that will hold my interest and not make me sad. I looked up new releases online, and I’ve already screened The Help, Glee: The Concert Movie, Scream 4, Horrible Bosses and Crazy, Stupid, Love. (Don’t judge my taste right now. I need mindless movies to keep me occupied, and Ryan Gosling is the man of my dreams. Leave me alone.) I’m loading Christmas episodes of Futurama and The Simpsons right now. I’ll probably also watch Arrested Development too, because the Bluths are always in season.
I’ve started reading the Beebo Brinker chronicles, a series of lezzie pulp novels from the ‘50s, so I’ll probably read more of that. I’ll also catch up on my favorite blogs, like Hyberbole and a Half, In Our Words, FY Chubby Fashion, Fit for a Femme, and the other sites listed on my blogroll.
Put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard). I’ll definitely be writing something. Whether it’s writing poems while wallowing in my sadness (at least it would be productive wallowing), polishing existing poems, blogging or finishing up some freelance projects, I will without a doubt be writing.
Contact friends. In the past, I’ve enlisted my Jewish friends to help pass the time. They also know what it’s like to be the only kid without a Christmas tree, and they’re veterans at occupying themselves on Christmas.
If we’re friends in real life, expect a text professing my love to you. I really miss you, and I can’t wait for you to come back. I’m also going to call my best friend, who will be in Middle-of-Nowhere, Ohio, and see what Santa brought them and how their blood family is doing.
Do some digital housekeeping. I’m going to try to get my inbox down to single digits. We’ll see how that one turns out.
I’ll probably update the About Me for this blog seeing as it’s way out of date. And if I’m feeling really ambitious, I’ll reorganize the Resources section as well. Who knows, I may even redesign this whole damn blog.
I’ve already started taking a billion pictures of myself to post on Tumblr. This could provide hours of entertainment if I get really into the theatrics of the photo shoot. I’ll probably also reblog a bunch of cats reluctantly wearing reindeer antlers, or something. Ooooo, I also have a new (to me) DSLR camera, so I’ll probably take some photos with that, especially of me playing with my cat. So basically, expect lots of photos of felines from me, internet!
Utilize whatever is actually open. I can take a walk, go to the park or observe the waves of Lake Michigan from the beach. I can also ride the CTA. There’s got to be a Chinese restaurant open somewhere, right? The CTA runs on Christmas, and I’ve done some of my best writing on the train. Besides, the CTA never disappoints when it comes to people watching.
Cook something. It just wouldn’t be the holidays without delicious food, right? I picked up provisions, so when the stores close for two days, I wouldn’t have to create something out of the cup of quinoa and month-old broccoli florets I have lying around. I plan on making vegan pumpkin chocolate chip pancakes, vegan BLTs, and maple mustard roasted asparagus and potatoes. For snacks, I’ve got the fixins for a hearty salad, clementines, and everything bagels with vegan cream cheese. And for my Christmas dinner, I went all out and sprung for a frozen Tofurky vegan cheese pizza.
Remember that people care. I keep all the love mail you readers send me, and any other nice notes I receive, in a special folder in my email account. Same goes for special texts and cards. That way I can easily look back at them whenever I need a reminder that my life touches and impacts others. I also have clippings of nearly everything I’ve written, so I can look back at how much I’ve accomplished. It’s sappy and sentimental, but sometimes, it’s just what I need to remind myself I’m not in this life alone.
Yeah, so, hopefully, if I do all those things, I’ll stay sane this year. And if you’re cooped up with your family and need a survival guide for that, consider this holigays post your Christmas miracle.