Being single during Christmas.


One of the most popular Stuff Christians Like posts of all time was #550. Surviving church as a single. But one time, a friend who is single came to town for the holidays and I realized I had missed whole chunks of awkwardness in describing the bottomless joy that is “Being single during Christmas at church.”

So instead of simply remixing an old post, I decided to create a holiday-focused scorecard. Think of it like a seasonal ale they put nutmeg in during January. It only comes around this time of year. Without further ado, I give you:

Being single during Christmas at church:

 1. Someone tells you, “It’s tough to be alone this time of year.” = +1 point

2. They pat your head while they say that. = +2 points

3. They slap your butt like a football player after saying it. = + creepy

4. With bated breath, they ask, “Should I put you down as +1 for the Christmas party this year?” = +2 points

5. You good friends hold secret “couples holiday dinners” they don’t invite you to because they don’t want you to feel awkward. = + 3 points

6. They wince when the world’s worst commercials, Jared’s jewelry, come on TV and some horrible actress gets engaged right in front of you. = +4 points

7. If you’re divorced they tell you, “I think this year you should really ‘focus on you.’” = +1 point

8. They try desperately to find the silver lining and say things like, “It must be nice not to have to shop for anyone. My husband is so hard to get gifts for!” = +2 points

9. When you tell them you’re OK being single during Christmas, they give you a look that says, “You are such a liar. It’s impossible to be happy and single during Christmas!” = +2 points

10. They feel slightly guilty for watching romantic Christmas movies in your presence, like “Love Actually.” = +3 points

11. Someone tells you, “Being single doesn’t have to mean being lonely.” = +2 points

12. Your friends have stopped saying “When you get married” because they’re not sure you’ve got it in you. = +1 point

13. Your friends now say, “If you get married.” = +2 points

14. Your friends now give you the marriage kiss of death and simply say, “God willing.” = + 3 points

15. You are given some sort of cross stitched artwork that contains the verses from Proverbs 31 about how a woman should be. = +2 points

16. People tell you, “Maybe this will be your year” in the same tone baseball fans wonder if the Cubs will finally win the World Series this year. = +2 points

17. You attend a holiday themed church singles event that is billed as “Not just a Christian version of speed dating,” but is in fact, a Christian version of speed dating. = + 1 point

18. A friend emailed you the link to this post because they knew you needed it. = + 1 point

19. A friend emailed you the link to this post and suggested you troll the comments to find other like minded single people. = +2 points

20. A friend you only see once a year during the holidays, uses the S word when hearing you’re single. “Still?” = +1 point

21. People spend an exorbitant amount of time telling you marriage success stories, e.g. “The instant my friend Jill stopped looking for a boyfriend this incredible guy came along and swept her off her feet.” = + 1 point

22. You’re divorced and someone gives you the incredibly encouraging advice, “God will bring you someone who will overlook your past.” = + 2 points

23. This is the first Christmas you realized you officially crossed the age threshold. Instead of people saying, “You’re young, it will happen!” they now say, “Maybe you’re called to be single.” = +5 points

24. Someone makes a horrible joke about how this Christmas, you got the “gift of celibacy.” = +10 points

25. Married friends feel compelled to over tell you how difficult marriage is so that you don’t feel like it’s a winter wonderland of constant awesomeness. = +3 points

26. If you were given a kitten for Christmas people automatically think, “That was a doorway cat. You’re about to become the crazy cat lady.” = +5 points

27. For Christmas, someone gave you a book about dating that had a man or woman, alone on the cover staring out over a lonely windswept horizon, eating a Campbell’s soup for one, probably listening to the haunting melodies of George Winston. = +2 points

28. For Christmas, your friends bought you an annual pass to or another dating site. Your oldest relative asks “Are you on the Tender?” = + 5 points

29. They filled out your dating profile for you and made you sound 97% more awesome than you actually are. = +10 points

30. The profile photo they used on your dating page is at least 10 years old. = +20 points

31. At a Christmas party, someone tells you the wildly inappropriate compliment, “Where were you when I was single?” = + 2 points

32. People try to romanticize the tremendous amounts of free time you must have during the holidays without a family to bother you. = +3 points

Did I miss any? A lot of these were based on great reader comments, from folks like Ash and many others, so all the thanks go to them.

How did you score?

Have you ever heard anything like that?

What’s the craziest “single comment” you’ve heard?


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  1. Aimee says

    For context, I’m 27, and my sister who is 18 months older than me has been married for 9 years and has two kids.

    On Sunday, I was holding my one month old nephew, Dex, through church. I saw my grandma after church and walked up to talk to her. Then her monologue started. “You look like such a natural holding that baby in your arms! You’ll be a great mom! Now, Aimee, I think it’s time you lower your standards, find a man, get married already and start a family. It’s time. You should stop looking for perfect. Men have warts; you’ll just have to deal with them.” She was dead serious. I tried to recover from the conversation, when my very understanding dad stepped in to rescue me. He replied, “Sure, mom, let’s just get her married off to some man who’s probably gonna beat her, but, hey, he’s got a pecker so he can give her kids.” HA! I died.

    On that note, I left. Promptly.