Home Alone for the Holidays

For many young adults, going home for the holidays isn’t always an option: for those still in college, homework and take-home exams can often cast a dark cloud over otherwise joyous celebrations; for adults just joining the workforce, the sudden change in lifestyle can make abandoning a new job for a week untenable; and for any newly-independent adults simply seeking to strike out on their own for the first time, spending the holidays away from family might just be a way to acclimate to a new life. Whatever the reason, the fact remains that sometimes – for better or for worse – sometimes the holidays are passed alone.

For myself, this has typically been the case these past few years; because of a mix of lack of foresight, laziness, and general desire to be left alone, I am only ever really able to make it back home for one of the major holidays (Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, etc.) at a time. Traveling during the holidays can prove to be such a hassle that I mostly choose to opt out of it altogether instead. What this has resulted in is a great many holidays spent in an empty apartment, as most – if not all – of my housemates choose to return home for the holidays.

That it is a solitary, lonely experience comes as no surprise. In the land of almost nonstop capitalism, walking around empty shopping centers and seeing all the storefronts closed can almost be disconcerting. Typical haunts, usually so full of life, are instead cold and quiet. It is a humbling experience, and in a time of year where consumerism is at its most rampant, it can be a breath of fresh air to walk around empty streets and remember how little we may truly need to be happy.