The Single Kringle: 5 Scenarios to Get Through the Holidays #SingleWithLeah

I love Christmas. Gosh, I love Christmas. I love when Target brings out all of their wrapping paper. I love the first snow and the cold, crisp air. I love the red Starbucks cups (don’t be crazy, Christians), I hate baking, but I love eating cookies, and I love Lifetime Christmas movies. I’m insane for the holidays.

But can I be honest with y’all? For many of us single peeps, the holidays can be a tough time of year. One of the most frustrating “holiday moments” for me happens at holiday gatherings where the first question I’m asked is, “So, are you dating anyone?” I mean, I guess it’s better than my grandma’s annual question of, “Have you gained weight? You look…fuller.”

Way back in high school I made up a fake boyfriend named Andrew Manzelli to make a guy jealous. I’m thinking about resurrecting Andrew Manzelli for the holidays. (Please note, if anyone actually knows Andrew Manzelli, please tell him I say hi and to hit me up asap since we’ve technically been dating for 15 years).

So today, sad single elves, we are going to talk about the 5 most common scenarios that have plagued me during the holiday season.

We are going to include an incredibly emotional response that would be fun to say, but maybe isn’t the best choice. And then we are going to end by receiving some solid advice about how to get through it without going to jail. Let’s get started.

Scenario 1

It’s your work Christmas party. You are somehow caught under the mistletoe with Ed from sales for the 5th time tonight (names have been changed to protect the innocent).

Emotional response: You’re lonely. Ed is lonely. Pass the eggnog. Let’s make out.

What you should do: Chop down the mistletoe with an axe. Or, with Axe body spray…whatever you have handy. Don’t give into Ed’s Decembeard or his adorable ugly sweater. Make a beeline for the nearest h’orderves station and make friends with some veggie pizza.

Added Bonus: Veggie pizza has so many vegetables on it that it’s virtually a salad and is guilt free. Go ahead, have a 4th slice. You’ve earned it.

Scenario 2

You’re unmarried, so people keep trying to sit you at the kids’ table.

Emotional response: Let it slip that Santa isn’t real. They’ll never seat you with the toddlers again.

What you should do: Let me vent for a minute. I was finally invited to the adult table a mere 4 years ago. Because of my lack of significant other, I have been grouped with 4-year-olds to 15-year-olds, many of whom ironically enough HAVE a significant other. So that’s been exciting. But, in this scenario of complete self awareness that you are alone and also not yet an adult, I say have fun with it. You have an opportunity to not spend the entire dinner talking about Donald Trump. Take the opportunity.

Added Bonus: Kids usually have first access to the food line. Take a lot of cheesy potatoes for revenge and when questioned about it say, “I’m a child. I’m still growing.” Potatoes for the win.

Scenario 3

Everyone says, “I bet by this time next year, you’ll be married!”

Emotional response: Calmly say, “I bet by this time next year you’ll be 20 pounds heavier!”

What you should do: Well, we have a few options here. You could burst into tears. That normally shuts people up. You could say that you’re seeing someone, but he couldn’t make it because he’s Jewish. (Ed from Sales, obviously). Or you could borrow my fake boyfriend, Andrew Manzelli. I have a stock photo picture of him. Let me know if you need me to laminate it for your wallet. OR, you could be rational (unlike me), and just reply with a very polite, “We’ll see!” I’d probably go with the Jewish boyfriend, though.

Added Bonus: If you can successfully pretend that you’re sad, Aunt Wanda will undoubtedly save some cookies for you to take home to ease the pain.

Scenario 4

You have to buy Christmas gifts for individuals, but only get one gift from couples.

Emotional response: Boycott gift giving like a good Christian would.

What you should do: For what feels like millions of years, couples have received individual gifts from singles, and have responded by purchasing one gift as a “from us” type of thing. What the crap is this witchcraft? I don’t want a “from us gift.” I want a gift from each of you. Why? Because I’m single and gifts are all that I have. Need an exciting solution? Ask for tickets to events, concerts, or sporting events that you want to go to. They’ll be forced to buy you two tickets. This plan is so ingenious that I’m actually impressed with myself.

Added Bonus: People generally buy better gifts for people who are single because they feel badly for them. Milk this mother for all it’s worth.

Scenario 5

Uncle Frank keeps emailing you promo codes for eHarmony’s holiday specials.

Emotional response: Create a profile for Uncle Frank on

What you should do: Listen y’all, last time I was on eHarmony I got matched up with two very special guys: 1) This incredibly handsome, yet very emotional man from Pittsburgh, who literally wept on the phone when he told me about seeing a dead dog on the side of the road. I’m not kidding. Wept. 2) My cousin. I’m kinda eHarmonied out. How to respond? Ask Uncle Frank if he has any promo codes for a wine club of the month.

Added Bonus: If you do decide to take advantage of eHarmony’s holiday deals, just know that going out with any guy is better than dating your cousin.

So here’s the bottom line…Christmas can suck big time. And hey, New Years can too. But they suck only if we allow them to. It’s hard to be alone, especially when you see other couples who are nauseatingly adorable (you could always throw snowballs at them, a thought that I’ve just had).

So what can you do to keep the holidays from being lonely? Believe that you, as you are, are enough. Become happy with yourself. See yourself with value and purpose. Give yourself the gift of giving yourself a break. Don’t look down on yourself. Give the same amount of love to yourself that you so freely lavish on others during this season.

But most of all, remember that each day is a new day with new opportunities for love in all forms. Don’t let your days be ruined by an idea (an idea that you’ll always be alone), that you’ll never find love, or that you won’t be loved in the right way. Instead, fill your head with ideas of the way God sees you:

Completely and absolutely worth it.

Ed from sales would agree.


Leah Barterian works as the Youth Program Director at Grace Christian Church in Metro Detroit, Michigan. She is extremely passionate about singleness, Red Wings hockey, social equality, and late-night snacking. She loves baked cheetos, puppies, and laughing at videos where people slip on the ice. She inexplicably hates black beans and humidity. Follow Leah on Twitter and Instagram @Leahbarterian.
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  • I haven’t laughed this much in a while. As a single woman, I can vouch for how real this is. Thanks for brightening up the season of, “do you think that if you were less independent, you’d have a boyfriend to bring to Christmas this year?” No, I don’t think that. Thanks though. Great article, Leah.

  • I love every word and I’m laughing with you not at you! Go Wings! — ❤ for those who don’t understand, well that’s their bag! Merry Christmas and Happy Blessings in the New Year!

    • June you CRACK ME UP! Thanks for always supporting me AND supporting the best hockey team in the world…except when you wore that CAPS jersey! We realllly need to chat about that! love you!

  • LOL! This is too cute and sadly true. But I definitely understand Leah. And I’m glad to know you have accepted yourself for the wonderful person that you are. FYI – Come and experience “The STinG” at Grace Christian Church beginning 2016 #shamelessplug

  • LOL! Creative and entertaining. Just a word from my experience…be glad they’re asking about your love life( as annoying as it is). When they quit, it means they’ve lost hope for you. From someone who was single until 39 1/2.

    • Thanks Betty! I don’t mind it too much, honestly! I know that people want to see me happy, and I want the same thing! It’s just funny to tease them about it sometimes. Thanks so much for your support!

  • All in all a good and funny post! I do have one comment; I could very well be the great looking but emotional guy. It almost sounds like you were making fun of him. I realize that kind of man may not be your style – I get that – but that doesn’t mean we deserve ridicule. My 2c

    • Oh no… I wasn’t ridiculing him at all. It was all meant in fun. I actually REALLLLLY liked this guy. Like a ton. He was a great man. Sorry about that! I’d much rather have an emotional man than somebody that I have to constantly be guessing how he feels! Thanks for the comment, Clarke!

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