Tis the season to be jolly. Or is it called a holiday? However you celebrate this season, it can, for some people, put pressure on you whether you’re single or in a relationship. Before you crack up altogether, remember the following:

1) In essence, it’s one day out of 365 and whilst I recognise that it’s a special day during a special season mostly driven by Hallmark. It’s not worth tearing your hair out over and it’s better to keep it in perspective.

2) If you’re single and musing over the gift you may have gotten if you had a significant other in your life, buy yourself the present or at the very least treat yourself to something nice. Single isn’t about waiting for someone to ride up on their white horse and treat you to stuff. Own your own happiness!

3) Much as you may want to throttle family members at times, remember that with any luck you can go back to normal within a few days. I found that I really appreciated time with my crackerjack family when stopped cursing their quirky ways and accepted that this was my family warts and all and started to enjoy them.

4) However, that said, don’t think that just because it’s the festive season that you should allow friends or family to take advantage of you and belittle your lifestyle choices. Don’t go starting World War III but do nip it in the bud if you feel yourself getting upset. Either tell them in a non confrontational way that their comments are hurtful, give back as good as you get or learn to shrug it off. I know some people that drink away the comments but I don’t recommend that for everyone!

5) Try not to stress too much over presents. It is the thought that counts, not how much money you’re throwing at everyone. Don’t leave yourself penniless in an effort to keep up with the Jones. Set a budget, do a list or if you’re shopping savvy, do your shopping last minute as a hell of a lot of shops reduce the prices on products that you had to pay full price for if you were actually organised about when you bought them.

6) If in doubt about what to get your partner, ask.

7) If in doubt about what to spend on your partner, agree a limit as to what you’ll both spend if that makes you feel more comfortable.

8) Some people I know are waiting till after Christmas and going shopping in the sales with their significant others.

9) Don’t use the season as an opportunity to try to pressure an engagement, wedding or baby out of someone. The festivities do end and you may be left with the sour taste of resentment to put up with next year.

10) Enjoy yourself! If you really can’t do that, book a last minute break somewhere and escape to peace and quiet elsewhere and get some R&R (rest and relaxation).

11) Don’t do booty calls, Friends Who F*ck/F*ck Buddies/Tings, flexing the digits for an ex or sit at home waiting for a Mr Unavailable or Married Man to call. This is a sure-fire way to ruin the holiday and will exacerbate feelings of loneliness or frustration which you may worsen by trying to repeat the behaviour all over again. If you’re involved in any of these situations, make other plans, be busy, don’t text back straight away and don’t stare into space pining over these people. It’s a waste!

12) Don’t have too much pride. If you have no plans for the season, don’t reject plans that are offered to you just because you don’t want to appear lonely. Accept the plans and enjoy! If you’re happy with your own company, that’s great but if you’re going to stay home and rant and sob, go with the plans and save yourself some Kleenex.

13) Be safe with contraception.
If you don’t want to be having a baby next September, remember to take your pill or make sure he has his mac on, or both!

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