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Old 12-22-04, 07:08 PM
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handling the holidays - alone

"Handling The Holidays - Alone
By Laura Snyder

Family dinners. Elegant parties. Gift exchanges. All warm and fuzzy Hallmark moments if you're happily part of a couple, but when you're not, no time of year sucks more than Santa-season.
A singleton has to strategize to make it through the holidays unscathed.

Friendly Fire

Tackle the obvious dangers first, starting with a plan to sidestep those landmines set up by your well-meaning family. You know it's coming, so you might as well be ready for the onslaught of questions as to why you're still single or what happened to that nice man/woman you brought around last year. You can try subtlety ("I didn't realize that was up for discussion"), flattery ("I'm just holding out until I find someone to make me as lucky as you are.") or brutal honesty ("I had to end my last relationship because of that pesky prison sentence").

Holiday Cheer?

Unfortunately, making it through the family dinners is only one part of the giant holiday scheme to make the single feel as forlorn as the dirty, week-old snow stuck to the curb. You've got all those happy couples to face at those festive dinner parties when you show up without a date. Forget about feeling obligated - this is a singleton emergency - and plan out your party schedule, making a "To Don't" list of places that will make you lousy.

If you're still blue, visit the toy department on a Saturday. Take note of the whiny kids and frazzled parents and be glad it's not your life (yet). Feel better?

Misery Loves Company

Finally, remember that you're not alone in not having a sweetie to swap stockings with. That's reason enough to always have one eye out for any cute strangers who wander under the mistletoe. Ask Santa for a holiday fling this year.

And if there's no Mr. or Miss Right under the tree and no prospect for a New Years' smooch? Hell, have a cookie and some champagne. It'll be Valentine's Day before you know it."
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