Wake up early. Go to the only grocery store open. Notice how desolate the city and streets become on days like today. Wander the aisles for an hour. Smile at the other customers who make eye contact with you. Wonder if they’re alone today too. Make up stories in your head about who they are and why they’re alone. Wonder if they’re thinking the same thing about you.
Buy your favorite holiday foods and cook your own feast. Buy a small turkey or ham, cheese and crackers, instant mashed potatoes, stuffing, your favorite pie, and a bottle of wine. Or skip all of that and just buy the wine and pie. Impulsively grab a tin of peppermint bark. Decide this is the year you’re going to start making your own traditions.
Wrap yourself up in a blanket. Light the candle your aunt bought you last year called “Santa’s Cookies.” Watch the parade on TV. Pour a glass of wine. Read your horoscope. Look at apartments in Berlin on Airbnb.com and convince yourself you’re going there. Listen to music that makes you feel nostalgic. Think about where you were last year, five years ago, ten years ago. Think about how much everyone has changed, you’ve changed. Cry into your pie. Wonder what your hometown is like these days. Watch Home Alone. Daydream about where you’ll be next year. Eat your weight in peppermint bark. Feel justified in your decisions.
Call someone important in your life you can’t be with today. Let them tell you about the food they’ve been cooking since 6 a.m. and about all the people there who miss you. Play the role of someone who’s doing great. Promise to be there next year.
Scroll Facebook and see everyone wishing everyone else a happy holiday. Scroll Instagram and see pictures of everyone’s food. #soblessed #holidaze #turkeyday #celebrate #tistheseason. Drink more wine. Contemplate trying a Pinterest DIY project but get exhausted just thinking about it. Eat crackers in bed and shrug at the crumbs collecting in the space where someone ought to be. Receive text messages from your best friend telling you about the drunk uncle at the family party; your ex saying he misses you; friends you haven’t talked to in six months sending obligatory standard holiday greetings. Think about responding but forget to. Take a nap.
Wake up around midnight. Eat more pie. Watch Home Alone 2. Decide it’s better than the original. Put your favorite song on repeat and dance alone in your underwear. Dance and dance and dance – fervidly and with no planned movements. Dance until you can’t anymore then collapse onto cold sheets. Text your best friend back.