When I told a friend of mine that I had written a novel called, Single by Christmas, she asked if I didn’t mean, ‘Married’ by Christmas. After all, she told me over the phone, isn’t that what happens with heroines in the type of book you write?
Well I had to point out to her that sometimes genres can be turned on their heads and for all she knew my heroine might just be married by Christmas because I’d managed to weave it into the story by way of a massive plot twist – the title might be red herring I told her.
After hanging up, I thought a lot about what she said. Chick Lit novels and the type of romantic comedy that I love to write usually call for a Happy Ever After, don’t they? But that made me wonder, should a woman go all out to find the perfect man in time for a big holiday like Christmas, in the tradition of true love, or does she forget about men and try for the kind of Christmas that everyone loved once upon a time – the Christmas that’s all about family and friends.
If you’re happily in a relationship then this won’t really apply to you, but I have a few single girlfriends who are not relishing another holiday season without the arms of a hunky guy wrapped around them. It’s not as if I don’t get that, but why put yourself under so much pressure when it is only one day after all? Somehow the true meaning of Christmas gets lost if all the single women are going Bridget Jones crazy and singing, “All by Myself” just because there isn’t a man around.
Instead, I say, down with love (or at least searching for it for a while) and get out your old turkey baking tray, Christmas cake recipes and invite family and friends over on Christmas day, instead. It’s the perfect time of year to catch up on old friends and people you haven’t seen in a while. So why not throw a party?
I remember moving to a new flat some time ago and when it came to Christmas I decided I’d invite lots of people around. I threw an open house party; cooked a big pot of chilli, a big one of mulled wine (which got topped up frequently) and opened my doors from the afternoon onwards. The idea was that people would come and leave after a while making room for the next bunch of people who came in. Trouble was, it was such a success, no one left and my poor little flat was bursting at the seams. But it was a great Christmas party and one I’d love to capture the spirit of again.
Mr Perfect or no Mr Perfect, you can still have a good time.
This year, I will be doing what I love to do best at Christmas time; every evening I get cosy on the sofa, lights on the tree twinkling and I indulge in a slushy film on the television. Then to top it all, on the day, I go crazy in the kitchen, whipping up a load of food for the family. Later I’ll be lying on the sofa in a daze while keeping a watchful eye on the Ferrero Rocher, hoping the rest of the family don’t eat them all before I have space.
Sounds pretty indulgent but that’s a Merry Christmas for me and I’m pretty sure that instead of trying to find Mr Perfect in time for Christmas, you’d have a great time with the people currently in your life and who already love you loads!