So you’ve made it through Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas day! Congratulations fellow single! Hopefully you used some of the 12 Ways to Survive the 12 Days of Christmas from my earlier post and made it out relatively unscathed and feeling pretty good about your ability to proceed on into the new year. Oh wait, there’s one more hurdle in this holiday season… the dreaded New Year’s Eve party!
Okay, maybe that was a bit dramatic, but while you’ve likely spent the last week dodging invasive questions from your parents, grandparents, cousins and the like, New Year’s Eve is typically (in the United States at least) a holiday spent with friends. If you’re lucky (which I must be because most of my friends are wonderful and don’t give me a hard time about being single) then you don’t need to worry about your friends bothering you for not bringing a date to their New Year’s Eve shin dig. If you’re not as fortunate, then here are 5 ways to survive your next New Year’s Eve get together when you don’t have anyone to kiss at midnight.
- Remember what you’re really celebratingIt’s easy to get caught up in all of the glitz and excitement involved with ringing in a new year and it’s easy to forget that you’re not celebrating the midnight kiss. It’s merely a short tradition that follows years of social convention. Now, if you’re thinking that being around a bunch of kissing couples will forcibly remind you just how single you really are, take a step back and remember that the new year means you get a new beginning! God has given you the gift of a fresh start through Christ, and that midnight moment gives you the gift of a fresh start in the new year, so embrace that and start the year off with a positive attitude and hope for the future. God’s got you through this!
- Get some fresh airThere’s no hard and fast rule that says you MUST be in the living room or wherever everyone watches the ball drop at midnight. It’s okay to take some time out and get some fresh air (if you live somewhere that it’s cold, be sure you bring a jacket and maybe some cocoa). Step outside, look at the stars and thank God for the gift of a new year. Thank Him for getting you this far and making it through the past year (whether it was wonderful or difficult). The important thing is to retain your focus on what’s really important. I know that when I look up at the night sky and see all of the stars in the universe that God has created, it helps me to put things in perspective. You feel very small, but at the same time, if you focus your mind and heart on Him, you can feel His love and warmth burning through any coldness or bitterness that may be taking root in your heart. So get out there and take a break from the craziness of the celebration to reset your priorities and refocus on Him who gives you strength
- Choose your get together wiselyThis one may seem obvious, but when you’re assessing your options for a New Year’s Eve get together, take into account how you’re feeling. It’s impossible for us to feel happy and at peace all of the time. We are only human after all. God gave us emotions, the good ones, the not so good feeling ones, and every one in between. So get in touch with how you’re really feeling.
If you are on top of the world and feeling great about where you are in your life, then by all means pick the largest, loudest party you can find to channel some of your energy out to others and try spread some of God’s love to others in the process. If you recently went through a difficult break up and you really just aren’t feeling up to being around a lot of couples, then consider a smaller gathering with other singles where there will be fewer reminders that you don’t have a plus one. We go through hills and valleys in life and we need to respect how we feel at any given time. Just because it’s New Year’s Eve doesn’t mean that you need to just put on a happy face and throw yourself into a situation that may make you start out the new year with a bitter and cold attitude. God doesn’t want us to sulk because we aren’t where we thought we would be at this point in the year, so don’t put yourself in a situation where that will happen. Give yourself the best chance at a hopeful new year and consider your New Year’s Eve environment well.
- PrayThis one is kind of my answer for everything. Obviously prayer will help you to stay in touch with God and His plans for you. If you’re not sure where to go or what to do, then take some time out to pray about it. God is always there, and He’s always listening. He’s there even at midnight on New Year’s Eve, so there’s no need to leave Him a message and hope that He’ll return your call on January 2nd. God wants us to consider Him at all times. I know that this may sound a bit dramatic, some of you may be thinking, “umm, it’s just New Year’s Eve,” but for some people this time of year is extremely difficult and I want you to know that God is with you, even when you think He’s not. The way to really get in touch with Him is to pray. Also be sure to listen carefully for His response, which may come through reading His word or spending time among other, like-minded Christians who can help to fill you up with His truth, rather than tear you down. Keep that in mind as you enter the new year and know that God will always use everything for His good.
5. Change your New Year’s Eve plans
If you’re really in a bad place this year, then maybe it would be best to skip out on a New Year’s gathering altogether. Just to be clear, I’m not saying to hide alone in your apartment under a blanket and eat your weight in chocolate, while crying over pictures of you with your ex. I’m simply saying that maybe this year you need some extra time to process through things. If this year was a difficult one for you in the relationship department (especially if the wound is relatively new), then honor that and give yourself time to heal before surrounding yourself with happy couples who may make you feel bitter and angry. Don’t put yourself in a situation where the devil can get a foothold and use those negative feelings to pull you away from God and His plan.
Just because you may have committed to going to a party or whatever a few weeks ago, doesn’t mean that you can’t honor the part of yourself that needs a break. If you’re like me and hate backing out of your commitments, then make an appearance, but be sure to listen to how you’re feeling. Let the holy spirit guide you and let you know when you should leave. There’s no rule that says you must stay through until midnight. Spend some time with a few trusted friends or family members who can help to fill you spiritually. Spend some time alone in prayer and study God’s word to find what insights He may have for you in the coming year and embrace the fresh start through the new year with Christ at the wheel.
**The most important thing to remember is that God is with you, no matter where you decide to spend your New Year’s Eve, so let Him be at the center of it. Choose your New Year’s Eve plans carefully and allow God to fill you with hope as He blesses you with the fresh beginning of a new year! Who knows what or who God will bring to His table for you this year?