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Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree 2013
Photograph: Filip Wolak

22 things single people know to be true during the holidays

By Tolly Wright
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Yeah, yeah, yeah, the holiday season is a romantic time of the year. Folks in relationships think the twinkling lights, cheerful music and hands to hold mean it’s a magical month. But single folks know a different set of truths about December

1. It's pretty satisfying to go ice skating alone and zip past those slow moving couples and their horrid children, but nobody will buy you hot cocoa after you slip and fall on your ass.

2. Those holiday cards from happily married couples make decent napkins when you spill red wine.

3. You have a definitive ranking of which relationships from Love Actually you’d actually want to have, which you’d settle for, and which disastrous ones you’re destined to live. (Looking at you, Nanny McPhee and Professor Snape.)

4. You have a playlist of Christmas songs you can dance to alone in your room.

5. You have a playlist of Christmas songs you can get laid to.

6. You have a playlist of Christmas songs you can cry to.

7. Matching his and her sweaters are hideous, and you and your imaginary significant other would never stoop so low.

8. Eggnog and candy canes is a perfectly acceptable dinner.

9. It’s a hell of a lot faster to weave through window-shopping tourists when you don’t have to hold hands with anyone.

10. Going on a date with a different person on each of the eight nights of Hanukkah is a totally normal tradition.

11. You must force a friend to swear they’ll be your back-up New Year’s kiss before you can seek out the two or three people at the party who you might actually want to french when the ball drops.

12. That guy who you went on two dates with and felt blah about suddenly becomes someone with potential after your meddling aunt/grandma/married coworker asks if they can set you up.

13. A holiday bonus is a great reason to treat yourself to a cat.

14. When you run into an old flame while one or both of you is visiting family, you’ll start to wonder: Does Boston to New York really count as long distance?

15. Single children get big ticket, we’re-worried-about-you gifts from mom and dad, while marrieds get fancy tea towels.

16. With no romantic partner to judge you, you’re free to watch Star Wars in theaters as many times as you want.

17. Winter solstice means it’s acceptable to head to the nearest hook-up bar before 5pm.

18. No one looks sexy dressed up like Baby New Year, but that dude will totally go home with somebody anyway. 

19. It’s never a good idea to go home with a coworker after an office holiday party, unless they’re looking really cute in that Santa hat and you've both had too much to drink.

20. You will check out all the guys selling Christmas trees and wonder if they could be your boyfriend.

21. You will watch When Harry Met Sally and wonder if there is a platonic friend in your midst who you should try to make your significant other.

22. That every time you go online to buy holiday presents, you will instead buy something for yourself, because you deserve it, damn it.

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