Your One-Stop Guide To A Solo Festive Season

The Holidays Look Different For Everyone. If A Big Family Gathering Isn’t On The Cards, Here’s How To Navigate Yours.

Maybe you can't get there. Or perhaps there are just some real pricks in your family. Whatever the reason, if you're not spending the holidays surrounded by family this year, we're here to tell you a jolly time alone can be exceptionally fantastic. Here's how to role play as your own family this year, without the stress of dealing with a real one.

Recreate your family tropes

You're by yourself this year, and that's ok. You're great company, and an amazing actor. Why not cosplay as every single character of your family? Go on, get in drag and stage a family photo. Has one of your siblings got an overused catchphrase? What would your auntie talk about at dinner? You can recreate all of this yourself – while avoiding any genuine conflict.

If that feels too close to home, just recreate family tropes that spark joy. For example, get down to Kmart and bag all the 'wine mum' goodies you can find. I bought myself a brilliant set that has a 'before work' mug and an 'after work' champagne glass which are truly helping me live my Chardonnay Mama fantasy. Every day at 5pm I say to my housemates "it's five o'clock somewhere!" (with a wink) as I pour myself a Savvy B. TikToker Zachariah Porter is brilliant at this; his Christmas mum at Target is peak Mum role play. This festive season, why not take a leaf out of his book and become your own wine mum?

Or maybe you want to be your own goth teenage brother who hates joy (in which case...) or the small child who insists on drinking juice out of a wine glass. Or what about the cousin who just got back from a semester in Paris (sorry, Pah-ree) and just "prefers how the French do things". Your options are endless: choose a family trope, even if your family is completely different (it probably is), and voilà, you've got a family christmas.

Choose an uncomfortable soundtrack

The holidays don't feel complete without a heinous soundtrack. Think of what music usually plays during the silly season with your family. Would someone insist on playing the entirety of Ariana Grande's Christmas & Chill? Including the song that is weirdly and overtly sensual toward Santa? Whatever holiday you celebrate, there's probably loads of Spotify playlists to choose from. And remember: the louder the better.

Argue with yourself in the mirror

Another plus of flying solo this Christmas is avoiding any IRL family drama. And given it's 2020, there could be a lot to argue about. A one-person holiday, for instance, might mean avoiding a blowout with your Uncle who you've just learned is an anti-masker. Or maybe one of your second cousins has a pretty suss opinion about the 2020 US presidential election.

If not having dumb arguments with relatives you barely know is giving you FOMO, try arguing with yourself in the mirror – but choose a relatively non-offensive topic so it doesn't feel too real. Like, which dog breed makes the best TikTok DJ?

Treat yourself to some weird food

Ubereats in front of Law & Order all December and January is a completely reasonable plan of action. But if you feel like getting fancy, why not recreate the collection of food that you'd see at your family holidays? Get cooking on your favourite holiday dinners and desserts, but obviously don't forget the dishes that go untouched all evening. I'm planning on recreating my Auntie's speciality: an entirely bland couscous salad with no dressing, strange tiny sultanas and for some reason, apple? Yum.

Choose your own family (for real)

In all seriousness, the holidays can be really challenging. Regardless of why you might not be spending time with family this year, having to put up with the festive season can be daunting. Especially when Instagram is flooded by big pics of happy families that don't look like yours. But remember: everyone's family looks different, and what yours looks like can be totally up to you.

For a lot of my queer and trans friends, the idea of 'chosen family' is especially vital toward the end of the year. Relationships you have with your pals, housemates, partners and community can and should be celebrated just as much as relationships with your relatives.

Maybe your holidays will look like the first big family gathering of the year, with extended family crawling out the woodwork. Or maybe it will be three of your housemates downing mimosas, having a laugh and exchanging silly $10 gifts. It could even be some much-needed solo time with a comforting TV show and a cup of tea. Whatever your holiday looks like, we hope you feel loved and can breathe a sigh of relief that 2020 is over. So pour yourself a chardonnay. You've got this. 

Written by Dani Leever, a writer and homosexual pop culture enthusiast. Find their words at @danileever or catch their gay DJ drag adventures at @djgaydad.

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