How to Have a Great (Office) Christmas Party for One
You're about to feast on your fish and chips when you overheard someone from the other table. The Great British office party is endangered, if not long gone. You would recall last day in the office, which seems like many moons ago. You have been stressed out, and you have answered the call of your ex-colleague. She's having the time of her life in Krabi, teaching English to polite (Thai) kids. A daily dose of the sun and sea might be the cure. It didn't last long, though. You've outgrown the spicy food, warm pool, and smiling locals. And you didn't get used to the monsoon season. Then and there, you would realise that you should be your own boss. You must have done it earlier, but it would be better to be late than sorry. A Christmas Party for one didn't cross your mind, though.
You must not be glum about the thought, as the number of freelancers in the United Kingdom is on the rise. It has nothing to do with Hester Shaw. (And you've been wondering if Peter Jackson isn't a huge fan of Victorian literature.) It has nothing to do with another Marguerite Duras biography, about the agony that she has gone through while waiting for her husband (after having been caught by the Nazi soldiers). It would be your roommate during your university days, a huge fan of French Cinema, who describes the surreal shots of a deserted street in Paris. But nothing beats foggy London. You've been thrilled to see it on the big screen. (You have seen "Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald" twice.) And it has nothing to do with the long wait for the firework display. You're digressing, which happens frequently. It's one of the upsides of working on your own, but you haven't given much thought about that party of one.
You must thank your lucky stars that you won't participate in one of those so-called charming panoramas: A mid-market bar, which may (or may not) be far from Borough Market, tired office workers clutching on bottles of beer, and awkwardly looking at colleagues who would try not to look stupid during that supposedly festive moment. Going Han Solo has never been so good.
That Party Feeling (without Going to the Office)
Accept an invite from an ex-colleague's party. You have feigned illness, if not cite your best mate, when a former workmate would invite you to a party. You shouldn't pass it out this time. You might not have experimented on your own Christmas entertainment, but it can wait for another year. Nothing beats company, yet you're not guaranteed a good one. (You're envious of your ex-colleague, who is off the market.) You might have a great time, and you wouldn't know until you go to THAT party.
Gatecrash into someone's party. It could be your idea of a perfect Christmas party, as you thrust yourself into a roomful of strangers. And you might find the love of your life. You may have seen "Love Actually" one too many, but suspend those romantic notions. Someone may turn out to be a valuable contact in your network, so keep an open mind. Do your best to be perceptive to their gestures (or facial expression). And don’t forget to smile a lot.
Do your own secret Santa. There’s no need to send an online (Christmas) greeting card to everyone you know. You can sneak a (Christmas) gift, if not a (Christmas) greeting card, on the front doors of your neighbours’ flats. If your (former) university is not far from your place, then you can do it on your former professors. (And you may encounter your former coursemates who are pursuing a graduate degree.) Do this thing randomly. Don't let the cold (and gray weather) turn you into a grouch. Do wear a Christmas jumper.
Celebrate Christmas on a budget. There's a pound store, where you can buy cans of beer and soda, as well as bags of chips. (If it's too far from where you live, then there must be a Tesco Express on the next block.) It's about having a great time, where you don't have to spend at all. You can watch "It's a Wonderful Life" one more time, also Danny Boyle's "Millions". You can listen to "Merry Christmas Everybody" (by Slade).
Invite your fellow freelancers. This is probably the best option for the likes of you, where you can hit two birds with one stone. It should be exciting if you think about it, as you would expand your network. And you might have one collaboration that should yield good results. (You may be tempted to think of your next holiday, which should be on the Western Hemisphere. Don’t think about it. Yet.) You deserve a break, so try to have a good time.
Parties Are Not for Christmas
You have encountered Giving Tuesday on Twitter, prompting you to wonder if gatherings are not for Christmas. You should have guessed it a long time ago. It doesn’t suggest a Job Club in the works, though. You need a diversion. It’s time to break the ice (one more time). Think of Star Wars.