Duchess Digest: ‘Tis the Season

holiday-spiritWith the holiday season officially here, most of us are thinking about family. Opening gifts around the tree with loved ones, fabulous parties with friends (the family we get to choose) and delicious meals around beautifully set loving dining room tables. And once that commercial on television for the generic family of the Pillsbury crescent rolls ad is over, we’re even thinking of our own family and what the holidays will be like in reality (which is where I currently reside).

For many of us, especially all the single ladies, holidays can be stressful. Not only are we balancing work, trying to eat right during the seasonal gluttony, and shopping – but we’re also working our way through the most coupled up time of year, second only to Valentine’s Day. And while most of us are quite happily single all year long, there are certain times when we (okay I) can feel the pressure of the holidays. Questions about who we’re spending it with, if we’re bringing someone home or if we have that special someone to snuggle up to under the mistletoe can make even the sanest woman feel a little peeved this time of year. If you combine this with a well intentioned questioning mother or an inquiring nosy relative (you can select who this specific person is in your holiday life) it can mean a breakdown in what is otherwise a truly wonderful season of love and giving.

So what’s a girl to do?

Like all good advice, my well meaning but not always applicable answer is a combination of great communication and humor. I think it’s important, particularly in the case of pesky questions from irritating people, to be polite but clear about what is and is not acceptable questioning. Feel free to answer something snarky in the spirit of Bridget Jones if you are getting prodded more than a corralled Holstein about your single status. I have a very well meaning sister who often would make comments about the sad state of my turning up to yet another Christmas celebration solo. Especially last year when I was actually dating someone, but a someone who didn’t come home with me or invite me to come home with him. I finally reached a point where I exploded (not advised!). What I discovered, thanks to some heartfelt communication, was that it really was well meaning on my sister’s part. Taking the time to explain to her how the inquisition made me feel really helped us both to understand one another and have a better relationship. Instead of getting offended, I got honest, and it seemed to work well for both of us (and helped me see how much my sister really loves me which was a definite bonus).

There is plenty of time (i.e. the rest of your life) to worry about the perfect gift for the man in your life or to argue over whose house you’ll spend Christmas at this year. Revel in the perks that being solo offers this holiday season. And remember, it’s seeing and appreciating what we have that makes us women of great worth. (Oh, and a little sass and honesty can go a long way too!)

–Jill Brown

Jill Brown is a Los Angeles, California-based life coach and writer. She earned her Bachelors in Humanities and Sociology from USU and is a member of the National Association for Conflict Resolution and the Ladies Who Launch Network. She is the founder of “The Duchess Guide” a website dedicated to helping women become their most fabulous and unique selves. She is an avid outdoor enthusiast, traveler and health nut. When she isn’t writing or working on Duchess, Jill loves spending all her free time with her Labrador – Betty. For more on The Duchess Guide or Jill visit: www.theduchessguide.com

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