You would think that it’s Valentine’s Day that solo parents dread. After all, it’s the one day of the year when mushiness and romance are played out in exponential terms and the word “solo” or “single” seem to be considered The Status That Shalt Not Be.

Actually, it’s not V-Day that we dread. There are always plenty of other single girl friends to commiserate with and gay boyfriends to hang out and go boy watching with; plus, we can just go out on a date with our kids. V-Day is easy, compared to that other holiday—Christmas. The one holiday in the year that is celebrated at least three months before its actual date and reaches a frantic crescendo during the last few days before it—this one’s the killer. At no other time of year is the importance of “family” and “togetherness” more pronounced.

According to a recent survey by, 71 percent of single parents believe Christmas Eve is the hardest day to get through during the festive period.

Now, a decade running into solo parenthood, I know the nuances that come with being both a parent and a single person and how those two worlds can come together in a weird way during the maddening holiday season.

Read on for a few things I’ve learned along the way from experience, past mistakes, and other solo parents.

For more on solo parenting, read the articles linked below:

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Ana P. Santos is a freelance writer and publisher of Happy Even After: A Solo Mom’s Journal. The first of its kind in the Philippines, it takes a look at solo motherhood with equal helpings of reality and humor. Happy Even After: A Solo Mom’s Journal is available at Fully Booked and on-line at

(Photo from Mermaids courtesy of Orion Pictures)

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