S1E6: Merry Crisis!
Updated: Mar 21, 2021
The last three months of the year are always so strange! (But looking back, as we consider the beginning of 2019… we didn’t know what we were in for the following year.)
What is with the time flying by? Holidays? Age? More to look forward to?
It can be a struggle.
Kinda sad and kinda lame, but we do have potatoes.
Different Holiday Traditions
Yes, Kaylee had it made in the shade for Easter fun. But it was awesome when it was a thing. Definitely helped her be a good FHE coordinator!
But either way, we grew up (college, etc.) and we found out that being an adult is really not that fun. Such a bother. And… most of it’s about food. It was a lot of food. A lot of what we do is affected by our parents’ choices with how much they want to put work into, and our local communities.
As for Tracy, she has her town’s favorite holiday, Gilford Old Home Day (last Saturday of August). Like Founder’s Day, but ‘the best day of the year.’ It starts at the Gilford community church with a pancake breakfast. Then the parade through the old village to the high school. Politicians are there to start their campaigns, lots of food, vendors selling kitschy things, etc. Tracy rocked out the parade many times. Also a road race of maaaaaaaaaybe 5k, no is sure. It’s a whole thing. Totally the best, bar none.
Kaylee and Tracy lived for Halloween growing up. Fortunately, Tracy has found a groove as she has gotten older. Candy, wear a costume sometime in the month, and watch scary movies. It’s very convenient in Florida because the theme parks start celebrating Halloween in August.
Dances were fun back then, except Kaylee didn’t care for SUU’s Howl. But hey, so long as you have people with you, then sometimes it can be a lot of fun.
Truthfully, since leaving school (or even longer), we do not care for dances. We don’t. We just don’t. We can’t. We don’t want them. Please don’t make us go.
Please give us a moment to call out Orlando Stake and their obsession with dances. You’re wrong. Dances don’t work. They won’t work this month to bring about marriages. They won’t work next month. And they won’t work the next month after that.
And now we’re here for Christmas. Everyone is talking about going home for the holidays around this time of year, which can be weird and tense. Especially for Tracy. Doing that just sounds like a nightmare.
The Worst During the Holidays
Holidays include a lot of opportunities to be with the family and loved ones. This can bring mixed feelings and topics that we, as singles in the LDS church, don’t particularly care to hear. Main topics include:
When are you getting married? You’re not getting any younger, you know.
Why aren’t you more like your cousin? He’s a doctor, you know.
When will you get a real job?
You’ve gained weight since I last saw you...have you been going to the gym or just playing on your cell phone?
When are you going on a mission?
It’s painful. It’s impossible to have a real conversation with them as family expects you to start toward one of these goals. No matter the type of religion you and your family may be in, there is often some version of these questions that we face.
No tea, no shade. But it can be nice when you’re seeing family for rare occasions (even if it’s just for funerals.)
“It can be so great to be together with family… Most families consistently get together for the holidays.”
Tracy only gets together with her family once in a while. Not a lot gets put together and few festivities go on with little planned. That’s the opposite for Kaylee. While it’s difficult to have conversations and spend so much time with family, she goes home for the big holidays and her family makes a ton of plans. It’s been about creating a balance.
“I love you but you’re hard.” Sometimes we just need space.
This Point of Singleness
For the last 5-6 years, Tracy always works during Christmas. (Kaylee has only ever worked one Christmas) That is one thing that has changed for Tracy and has helped her to focus on. There are more traditions for that holiday.
Kaylee loves not working and eating. Her family has a ton of traditions, especially for Christmas Eve.
Being Single Through This
“There is still the hard part. I’m single. I’m really single. Everyone knows it. But there are a lot of people who just don’t like it.”
They just don’t think we should be single during the holidays. Doesn’t being single mean being alone? Yes and no. Everyone thinks it is wrong to be single during the holidays. They tell us to just find someone for the holidays.
Cuffing season has come and gone. We hope it never comes back.
Okay, because Kaylee tries to avoid learning things like that, Tracy is here to fill us in with the details.
It’s like seeing a dead armadillo on the road. You’re not super sure that it is an armadillo but you know it’s dead. You get closer and then you get a glimpse and then you’re just done with it. That’s how Kaylee views a lot of things in her life like cuffing season.
“Ignorance is bliss and I’m about to lose that.”
Urban dictionary explanation of cuffing season: it’s during August and September so some say “may the cuff be with you.” Congratulations, everyone is learning this now.
“During the fall and winter months, people who would normally rather be single, or promiscuous, find themselves along with the rest of the world desiring to be cuffed or tied down by a serious relationship. The cold weather and prolonged indoor activity causes singles to become lonely and desperate to be cuffed.” - Urban Dictionary
Essentially, August and September is the cuffing season when the draft starts, like an NFL draft. By the end, you should have your cuff. For October through December, you have someone to get you through the holidays. Then in January, you decide whether or not you will end things or continue through Valentine's Day.
There is a lot of pressure for couples right around now. The closer you get to Christmas, the harder it can be. Kaylee has no desire for any of this while Tracy is madly cheering them on.
Having someone for the holidays can be nice. Your family can hate that you're single, unemployed, etc. or they’re hounding you as newlyweds expecting you to give them kids.
Make Holidays a Better Experience
As lonely islands (single, divorced, etc.), we don’t want people praying for us to find relationships. Unless it’s Chris Evans dropping down on one knee for Tracy saying, “Marry me, bitch.”
We know how good we are. We won’t settle for anything less. Captain America or nothing, man.
A Chance to Help Others
“Many who are single bring much-needed strength to family members and others, providing support, acceptance and love to nieces and nephews, brothers and sisters, and extended family members. Thus, in a sense, singles can do much parenting in their own right. As they do so, they can have a great impact because so often they can say things parents cannot say to their own children.” - James E. Faust
We are aunts or adoptive aunts. That’s something we can do! Kids need love and someone to turn to, so that’s something we can offer up to our loved ones during the holidays.
You can do that for kids even as a babysitter. Parents will do their best going into raising kids, but we will have a different perspective and ability to connect with kids who are not inherently our own.
As singles, we do have a very interesting perspective that we can share around us. Even with Kaylee’s younger brothers, she can give them more insight than what they could find from others.
A lot of the women who helped shaped Tracy to be who she is now, were single women!
“There were a couple women who I really looked up to as a little kid. One woman who really inspired me to get my YW medallion... She was single, an RM, amazing. Another woman didn’t get married till her thirties. She was so amazing, so smart and talented and so driven. She had an amazing life; she traveled everywhere and basically did everything I want to be doing with my life now. Those kinds of women were the type of women I looked up to when I was younger. Even during the holidays, these women were helping out with activities and offering advice. We could talk to them about everything. Now I realize that these women helped me to become the woman I am today. I don’t know if I would be the same way I am now without their example.”
Kaylee grew up in California with the ingrained idea that she would get married. Being single wasn’t even an option. “This is going to happen. It has to happen.” It wasn’t until she was older that she realized this mentality.
Over the last summer, she had the opportunity to spend a weekend with an awesome cousin who she’d never had the chance to spend time alone with before. She is older, (single?), living her life, and has lived a great life so far. Literally the prime of her life, she has such a great close-knit family and great friends.
“I’ve really looked up to her for the last ten years or longer. Ever since in my early teens I realized how fragile humanity and men can be and thought, ‘Oh. I might never get married.’ It hit me hard. I kept an eye on her and listened to what family was saying and wanted to know her perspective on what it means to be single. It’s not something to be ashamed of. It’s just a way of life and we’re all living our own way of life.”
There just haven’t been enough single people who have shown us how great being single can be.
Be An Asset
We can help others around us and set a good example. We can be the examples that we wanted. It’s ultimately what you want it to be.
“...Many single adults serve in stake and ward auxiliary positions. Many have desires to be married or remarried; however, they realize the importance of serving the Savior and in building His kingdom,” President Danielson said. “That service has brought them personal satisfaction and joy.
Sister Stewart believes that there is a greater effort in the Church to include singles and focus on their needs. She also believes they are able to fill roles that no one else can fill.” - Caresa Alexander
Just because we are single, we are not limited. There is so much we can do. Just because we don’t have a family, it doesn’t mean we are stuck. In ward and stake callings, we can do so much for each other.
Being Single Is Good
As singles, we have more of an opportunity to figure out who we are on our own.
How do you want to make an impact on others’ lives? In the church? We’ve had so many opportunities no matter if we are in singles’ wards or family wards.
Over the summer, Tracy got to speak to youth about being a missionary, going into YSA, going into the next phase in your life, and more. They all told her, “you have everything figured out. I want to be like you.” Cute.
We don’t need to focus on the negative of being single. Boo hoo, we’re alone. We miss out on so much when we do. Life is hard and so is being single. But you can still make it to be whatever you want it to be.
You can be with loved ones- friends and family. There are still parties, serving opportunities, and more. Gift exchanges, dinners, projects, and more. There is so much that we can do! You can make it be whatever you want it to be.
Our Favorite Holiday Traditions
Kaylee likes to do something else for Thanksgiving. She only cares about rolls in the traditional meals. But would rather do something else to enjoy. Sorry, Tracy. It’s too much heavy food for Kaylee. So she likes to do other cultural food. It started with her family being friends with Filipinos in the family ward who shared the best recipes, so her family would do it for the big holidays. It is usually Asian food. Lumpia, sushi, or ramen, please!
Also, Memorial Day is a three-day weekend adventure elsewhere for Kaylee. And on New Years', she goes to bed at 11:30 PM. It sounds like torture, but yessss.
Kaylee also started watching horror movies! PROGRESS. It is shocking.
For as long as Tracy has known Kaylee, it’s been clear that Kaylee is into the macabre and such. Memento Mori. But she couldn’t do horror! It has been years. Then like a snap of the fingers, something suddenly changed. Action to suspense to thriller to serial murders to ghosts. That makes sense, right?
Halloween was good to Kaylee in 2019.
Tracy, for Halloween, would watch the Universal monster movies with her father every year. She has started to do it again.
Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights is a must. When the Creature from the Black Lagoon blows you a kiss, how can life get any better? This year, Kaylee and Tracy chilled out for Halloween movies on Halloween night. All the horror movies!
Traditions for Thanksgiving have always been important because of her birthday. Pie and cake would happen. Tracy would make pizza cake (pizza in three layers) with her sister shortly after coming home from her mission, so that was an important tradition.
For Christmas, she watches the original claymation movies. Holla! Otherwise, it’s not Christmas. (Kaylee’s family just cares about Hallmark holiday movies.)
Haven’t seen Holiday in Handcuffs? IT WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE.
There is The Spirit of Christmas about a ghost love story during the 12 days of Christmas in case you need something to enjoy. It makes no sense. It’s hot garbage. It’s our kind of movie.
And for New Years’ Eve, it’s Chinese food for her and her family.
Make Holidays Our Own
Crows, piercings, and tattoos. Holidays, food, and trauma.
There is so much to enjoy and focus on. Move beyond what you don’t like, keep what you do, and create what you do want. The fun little things can make all the difference. Do what makes your heart warm!
“It can be fun just going through our single lives and realizing the freedom we have to decide what our own traditions are going to be. Take what you have experienced or take something new and do something with them.”
Tracy shares a story pulled from a talk that both of them heard from a young woman in their ward that they both really like. It’s a fun idea to do in your life, in your home:
She talked about how Christmas makes her think of Christ, the traditions, etc. She said every year her family has a tradition of setting a plate for Christ at the table, which is adorable. Then they all have a stocking they stuff throughout the year with acts of service, things they did to serve other people, ways they showed love to others, and ways they showed their love for Christ.
Then on Christmas Eve, they all open it together and read it together as a family. “Gifts for Christ.” You can do this as a single person, not just with a family. You can adapt that to your life. So cute.
One nice thing to do for yourself if you need a booster of all the fun you did and mark that down to review at the end of the year.
Bishop Wunderli, in Kaylee’s family ward growing up, had a stocking for Christ that they would hang up as well. For their holiday, they would use Christmas as a chance to give Him a gift. It was their version of a New Years Resolution.
It helps you to include Christ in your holidays, which can be hard to do sometimes.
We Can Do (Almost) Anything
Niche? Niche? Nope.
“They need to pray and they need to find their own niche.” “They need to find it through the gospel for themselves. If you are praying sincerely to be able to understand what the Lord wants you to do, you are going to be able to get those answers.” - Denise Stewart
Find what works for you. If it changes, that’s okay. Things are always changing in our lives. Having different experiences is important for our growth.
“We need to change the idea from surviving the holidays to enjoying the holidays in our mindset. The holidays really are a great time of year. Any holiday…. They are meant to be enjoyed. Even though you can’t be with the ones you love the most, when you're single, you make your own family with your friends. Friend holidays can sometimes be the best things you can have.”
Just do things. Carve your own friendship-families. Have gatherings in your own group that will make you all happy and help you feel the spirit of the holidays.
Find a way to create your own traditions. Serve other people. Take care of yourself. Find things to do that will help you feel true joy and happiness during the holidays.
The holidays don’t need to be painful. Don’t want to do anything? Then don’t! Pretend it never happened. Or if you want to go all out, then do that too. (Please share your gingerbread men).
Do things that make you happy this holiday season. Don’t care what people care about. Don’t do illegal things; it’s not The Purge. It’s a holiday for you to enjoy in whatever way YOU find best.
Be single. Be happy. And don’t listen to other people. Eat the gingerbread men and live it up. Be the grinch you’ve always wanted to be.