No Christmas plans? Twelve ideas for holiday orphans

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Watch the Yule Log in HD.

So you’re not going home for Christmas. You have to work, you hate flying, you can’t afford the fare, your family moved and didn’t give you a forwarding address, you forgot about the thing all together. Whatever the reason, you’re sending out a pity party invite right now on Facebook. Unplanned, maybe, but the Big C doesn’t have to be a total bummer, and you’ve got a full 24 hours to get your festive s**t together. To help with the last-minute plans, we’ve come up with a list of a few great things to do on the big day. Try ’em and it might not be the worst Christmas ever (it could even be the best).

1. Spend some money on yourself: half of whatever a cab to the airport would have cost.

2. Have a potluck dinner party with all your other dispossessed friends, and make it a White Elephant party—where everyone brings a truly terrible re-gift from their latest Secret Santa.

3. Make a thermos of some steamy drink, and go to Dyker Heights and see the crazy decked-out Christmas mansions (and find some place to eat).

4. Skype your family. It’s free to download. I know you know this, but tell your aunt (walking her through it could be your day’s activity.)

5. Call all your friends. Especially the ones you have been meaning to call for months (years). Either they won’t answer, and you can leave a message and be off the hook for another couple months, or they will answer, and you’ll have a great conversation and remember why you are/were friends in the first place.

6. Volunteer. Go to an elderly home and chat, drop off some presents for kids or do any of these other good deeds.

7. Get out a good sob in your bedroom. Not in a sad way—it’s therapeutic. And you get bonus points on a holiday. Here’s a list of 10 depressing Xmas songs if you need a hand.

8. Go out for Chinese—find a Jewish friend or date and go for Dim Sum or one of these.

9. Watch the Yule Log in HD. No TV? Try this.

10. Bake cookies.  Your favorite kind, or any of these holiday ones, or any of these interesting ones. Then you have three choices: a) eat them all. You deserve it! You’re solo on Christmas! b) Have friends over to eat them with you, or c) Give them out at random—to people you work with, your bodega owner, children. (Note: the children probably won’t eat them because their parents have trained them not to, but it will feel nice and Christmas-y to try it anyway).

11. Go to church. Pray for all the real orphans.

12. Cook up a gourmet meal. Try a challenging recipe from The Culinary Expert. And if you don’t come out top chef, it’s not like you have a family to feed it to—order Chinese.

And here’s Newyorkology’s listy-list of all things happening tomorrow in the city. Merry Christmas, everyone!

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