Work in a soup kitchen, and do other charity work -- you'll feel better by helping others, and you'll feel grateful that your situation, no matter how dark, is better than theirs
Stay away from carbs and alcohol -- they ease depression temporarily, only to greatly increase the depression once they've been metabolized
If you have to be with family and you don't get along with them, imagine them dead; if you never saw that person again, would you feel a pang of longing? If so, spend more time with that person, and savor the good moments and try to dismiss the bad ones
Think of the people who have made a positive difference in your life; get in touch with them, if you can, and tell them what they've meant to you
Take 5-HTP and St. John's Wort and DLPA. They'll help alleviate your depression, and they don't have the negative side effects of medical antidepressants
Exercise and sleep deeply -- both have a profound influence on mood
If other's holiday traditions aren't a good fit for you, start your own -- something enjoyable, meaningful, and repeatable, preferably something you can share with others; it can be purely secular, and not necessarily seasonal, but something that you can do every year from now on to make yourself happy, something that will nourish you emotionally
Keep a journal, and explore what may be at the root of your holiday blues -- and that may give you clues as to how to prevent or reverse them
Really, R1 is quite right. Miserable? Join the fucking club.
You are not alone. The holidays last a month. Christmas is a holiday for children really, so it's time to grow up. It's just not that big of a deal.
Enjoy the decorations, enjoy he carols, and keep away from stores and advertising. Take yourself on vacation if you can, and if you can't, prepare a nice dinner for yourself and enjoy it. Get a good book and distract yourself with that. Get a pet as long as you're serious about caring for it and loving it for it's lifetime.
I'm partnered but he is flying off to visit his family for Christmas and leaving me alone. It will be me and our two cats and two dogs. I had even taken Christmas week off for vacation dammit. Oh, well.
I don't want to board the animals, and I really don't want to go see his family. They're nice enough but I have nothing in common with them. I have no family and my friends have their own families and I don't want to feel like a third wheel.
I plan on making a fabulous dinner, getting an amazing bottle of champagne and maybe going to the movies. Maybe I'll make the "kids" a special meal.
R2 you sound like a bore.
Really OP, give us some details. If you aren't partnered and can't stand your own company, don't you have any friends to invite over or who would like to invite you over?
Learn to say no.
Don't participate in it.
I have real issues with the holidays, especially Christmas. This time of year really dredges up all the bad memories of my horrible childhood (alcoholic father and schizophrenic mother). I have no happy memories of Christmas.
It wasn't until I decided that I'd simply not participate did this time of year really stopped getting to me.
I don't buy gifts, I don't put up a tree, I don't listen to holiday music or watch holiday movies.
I also don't let people talk me into spending Christmas with them. This is probably the hardest part of it, since people get absolutely freaked when you tell them you don't celebrate. When I was younger I got so sick of people insisting that I couldn't spend Christmas alone that I started telling them why I didn't celebrate and most people couldn't handle that.
So now I lie. I tell people I'm going out of town or make some lame excuse. I just don't give in.
I now use the day to do projects around the house I've put off. Or I lay in bed watching DVDs or reading. If I have a chunk of time off like I do this year, I take a road trip and spend time outdoors.
Just find something you like to do and enjoy yourself and ignore everybody else.