I spent Thanksgiving alone, and I absolutely loved it.
I realized there weren't many holiday commercials for single people.
Here are a few ideas that show spending the holidays alone doesn't have to be sad.
I spent this past Thanksgiving blissfully alone. The weeks leading to the holiday left me frazzled and anxious from approaching deadlines, unanswered follow-up emails, and general winter blues.
While I'd received an invite to a Friendsgiving celebration, I decided to decline. Instead, I cooked for myself, then settled into a hot, scented bubble bath with a good romance novel. It was heaven. The next day, as I reminisced over how peaceful it had been, I realized I'd never seen a commercial that highlighted what a pleasure it could be to be solo during the winter holidays.
However oppressive capitalism may be, it is a part of society we have to deal with. It seems like a missed opportunity to not offer advertising to singles, a growing demographic likely to indulge in the habit of retail therapy to escape the gloom of winter.
Winter holidays like Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, and New Year's, as well as the events during which we celebrate them, are often centered around spending time with families and partners, but there are plenty of people who spend these holidays alone — and that isn't always a bad thing.
Some people are alone by circumstance and making the best of it, and some people are alone by choice. It would be nice to see advertising that acknowledges that without making it seem sad. Here are a few ideas.
The solo vacation
In this would-be commercial, a single woman mails off her cards and presents, then boards a flight to a beach. She video chats with her family as they open their presents. Everyone is happy to share the moment together, even miles apart. Smiling, she hangs up and returns to the beach. After reapplying her sunscreen, she picks her book up and takes a sip of her drink.
Single people can use the holiday break to go on a solo vacation while meeting family obligations. It doesn't have to be a sad thing to spend this time alone if a person chooses to indulge themselves, and I'd love to see depictions of this. It would go a long way in lessening any guilt people may feel for making this choice.
The divorced parent
It would be refreshing to see a single mom visiting her family with the kids before dropping them off with her ex. When she gets home, she props her feet up with a glass of something hot in front of the Christmas tree, enjoying the peace of a quiet home. Just because a parent may not be with a child for a moment like a holiday, it doesn't mean that it has to be a somber affair.
Amicable divorces happen, and it's possible to create special memories with children without it having to be on the exact holiday. It's also true that parents need space for themselves sometimes. Seeing that expressed in a commercial could help many feel better about enjoying quiet time in the middle of the stressful holiday season.
A commercial that acknowledges those of us who are grieving during the holidays would be quite touching. Maybe it could show a person visiting their parents' gravesite before going to pay tribute by watching their favorite movie or doing a favorite family activity, established in leading flashback images.
If you've experienced that kind of significant loss, it's impossible to deny how painful the holidays can be, but honoring your loved ones can help. It's OK to be sad during the holidays, but it's also OK to do things that remind you of the people you've lost and then do what you need to do to cheer yourself up.
These are just a few examples of ways we can acknowledge singlehood and the ways people may be spending time alone during the holidays, without making it seem like single life is sad and miserable.
So much of media tends to make the holidays all about families, and it's true that community and family are important to our society. But single people exist, too, and they're not always walking around feeling dejected about it. Some people even choose to be and enjoy being single. Being alone does not equate to being lonely, and it's not "anti-family." It simply is.
And sometimes, single people with discretionary income like to celebrate themselves by shopping. Advertisers are overlooking a growing demographic that's waiting to be acknowledged with kindness and empathy.
Single people don't disappear during the holidays, and they're not always sad to be alone. It's OK to see us. We're not contagious.
Read the original article on Insider