This might sound pathetic or grouchy, but I enjoy spending the holidays alone. Over many winters of being happily far from my family, I've tagged along on plenty of other people's holiday celebrations, and guess what? They suck. I've found myself trapped at a co-worker's parents' house discussing my cat's sleep schedule. I've been confined against my will at some acquaintance's house watching Dr. Doolittle with 12 people who don't even smoke pot. I've had to sit by and watch my boyfriend open all his Christmas presents in front of Mom and Dad, while feeling like a complete intruder on a family celebration.

And the entire time was spent wishing I could be spending my ONE free day off ANY WAY I WANT. I mean, why am I obligated to be miserable just so I don't have to be alone? The answer: I don't, and neither do you. It's your Thanksgiving, or Christmas, or Hannukah as much as it is anyone else's. So feel free to say no to your sister's boyfriend's parent's alcohol-free Turkey Day this year, and consider these tried and tested suggestions for eating, drinking, and entertaining yourself--on a deeply fulfilling holiday alone. KS

Home Spa Holiday

The best thing about the holidays? Nothing's open, you don't have to work, and what better excuse than "it's Christmas" to take a day off from writing your novel?

In order to fully enjoy a self-bettering holiday alone, make sure your house is clean and tidy prior to the day in question. You could easily fall face first into a suicide attempt if you find yourself scrubbing the toilet at two o'clock in the afternoon on Christmas.

Now you'll need some supplies: bubble bath, nail file, nail polish, pumice stone, lotion, face mask, Neutrogena body oil, hair highlighting kit, V05 hot oil treatment, tweezers, razor, champagne, orange juice, and an easy bake gourmet dinner (try a carry out deli dinner, See pg 41).

Give yourself a good $50 with which to rape the beauty aisle at Walgreens, and another $50 for food and drink. When morning breaks, jump out of bed excited, pour yourself a mimosa and get started on creating a new improved you.

Cheerful romantic comedies go great with your day of beauty, like Bridget Jones's Diary, Along Came Polly, Love Actually, Mr. Jealousy, Meet the Parents, etc.

You also might want a few marijuana cigarettes and a decent stock of booze. You're a modern day Joan Crawford without the horrible temper and adopted children, so own it.

To up the ante on your day of beauty, rent a hotel room, watch cable, masturbate, and enjoy the feel of clean sheets on your moisturized body as you drift off to sleep. Make your reservation now though, because hotels fill up over the holidays. And make sure their kitchen is open so you can (ahhhh!) order room service. KS

The Only Good Thing That Holidays Are Good For Are Videogames!

The only people who give a shit about Thanksgiving are turkey farmers, and other than Mormon housewives and toddlers, no one gives a flying fuck about Christmas, either. But with all that time off, now's the perfect time to get some serious gaming in. Here's how:

First: Pick up your holiday game(s) of choice. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II (due to the fact that it'll probably take billions of hours to complete) is a good choice, and remember: come Christmas, you're probably just going to get some lameass sweater from your mom, so might as well splurge on plenty of gifts for yourself. Prince of Persia! Metroid! A plasma screen! Shit, it's the holidays! Go crazy!

Second: Stock up on couch food. Cases of Pepsi and boxes of Easy Mac. When you're halfway through fighting the Balrog in Lord of the Rings: The Third Age, the last thing you have time to do is wait around for a 13-pound turkey to cook.

Third: Turn your phone off. Let's face it. Nobody's going to call. And if they do, they'll just want you to go to some stupid dinner and be with "friends" or "family"--and who needs either when you could beat Halo 2 on the "legendary" difficulty level instead? EH

Christmas With The Sopranos

You gotta be on top of this one, because you need at least four Sopranos tapes to make this a worthwhile exercise--so call your video store and reserve them (Movie Madness at 4320 SE Belmont, 234-4363 rents entire seasons in one shot), or buy a full season online (try ). Then stock up at the grocery store.

You'll need two bottles of red wine, salad ingredients, spaghetti noodles, tomato sauce, sausages, and sundae ingredients for dessert. (Tony Soprano loves sundaes--why don't you two enjoy one together?) Stay in your jammies and slippers all day, watch episode after episode of drug dealing, killing, and family dysfunction, and when you get hungry, take a break, uncork the wine, and cook up an easy meal. When you're tired and drunk, fall asleep on the couch. After this enjoyable day of loafing, you'll never want to be with your real family for the holidays again. KS

Can't Hack The Solitude?: Find An Insta-friend!

So it's finally come to this. Amidst all the turkey stuffing and Jingle Belling, you stagger home and find yourself alone on a holiday. Not bad until the deafening silence reminds you of your singularity one too many times. Cuckoo! There is a solution. What you need is an instant, disposable friend; someone you can relate to on the basis of humanity, sharing "one time I was so shitfaced" anecdotes and reflective personal disclosures like "Shit. I only got two swallows left in my forty."

Honestly, these people can be lifesavers. They are easily rustled up at various uniquely fertile instant friend locales. These include the skatepark under Burnside, My Father's Place, various taverns in Milwaukie, and the Skidmore Fountain. The list is by no means definitive. Branch out! A little caveat for those of you choosing to plunge the depths of buddy rustling; these people are real, will show up in your life again, and will assuredly confront you when you crawl back to your real friends. However, avoiding holiday isolation is certainly worth the small price of hurt feelings. LC