So You're Single at Christmas? So What?

They say Christmas is about giving, about sharing and about being with the ones you love, which is a load of sentimental old tosh. It's about getting drunk, receiving underwear you wouldn't be caught dead in and tolerating behavior from people you normally wouldn't be seen dead with.

Tis the season to be single, fa la la la la, la la la la.

I'm trying to get jolly, I'm trying to get in the Christmas spirit, I've decked the halls and I'm just about a mood swing away from decking Santa.

Christmas is the time when we sprinkle glitter on our troubles, cover all of our tears in tinsel and put fairy lights upon the fear of never paying off that overdraft or making next months rent.

I found my inspiration for my Christmas tree this year was eclectic but Gothic and it looks like I let Wednesday Adams, Miss Havisham and the Bride of Frankenstein loose with a glitter gun, some black tinsel, some midget mirror balls and eight little wooden Sumo wrestlers. Who needs reindeer's and pretty bows when you can have fat, half naked men hanging from your tree? I also did away with the fairy and instead have an uncomfortable looking Santa straddling a sturdy branch.

He looks happy, if a little shocked.

My tree looks like something Tim Burton would make an animated movie about and Helena Bonham Carter would consider wearing to an awards ceremony. Personally, I love it because it looks like Bob Cratchit swallowed a whole lot of Christmas angst and got sick on it, which is exactly how I feel this year.

They say Christmas is about giving, about sharing and about being with the ones you love, which is a load of sentimental old tosh. It's about getting drunk, receiving underwear you wouldn't be caught dead in and tolerating behavior from people you normally wouldn't be seen dead with. It's about pulling the wishbone from the turkey and wishing you'd had the finances to go and lay on a beach somewhere instead of wearing a stupid hat and playing endless games of Jenga with your spoiled eight year old cousin. The only thing that could make Jenga more interesting? Tequila shots and then watching your eight year old cousin take a drunken dive head first into the Christmas tree.

I am the gay gooseberry every Christmas. All of the smug married, the siblings, the civil unionists and the recently betrothed sit around the table and then there's me, the one that throws the table plan into disarray, the odd one out, the one of whom they do not speak or the one my grandmother once called "the gay version of Elizabeth Taylor". I actually loved that she said that at the dinner table one Christmas, it was the nicest thing anyone has ever said to me.

Admittedly my grandmother was talking about how proud she was of all of her grandchildren, how they had all settled, had families and were living lives of contented bliss and then there was me, probably drunk, possibly self medicating, most certainly coming out of a broken relationship or on the cusp of a short lived affair and stuffing my face with mashed potato. The only thing missing was a glut of diamonds and a wheelchair because otherwise I was a green eyed Liz Taylor doppelganger.

I'm dreading who I'm going to be compared to this year but I have a feeling it's going to be Lindsay Lohan.

I don't know why I always end up being single at Christmas? I think it may be because I ask for the most ridiculous things as gifts and it's hard for any person, however much they may be in love, to come up with world peace, an end to world hunger, a new government, an end to Kate Middleton's morning sickness and a white pony with wings, so I normally end up with a pair of mittens, an exercise DVD, a bottle of cheap whisky and a scented pillow.

The whisky I'll keep, the rest will all be re gifted.

Last year at Christmas I was lucky enough to be having some minor surgery the day before Christmas Eve so the whole festive period was spent in a haze of painkillers and mulled wine and Christmas Day became such a blur that I couldn't tell the difference between a turkey leg and the TV channel changer. Christmas can be stressful when you're single because not only do you have to contend with a mixture of looks of pity, puzzlement, disdain and downright terror from members of your family, you also have to politely refuse invitations from those who mean well but think that because you're all alone, you're just a single mince pie away from a suicide attempt.

I don't mind being on my own at Christmas. I actually look at everyone else around the dinner table and think thank god I haven't got to wake up next to you on Christmas morning. Being single at Christmas means never having to pass the cranberry sauce when all you really want to do is throw a punch. I don't have to "ooh and ahh" falsely about a gift I didn't really want and doesn't even fit me and I never have to apologize to anyone for embarrassing them with my drunken behavior. If there is going to be some Christmas spirit passed around then I'm damn well going to drink it and no one can stop me. I don't have to worry about overeating because I can choose the next time I want to get naked in front of another person and I certainly don't have to feel obliged to "put out" because my spouse bought me a new pullover.

Being single at Christmas also means you're never really going to be bought gifts for the home. No one with a heart is going to buy you a set of wine glasses because they probably think you drink far too much anyway, sets of cutlery are a big no no because everyone knows single people eat out of cartons and use their fingers and any type of scatter cushion is going to be useless because you're never home to scatter them.

A present for the home when you're single is tantamount to saying "we know you can't get a boyfriend but here's a toaster and a set of serving spoons".

I always ask for cash at Christmas and then I go and pay my rent with it and any gifts I receive get recycled on eBay. I always think eBay the day after Christmas is like a singles bar the night before Christmas. It's rammed full of things that not one wants being given away for far below their asking price.

So if you do happen to find yourself single this year and it's not of your own choosing, don't be

downhearted or depressed. Look at it as a positive, and if you just can't look at it as a positive, just wait until Boxing Day and then start shopping on eBay.