发布时间：2020-01-26 19:25:57 点击：357590
Christmas on one’s own has a bad reputation, for reasons I understand but will never accept. How To Cope With A Solo Christmas is a headline that turns up this time every year, studded among the 10 million other headlines about the “easy” way to cook a Christmas dinner for 35 people, and how to buy the perfect present for every person you know. Quite why these ambitions, which should only ever be attempted by the certified insane, are presented as normal and universal, while staying in alone and eating all the mince pies is pitiable, is just one of the many things about Christmas this Jew will never get fully on board with. Other Christmas mysteries, for the record, include why shepherds were watching their flocks in late December and, while Google solved for me the mystery of what myrrh is (“natural gum or resin”), I still have no idea why anyone would bring it to a baby. (“Hi Mary, I wanted to bring some onesies, but the shop was fresh out. So here’s some resin.”)A lot of the anti-solo Christmas prejudice is based on another assumption I firmly reject, which is that being alone means being lonely. I lived very happily on my own for 15 years, and I suspect that the only people who equate solitude with sadness are jealous of those who have the courage to choose a less traditionally sanctioned path. Sort of like how it’s always the parents of the nightmare toddlers who insist that without children one’s life is meaningless. Oh pity those childless friends, jetting off to Thailand for Christmas, instead of cooking a dinner for 35 and wrapping 212 presents!Christmas has become a fixed idea in people’s minds, a kind of checklist of stereotypes forged over the decades by Charles Dickens, Hollywood, advertising and cookery shows. The chaotic kitchen, the warm glow, the awkward racist relative, the overstuffed fridge followed by the overstuffed turkey and the overstuffed people, and, most of all, the family: the idea that Christmas should be endured at least as much as enjoyed is as tenacious as the assumption that children are an essential component in a fulfilled life.I have had many big family Christmases and, no question, they can be wonderful. But throughout my 20s I often chose to do Christmas on my own, and I am here to tell you that a solo Christmas is awesome. One Christmas Day was spent on a beach in Goa, lying in a hammock and re-reading Kathleen Winsor’s bodice-ripper, Forever Amber. I managed to cope. Other years I stayed home, eating the king of meals – a jacket potato with cheese and beans – and watching as many of the 10 greatest Christmas movies as I could before my eyes fell out (counting down, Bad Santa, Gremlins, Edward Scissorhands, Elf, It’s A Wonderful Life, Scrooged, Trading Places, White Christmas, A Christmas Story and The Muppet Christmas Carol. This list is scientifically proven and cannot be argued with).There is, of course, a difference between choosing to spend Christmas on your own and having aloneness thrust upon you. One year I arranged to meet a friend, C, in Delhi. C had suffered from addiction problems, but he’d cleaned up and we were going to spend a few days together, celebrating his triumph. But when I landed in India another friend called t快乐十分胆拖玩法一注 o say C had died, possibly from an overdose. In shock, I booked a hotel, thinking I would numb out to CNN as I waited for my flight home, soothed by the sweet tones of Anderson Cooper. But then Benazir Bhutto was assassinated, so the only thing to watch on TV, to distract me from my friend’s sudden death, was millions of Pakistanis mourning another sudden death.It was a strange Christmas, but, surprisingly, not a bad one. I thought about C, and the Christmas at home I wasn’t having. But I also read a lot, and in the evenings went to a curry house where the waiters got to know me well enough to put in my usual order as soon as I walked in. On my last day, waiting for my dal, they gave me a box of Christmas crackers as a leaving present.Family Christmases are wonderful, but I opted out because I needed to break out of the familial role I constructed for myself as a child, and few occasions make you fall more easily into those roles than Christmas. Really, the holiday should be about rest, recovery and happiness, and sometimes being alone is the best way to find that.Now I have a family of my own, solo holidays are off the table. But when I think of that night in Delhi, emotionally wrung out but starting to get better, pulling crackers with a waiter, I know that was my most pure Christmas.