Christmas is here. Have you been touched by the holiday spirit yet?
I certainly have although...well, Christmas is always such a sure thing. There's absolutely nothing whimsical about the holidays anymore. No surprises and no variation. I always know it's coming and it always involves some hassles and pains.
Even still, it's a time to rejoice. Christmas lights make for some aesthetically pleasing walks through town centres. Carols are always a delight and sharing the holidays with family and friends is almost as good as receiving the presents they're obligated to give.
There are some people, however, who will spend Christmas alone this year. Their walks through beautifully lit streets will be dampened by the lack of family or friends. Hugs will be non-existent and so, unfortunately, will be the presents.
Some of you reading this might be away from home for the first time ever, and if you've yet to find a group of like-minded orphans with which to share the holidays, here are five ways you can make Christmas Day just a little less lonely.
Note: These are merely suggestions and they have yet to be tested. I have yet to spend a Christmas alone and when I do, I'll likely spend it watching Home Alone on repeat (not suggested).
Eat a lot. Because friends can be eaten. Everyone knows the best way to combat loneliness is to keep eating. Food fills all forms of terrible loneliness. For best results, eat an animal of some kind, like a turkey or chicken (preferably the whole thing), so you can at least pretend you knew each other before you devour it.
Go to the bar. Where so many other orphans will be. Booze. It's the great friend magnet and that magnet is never stronger than in times of true loneliness. Here, you may find that group of like-minded orphans you had not yet met. Perhaps you will sit among them and establish bonds that will transcend borders, time and space.
Or, perhaps, you'll find the love of your life playing darts all by himself (herself). Perhaps you'll make eye contact with him (her) from across the room and point to your drink, now three quarters empty. Perhaps, he'll (she'll) bring you one and the two of you will discover you have everything in common, leading to a deep connection that results in the conception of your first child — though hopefully not on that same night.
Or, perhaps, you'll spend the whole day on a stool at the bar purging your misery upon the friendly bartender, who'll escort you to the cab loop at 10:35 p.m. But, hey, at least you had company.
Go to the movies. Because everyone has a friend in Hollywood. Okay, so you can't be with your family. So what? There's no greater manifestation of Christmas spirit than a vengeful computer hacker solving murders. Granted, movie fair is a little weak at the moment — it's been a weak year for movies all around — but all your favourites are in town: Alvin, Kermit, Robert Downey, and don't forget the entire population of Hollywood in New Year's Eve.
Alternately, you can rent every great Christmas movie ever made and sit at home watching those. For maximum effect, combine this option with the first because nothing beats a night home alone with Macaulay Culkin and an entire roast chicken.
Cook a meal and advertise. Because friends can be bought. Breaking into a social circle can be very difficult if you're new in any town, so why not create you're own social circle? There are bound to be several other Christmas orphans facing a lonely holiday, especially in a transient town like Whistler. So, make plans for a full-blown Christmas dinner and advertise through posters and Craigslist for any one looking for some friends. You may want to make this a potluck if you're hurting for cash but for best results it's better to pay for the whole feast yourself, depending on how desperate you are. A word of caution though: you may attract some unsavoury characters looking for a warm cup of soup. But, look, beggars can't really be choosers.
Hire an escort. Because they're paid to care. Now, this doesn't have to be a sexual encounter. Why not just hire someone to accompany you to dinner and maybe a nice stroll under the Christmas moonlight? If you want to end the night in the boudoir then, hey, it's your $750. We won't judge. (See page 121 of this magazine).