How I’m Spending My Christmas

by Gray Cargill on December 21, 2010


Are you single?  What do you do for the holidays?  This has been a dilemma for me my entire adult life. I’d say 80% of the time, I’m pretty content being single, but there’s something about the holidays that just makes me feel like the odd woman out in a game of musical chairs.  Generally, my family has a big “family Christmas” gathering around Thanksgiving, so we all get to see each other, but then spend Christmas in our own homes.  When my cat was alive, that was fine with me.  She was my furry “kid”, and I wanted to spend the holiday with my kid.  After she passed away in 2006, I’ve been a bit at loose ends. I spent two Christmases with my ex-boyfriend’s family. They were lovely people, but the emphasis that was placed on expensive gift-giving at a time when I was having financial problems was stressful for me.

The following year, I discovered the joy of traveling during the week between Christmas and New Year’s (when my office is closed anyway).  I went to New Orleans that year and loved it.  I got to explore a city I’ve always wanted to visit, which kept my mind off the fact that it was the Christmas season.  Somehow, I feel less alone when I travel than I do if I’m at home for the holidays.

Las Vegas

Las Vegas

So this year, I’m doing something I’ve wanted to do for the past 10 years:  Spending Christmas in Las Vegas.  Las Vegas doesn’t shut down for Christmas, which makes it a great place for people to go who want to “opt out” of the traditional holiday.   I’m hoping to do some live tweeting and blogging from Las Vegas while I’m there.   If, between opening presents, visiting family, and stuffing yourselves silly with Christmas ham and cookies, you would like to follow along on my Vegas trip, you can follow my tweets at and look for blog posts at my Vegas blog, The Vegas Solo.

What do you think about singles opting out of a traditional Christmas and traveling for the holidays?  Have you done it?  Would you?

Alicia January 11, 2011 at 6:26 am

Christmas is always so special for me even if you are single, married etc… When I was still single like you traveling is really my way and meeting people is something else. What makes it more extraordinary are the bunch of foods you get to taste the whole season. I went to Las Vegas ones but never got the chance to enjoy because I went there for work and it was Christmas.

Nomadic Matt December 24, 2010 at 5:08 pm

Spend xmas at the buffet!

SoloFriendly December 29, 2010 at 11:54 pm

LOL. All day?

Sabina December 24, 2010 at 3:29 am

Gray, if I’d known you had a separate Twitter account for the Vegas website, I would have followed you long ago. I knew Christmas would be hard away from home, but…oh, boy. Well, next year I’ll probably be back. I’ll probably just sit on my computer all Christmas day. I don’t know what else to do. Maybe go to Dubai? Gross. Anyway, I hope you have a wonderful Christmas in Vegas!!

SoloFriendly December 29, 2010 at 11:53 pm

Thanks, Sabina! I had a very nice Christmas in Vegas. It’s actually a good place to be solo for the holidays.

GRRRL TRAVELER December 23, 2010 at 7:12 am

ha ha.. well, you got your “Where will you be for the holidays?’ post out before mine! I’ve traveled for Xmas– to Hawaii or Las Vegas but always traditionally with my family. This is my one MAJOR HOLIDAY and my ritual is broken this year. I”ll be abroad… well, stuck abroad.

I send warm hearts and hugs to you tho. Holidays for singles are where we really “feel” it and then try not to. In NYC i’d often SLEEP Thanksgiving away, treating it like it didn’t exist. I think you totally rock for using it to fulfill one of your travel goals, Gray. 😉 Merry Xmas!

SoloFriendly January 2, 2011 at 5:57 am

How was your holiday, Christine? Yes, you’re right–the holidays are when we really feel our singleness. I, too, have slept through and pretended holidays didn’t exist. Vegas was actually a great place to spend Christmas, for the most part.

lilmissdisney December 22, 2010 at 5:15 am

Not too long ago I would have never considered spending the holidays alone but the last couple of years I have spent them with just me and my kitty and I really enjoy it. I have been recently thinking about spending a future holiday traveling. It sounds like it would be wonderful. I hope you have fun!

SoloFriendly December 23, 2010 at 2:06 am

I”m thinking you’d love WDW at Christmas. I’d like to try that one of these years, though I imagine it’s quite crowded.

lilmissdisney December 30, 2010 at 5:46 pm

I usually go to Disneyland every year around Christmas. It is the best time to go! I’ve never been on Christmas day though. I hope to go to WDW around Christmas one year. That would be the perfect place to go my first Christmas away from home!

Anonymous December 22, 2010 at 1:02 am

Vegas sounds like the absolute ideal place for a single person to go, be surrounded by the holiday cheer without any of the stress and consumerism obligation. Sounds like fun, happy holidays and perhaps you’ll beat the house and come home with some cash 😉

SoloFriendly December 23, 2010 at 2:05 am

Well, there is some irony in that I’m rejecting the consumerism of Christmas by spending it in a highly consumerist touristy destination. 🙂

Becs December 21, 2010 at 11:28 pm

Are you traveling on Christmas? I always do and love it! Way less stress and everyone is always in a good mood. Have a good time!

SoloFriendly December 23, 2010 at 2:04 am

Where are you this Christmas, Becs?

Becs December 23, 2010 at 6:09 pm

Always go to San Francisco to see my sister. My parents and I always travel on Christmas Day as it’s way cheaper!

Alouise December 21, 2010 at 9:23 pm

Vegas for Christmas sounds like a great idea. I’ve never opted out for the holidays either. One year I’d like to spend Christmas somewhere were there isn’t 6 inches of snow of the ground. I’m sure you’ll have a fun time.

SoloFriendly December 23, 2010 at 2:03 am

Oh seriously. Christmas on a tropical beach has a nice ring to it.

GlobalButterfly December 21, 2010 at 4:05 pm

Haha, I say go for it, sounds like fun!

Vegas Solo December 23, 2010 at 2:01 am

Thanks, Andi. So far it’s fun.

SoloFriendly December 23, 2010 at 2:03 am

Oops. Forgot who I was for a minute there.

Lisa E December 21, 2010 at 2:36 pm

I think that what you’re doing is a great idea. Sounds like fun and Vegas seems to be the perfect place for that sort of timeless moment where whatever is going on elsewhere doesn’t really matter.

I’ve never opted out, but I have a friend who did it for many years. She would pick a country and go…and each time, she had a blast. I’m sure you will, too!

SoloFriendly December 21, 2010 at 2:56 pm

You’ve never opted out? But surely you’ve been on the road during the holidays, maybe coincidentally or accidentally?

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