by Jackie Potts
The twinkling streetlights, scent of cinnamon almonds, the warm coffee drinks, and psychotically cheerful Old Navy holiday ads. They’re oh-so-jolly, but when you’re single, far from family, or stranded by Sandy, these holiday hallmarks can make you feel as ornery as Will Ferrell’s “Elf” nemesis, Miles Finch.
“It’s hard to be single on the holidays, because it’s cold and there’s no one to cuddle with,” groans Stephanie, 22.
“I book trips and extra activities on the weekends, because I can’t stand to be home alone,” agrees Todd, 35.
Both guys and girls we talked to admitted being single and lonely this winter, making us pull on our white lab coats and wonder: Is there a scientific reason behind these holiday relationship blues?
Turns out there is: Holiday depression is more prevalent in northern climates once daylight savings kicks in and sunlight hours shrink. One survey indicated that about 6% of New Yorkers may actually have clinically diagnosed Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, compared to just 2% of Floridians, according to an article at EverydayHealth.com. Another 18% of New Yorkers noted milder symptoms, and 35% were reportedly too polite to complain, yet couldn’t stop stuffing themselves with peppermint bark.
You could do pig out on carbs, haunt happy hours, and throw yourself at indifferent exes or boozy coworkers. Or try something fun and flirty like joining one of the hundreds of Meetup.com groups around the country: Examples: The Brooklyn! Marriage Proposal Flash Mob, 1001 Things To Do To Make Me a Real New Yorker or on the West Coast, the L.A. Tennis Group or Los Angeles Hiking Group. You could also throw a holiday party for friends at a favorite dim sum resto, or get some new holiday Intros on MeetMoi.com. Take it from Buddy, don’t be an angry elf!
Jackie Potts is a blogger and Santa’s Helper at Marketsmiths.com