7 solo Christmas tradition ideas to help you make the most of the big day

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Lauren Geall
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No matter where you are or who you’re with, these festive tradition ideas are here to help you make memories during what may be the strangest of Christmases.

No matter where you live, who you’re with or what your plans look like, Christmas is going to look a little different for all of us this year.

It’s OK to be sad, angry or disappointed about that. After the chaotic year we’ve been through, the last thing any of us could have imagined was that our Christmas plans would be whipped out from underneath our feet at the very last minute.

But just because this year’s celebrations are going to look a little different, doesn’t mean there aren’t things we can do to try and make the most of it. Indeed, while spending the day away from our family may make the completion of some traditions slightly tricky, we have the opportunity to start new traditions – ones which can be done no matter where you are or who you’re with.  

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Not only is starting new traditions a great way to keep yourself busy this Christmas, but it’s also a great way to harness the mood-boosting benefits of ‘anticipated nostalgia’ – when you do something in the knowledge that you’ll be able to look back on it fondly in the future.

With this in mind, we’ve put together this list of solo tradition ideas to help you make memories during this uncertain time.  

  • Cosy up with a book

    A woman reading a book underneath a Christmas treee
    Solo Christmas tradition ideas: cosy up with a favourite book.

    What better way to celebrate the cosiest of holidays by snuggling up with your favourite book? Whether you choose to re-read a classic or pick up a new Christmassy read, make sure you treat yourself to an equally festive hot drink and don your comfiest clothes to make the occasion extra special.  

  • Play a festive game of I-Spy

    A woman looking at Christmas lights
    Christmas falls on a weekend in 2022, which means we get a substitute bank holiday to make up for it.

    If you want an excuse to get out of the house, why not take a stroll around your local neighbourhood to enjoy all the Christmas lights and decorations? Not only is heading outside for a solo walk good for your mental and physical health, it’s also a great opportunity to take your time and admire all the decorations you might have previously walked past.

  • Do a Christmassy puzzle

    A collection of puzzle pieces with fairy lights in the background
    Solo Christmas tradition ideas: tackle a festive puzzle.

    Give your mind a festive workout by picking yourself up a ‘Christmas Day’ puzzle. This is a particularly great activity to do in the evening when you’re feeling full and need something to help you wind down before bed. If you want to up the ante, why not tuck into a chocolate selection box at the same time? Go on, you deserve it!

  • Cook your favourite meal

    A woman cooking a bowl of pasta with a glass of wine
    Solo Christmas tradition ideas: cook your favourite meal.

    One of the best things about forging new traditions is that you get to spend the day doing everything you love. If you’re not a big fan of the usual turkey roast, why not sack that off and treat yourself to your absolute favourite meal instead? You could even create your very own festive buffet out of all your favourite foods or do some Christmas baking instead – there are no rules here!

  • Treat yourself

    A woman online shopping with a Christmas tree in the background
    Solo Christmas tradition ideas: enjoy some online shopping.

    Indulge in some well-deserved self-care this Christmas by treating yourself to an extra-special gift. Whether you decide to wrap it up and open it on Christmas morning or prefer to do some sales shopping on the day itself, Christmas is a great opportunity to celebrate yourself and everything you’ve been through in the last year. 

  • Take time to reflect

    A woman writing in a notebook
    Solo Christmas tradition ideas: practise gratitude by reflecting on the positives of the past year.

    2020 may have been a pretty rubbish year by all standards, but that doesn’t mean we can’t take some time to appreciate the good among the bad. Why not treat yourself to a new notebook and spend 15 minutes or so writing down all the positive things that have happened over the last year? Not only is it a great way to reflect on everything that’s happened, but it can be a seriously good mood-booster

  • Get a takeaway

    An Indian takeaway
    Solo Christmas tradition ideas: order your favourite takeaway.

    If you don’t fancy cooking a ‘traditional’ Christmas dinner, why not opt for something completely different and order in a takeaway? It takes away the stress of the Christmas food shop and means less washing up – what’s not to love?

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Lauren Geall

As Stylist’s digital writer, Lauren Geall writes on topics including mental health, wellbeing and work. She’s also a big fan of houseplants and likes to dabble in film and TV from time-to-time.