A few months ago, my youngest sister got married. It was a beautiful service. The bride and groom celebrated their union on a quaint little farm, surrounded by family and hundreds of shining lights. I can remember feeling so proud and happy for her. My own little sister had grown into this exceptional young woman!
Still, I must confess that once the party was over a sense of unease settled into my stomach. All of my siblings were now married, which meant I would be the lone bachelor this Christmas. I’m sure many Christian singles can relate to this feeling of holiday dread. There’s nothing worse than coming home for Christmas only to be met with persistent questions about why you haven’t “found someone” or hear that Aunt Edna knows “the sweetest girl” in her church choir. Thankfully, several Christian writers (with a little help from yours truly) have assemble the following Christmas Survival Guide for Singles.
Over at Relevant Magazine, Rebecca Marie-Jo Flores leans more toward the side of laughter. She introduces several satirical (though nonetheless brilliant) responses to awkward relationship questions, beginning with,
Stuff your face with food and mumble incoherently.
“Confusion is a great way to avoid answering questions about your romantic life. When your aunt and her friends come up to you after church with matchmaking hopes in their eyes, just make your way to the welcome table where the mini donuts live and stick as many of them in your mouth as possible. When she asks you what happened to the nice young man or woman you were dating last year, just mumble an apology about having to excuse yourself to the bathroom. If that’s not enough to get you out of the situation, pretend to start choking. They can’t expect you to respond if you’re choking on powdered sugar, right?”
While staging a medical emergency can be an effective deterrent, there are subtler ways to accomplish your goal. A better tactic would be to,
Talk about your Star Wars fan theories.
“Allow me to share with you, in detail, all the reasons why Rey from Star Wars: The Force Awakens is actually Yoda’s daughter! Also, Supreme Leader Snoke is secretly Jar Jar Binks in disguise. Can you tell the difference between a Republic Starfighter and an Imperial Space-Destroyer? I can, and I’m going to list them all right now! Hey wait, were are you going?”
Okay, okay, it’s fun to laugh about this stuff over the holidays, but let’s move on to some more practical ideas. Crosswalk contributor Jessica Bufkin has her own advice for enduring Christmas as a single. Unlike Flores, Bufkin’s thoughts are more sincere, and she encourages singles to look beyond themselves while celebrating the true message of Advent.
“Whether it’s reading daily devotionals, a book, or following your church’s guide, celebrating Advent is a beautiful way to dwell deeply in the Truth of the Christmas season, the birth of our Savior. Focusing daily on the Christ child and the prophecies and promises He fulfilled helps prevent our tendency to stray and focus on ourselves.”
“And, it needs to be said: Go to church. Sure, there will be tons of family-focused events and lots of children singing, but if those things are painful to you, allow them to make you press harder into Him. The baby Jesus—the Immanuel, the God with us—grew into a man who can identify with your pain (1 Peter 2:21). He is with you, and He hears you (Psalm 62:8).”
Look, being single during Christmas can be tough. There are so many expectations from those around you, and sometimes even well-meaning questions can leave you feeling depressed. So if you’re like me, and you’re headed into the holidays solo, just know there is nothing wrong with you. God has told us that we are all fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14), and this is the time of year when we as Christians remember just how much we are loved. We are so loved that he gave his only son (John 3:16), who came to earth and was born in a manger.
Don’t let loneliness steal your joy this Christmas. Remember that you are loved, remember that you belong, and remember there is always a place for you at God’s table.
(Image courtesy of thinkstock)
*Ryan Duncan is an Editor for Crosswalk.com