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If You're Single, Treat YOURSELF To This For Christmas

Make sure that YOU are on your Christmas shopping list, sis.

Love & Relationships

My goddaughters’ mom thinks it’s comedy that I look for two different presents whenever my birthday rolls around. I mean, even though both of my “babies” and I are Geminis, it’s not like I give the 10-year-old and two-year-old the same present, so why should I get a collective one from them? Not to mention the fact that they really get off easily because I don’t observe holidays. Shoot, I better get my gifts (LOL)! And since I am single, I make sure that on my birthday, I gift myself as well. I mean, I love me — why shouldn’t I celebrate and treat myself?


Along these same lines, if you are someone who totally adores this time of year, while you’re out getting things for others, why wouldn’t you get a couple of goodies for you too? I totally think that you should, which is why I’ve got a list of 10 different ways for you to treat yourself this Christmas. Most are super affordable. All have their own special significance. And each will help you to feel good about the holiday season — even if there is no reason to use any mistletoe…quite yet.

1. A New Color

When you get a chance, check out an article that I wrote for the site a couple of years ago entitled, “Understanding Color Psychology Will Sharpen Your Lens On Life.” It can give you a bit of an intro, not just into what certain colors represent but why you might gravitate to the ones that you do, along with why that attraction might change from time to time. You know, something that I recommend some of the clients that I work with to do is to pick a color that represents where they are in their relationship in this season. Then I suggest that they get some things in their home that reflect that exact hue. For instance, if red is a couple’s “thing” because it represents things like love, passion, and courage, bringing some red into their bedroom could help to bring the energy surrounding those words into their dynamic.

Along these same things, why not “gift yourself” with a favorite new color this holiday season? It can help you to gain some perspective when it comes to how you want to end 2021 and also how you want to enter into 2022. It might sound odd on the surface, but I promise you that it can clear up a few things. For instance, while I’m more of a neutral kinda gal, I’m into brighter colors right now. I know that means that I’m about to show more of the extroverted side of my ambivert personality over the next few months. I can just feel it. More professionally than personally…but still. Anyway, this recommendation is totally free. Can’t hurt to give it a shot.

2. A New Bathrobe and Pair of Slippers

One of the best things about going to a high-end spa or hotel is those extremely comfy bathrobes. OK, so the one that you’ve got hanging on the back of your bedroom or bathroom door, how’s it currently holding up? Hmph. Do you know what’s a trip about those? We’re supposed to wash them every 3-4 wears (like our towels) and we’re supposed to get a new one every couple of years. Are you following through on either one of these things?

As far as slippers go, my nail tech gets pissed at me, almost every time I go to get a pedicure because she knows that I am barefoot all of the time in my house and she’s constantly reminding me of all of the bacteria and fungus that I could be picking up off of my floors. So, while socks are more my thing, a new pair of slippers can be a wise move for you too. Not only can they keep all of the “stuff” away from your feet but the warmer your feet are, the easier it is for blood to circulate to them which is good for your immunity in so many ways. (By the way, slippers need to be replaced every six months.)

3. New Bedding

Shoot, isn’t shedding 30,000-40,000 dead skin cells every minute of the day enough of a reason to not only wash your sheets every week but to get some new bedding right about now? At this point, I probably have more sheets than I will ever need yet there’s something about how different fabrics, colors, and patterns give me a different experience when I’m reading, watching a movie, or getting ready to fall asleep in my bed.

A part of the reason why I’ve written articles for the site like “12 (Affordable) Ways To Make Your Bedroom More Tranquil & Beautiful” is because, if you’re doing life right, you should be spending around one-third of your time in your bed (sleeping and/or sexing), so why wouldn’t you invest in the kind of bedding that beckons you to do just that? Bedding shouldn’t be treated like an afterthought. It absolutely should be a top priority purchase, at least a couple of times a year.

4. A New Journal

I’ve written about sex journaling (here), self-love journaling (here), and even vaginal mapping (here) for this platform before. A part of the reason is because, as a writer, I’m a huge fan of journaling. Also, because I’ve got several full journals at this point and I know for a fact that they helped me to write my past two books and a couple of ones that I am working on now, I know that journaling is amazing when it comes to documentation and reflecting on personal growth and progress. There are also studies that say journaling can help to tap into new levels of creativity; can better your communication skills; is excellent when it comes to reducing stress and anxiety levels; can assist with both setting and tracking both short- and long-term goals; can help to strengthen your memory; can boost your self-confidence levels and is a great way to spend some quality time with yourself as well.

That’s why I’m all about setting aside at least an hour a week to do nothing but journal. I also think it’s wise to get two new ones every year — one for your personal life and another for your professional life. It’s the kind of investment that is truly incomparable on every level. And new ones represent a fresh start.

5. A New “Symbolic” Gemstone

While a lot of people spend time understanding zodiac signs, I personally am more into understanding various gemstones. Not only are they beautiful to look at but a lot of them have some really profound meanings. I started doing this when I was reading about all of the different ones in biblical Scripture and I haven’t stopped since. Anyway, something that can be cool to do is to do your own research on them, meditate on a stone that you really gravitate to in this particular season of your life, and purchase a pendant, some earrings, a ring or bracelet that is made from that very stone.

Beadage is a website that has a list of over 100 gemstones and crystals, along with their pictures and meanings (you can look for yourself right here). Every year I do this and I adore, not just all of my pieces, but what they represented at each stage of my journey. It’s a beautiful tradition. (Etsy carries a ton of different options at affordable prices if you decide you want something but you’re on a really firm budget. Just go to the site and put the name of the stone in the search field.)

6. Some Sexy Underwear

Personally, I think it’s kind of crazy that some women think that lingerie/sexy underwear is unnecessary if no one is looking at them in it but them. Chile, I have so much stuff that it’s almost criminal at this point and I adore putting it on, just for myself. There’s something about wearing silk and satin in really sensual cuts and styles that affects my walk, my tone of voice, and my energy all the way around. Some of us really need to get out of the habit of thinking that sexiness is for someone rather than being just who and what we are.

A new stash of sexy underwear can certainly help to emphasize this very point. If you need some tips on how to make the best selections for your personal taste and body type, check out “Lingerie Hacks: How To Choose The Best Kind For Your Body Type.” Then check out “10 Black AF Lingerie Brands To Buss It In This V-Day & Forevermore,” so that you can support Black-owned businesses.

7. Some Takeout for the Week Between Christmas and New Year’s

I like to cook. So much that I do it, pretty much six times a week. One day a week, though, I will either go out and pick something up or have it delivered and, every time that I do it, I feel like I am treating myself. I know exactly what I’m getting. I don’t have to prepare it. And because of the containers that the food comes in, I don’t have to clean up afterward either. Although you may be with family and/or friends on Christmas Day, definitely set some money aside to order some food in the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day.

Don’t overthink it either. Choose whatever puts a huge smile on your face as you binge-watch a show, catch up on a podcast, or vibe to some of your favorite playlists. (If you’re still “iffy” about takeout right through here, check out “10 Safety Practices For Ordering Takeout (During A Pandemic)”.)

8. A Wine or Flower Subscription

Wine is packed with antioxidants. Studies show that it can help with your heart health, libido, digestive system, vision (because it reduces inflammation and oxidative stress that could damage your eyesight over time) and it can even help to prevent cancer cells from forming (and that’s just for starters!). Fresh flowers are a wonderful thing because they are proven to reduce stress and anxiety, plus they can improve your mood and even your memory! At this point, I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve emphasized the importance of celebrating yourself on this site.

In 2022, make it a practice to either toast your accomplishments (both small and large) with a new bottle of wine or end your week with some fresh flowers. You can make this really easy by purchasing a wine or flower subscription. They aren’t as expensive as you might think either. Some wine subscriptions are less than $20 a bottle and some flower subscriptions are under $40 a month.

9. A New Bank Account (and/or New Stock)

Something that I recommend married couples get is a sex jar (you can read why here). Something that I recommend singles do is have an account (or your own jar if you can keep it in a safe place and have the self-control to not take money out of it). No, not a checking or savings one (I’m thinking that is a given). I mean one that solely goes towards a plan that you have that you keep not manifesting because you think you can’t afford it — a trip, a class, funds to start an Etsy page or your own company…money that can help you to get to the next level in some area of your life.

While we’re on the topic of coins, something else that can help to make big things happen is investing in some stock. No time (or space) to get deeply into that now but man, speaking with a financial consultant about how to invest a few dollars can be truly life-altering (I know too many people in my life who can personally attest to this!). A good example is cannabis stock. Don’t let these white folks reap all of the benefits from investing in that lane. If you want to do more research in this area, click here, here, and here for intel on some of the best cannabis-related stocks to invest in right now.

10. A Spa Day

I recently read a tweet that said something along the lines of, “Next year, I’m done acting like waxing and getting my nails done is pampering. That is maintenance.” That woman and I definitely “see each other” because I’ve been on that page for quite a while now. Listen, I’ve only had a couple of full-on spa days in my life and they weren’t cheap. Oh, but they were super duper worth it. Even if you can’t make a spa day happen by Christmas — shoot, even if you’ve got to wait until around this time next year — definitely make it a top priority to book an all-day spa appointment sooner than later.

I mean, get a full body massage, take advantage of some aromatherapy, get a few facials (face, hand, feet, etc.), do some microdermabrasion — go all out! You’ll honestly need a good $600-1000 to pull it off but if you save $85 starting now until next December, you’ll have $1000 and $20 for a tip. It will remind you to really indulge yourself, hold you accountable to saving for it, and remind you that your beautiful single self is totally worth it. Happy Holidays!

Featured image by Getty Images

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You may not know her by Elisabeth Ovesen – writer and host of the love, sex and relationships advice podcast Asking for a Friend. But you definitely know her other alter ego, Karrine Steffans, the New York Times best-selling author who lit up the literary and entertainment world when she released what she called a “tell some” memoir, Confessions of a Video Vixen.

Her 2005 barn-burning book gave an inside look at the seemingly glamorous world of being a video vixen in the ‘90s and early 2000s, and exposed the industry’s culture of abuse, intimidation, and misogyny years before the Me Too Movement hit the mainstream. Her follow-up books, The Vixen Diaries (2007) and The Vixen Manual: How To Find, Seduce And Keep The Man You Want (2009) all topped the New York Times best-seller list. After a long social media break, she's back. xoNecole caught up with Ovesen about the impact of her groundbreaking book, what life is like for her now, and why she was never “before her time”– everyone else was just late to the revolution.

xoNecole: Tell me about your new podcast Asking for a Friend with Elisabeth Ovesen and how that came about.

Elisabeth Ovesen: I have a friend who is over [at Blavity] and he just asked me if I wanted to do something with him. And that's just kinda how it happened. It wasn't like some big master plan. Somebody over there was like, “Hey, we need content. We want to do this podcast. Can you do it?” And I was like, “Sure.” And that's that. That was around the holidays and so we started working on it.

xoNecole: Your life and work seem incredibly different from when you first broke out on the scene. Can you talk a bit about the change in your career and how your life is now?

EO: Not that different. I mean my life is very different, of course, but my work isn't really that different. My life is different, of course, because I'm 43. My career started when I was in my 20s, so we're looking at almost 20 years since the beginning of my career. So, naturally life has changed a lot since then.

I don’t think my career has changed a whole lot – not as far as my writing is concerned, and my stream of consciousness with my writing, and my concerns and the subject matter hasn’t changed much. I've always written about interpersonal relationships, sexual shame, male ego fragility, respectability politics – things like that. I always put myself in the center of that to make those points, which I think were greatly missed when I first started writing. I think that society has changed quite a bit. People are more aware. People tell me a lot that I have always been “before my time.” I was writing about things before other people were talking about that; I was concerned about things before my generation seemed to be concerned about things. I wasn't “before my time.” I think it just seems that way to people who are late to the revolution, you know what I mean?

I retired from publishing in 2015, which was always the plan to do 10 years and retire. I was retired from my pen name and just from the business in general in 2015, I could focus on my business, my education and other things, my family. I came back to writing in 2020 over at Medium. The same friend that got me into the podcast, actually as the vice president of content over at Medium and was like, “Hey, we need some content.” I guess I’m his go-to content creator.

xoNecole: Can you expound on why you went back to your birth name versus your stage name?

EO: No, it was nothing to expound upon. I mean, writers have pen names. That’s like asking Diddy, why did he go by Sean? I didn't go back. I've always used that. Nobody was paying attention. I've never not been myself. Karrine Steffans wrote a certain kind of book for a certain kind of audience. She was invented for the urban audience, particularly. She was never meant to live more than 10 years. I have other pen names as well. I write under several names. So, the other ones are just nobody's business right now. Different pen names write different things. And Elisabeth isn’t my real name either. So you'll never know who I really am and you’ll never know what my real name is, because part of being a writer is, for me at least, keeping some sort of anonymity. Anything I do in entertainment is going to amass quite a bit because who I am as a person in my private life isn't the same a lot of times as who I am publicly.

xoNecole: I want to go back to when you published Confessions of a Video Vixen. We are now in this time where people are reevaluating how the media mistreated women in the spotlight in the 2000s, namely women like Britney Spears. So I’d be interested to hear how you feel about that period of your life and how you were treated by the media?

EO: What I said earlier. I think that much of society has evolved quite a bit. When you look back at that time, it was actually shocking how old-fashioned the thinking still was. How women were still treated and how they're still treated now. I mean, it hasn't changed completely. I think that especially for the audience, I think it was shocking for them to see a woman – a woman of color – not be sexually ashamed.

I hate being like other people. I don't want to do what anyone else is doing. I can't conform. I will not conform. I think in 2005 when Confessions was published, that attitude, especially about sex, was very upsetting. Number one, it was upsetting to the men, especially within urban and hip-hop culture, which is built on misogyny and thrives off of it to this day. And the women who protect these men, I think, you know, addressing a demographic that is rooted in trauma that is rooted in sexual shame, trauma, slavery of all kinds, including slavery of the mind – I think it triggered a lot of people to see a Black woman be free in this way.

I think it said a lot about the people who were upset by it. And then there were some in “crossover media,” a lot of white folks were upset too, not gonna lie. But to see it from Black women – Tyra Banks was really upset [when she interviewed me about Confessions in 2005]. Oprah wasn't mad [when she interviewed me]. As long as Oprah wasn’t mad, I was good. I didn't care what anybody else had to say. Oprah was amazing. So, watching Black women defend men, and Black women who had a platform, defend the sexual blackmailing of men: “If you don't do this with me, you won't get this job”; “If you don't do this in my trailer, you're going to have to leave the set”– these are things that I dealt with.

I just happened to be the kind of woman who, because I was a single mother raising my child all by myself and never got any help at all – which I still don't. Like, I'm 24 in college – not a cheap college either – one of the best colleges in the country, and I'm still taking care of him all by myself as a 21-year-old, 20-year-old, young, single mother with no family and no support – I wasn’t about to say no to something that could help me feed my son for a month or two or three.

xoNecole: We are in this post-Me Too climate where women in Hollywood have come forward to talk about the powerful men who have abused them. In the music industry in particular, it seems nearly impossible for any substantive change or movement to take place within music. It's only now after three decades of allegations that R. Kelly has finally been convicted and other men like Russell Simmons continue to roam free despite the multiple allegations against him. Why do you think it's hard for the music industry to face its reckoning?

EO: That's not the music industry, that's urban music. That’s just Black folks who make music and nobody cares about that. That's the thing; nobody cares...Nobody cares. It's not the music industry. It's just an "urban" thing. And when I say "urban," I say that in quotations. Literally, it’s a Black thing, where nobody gives a shit what Black people do to Black people. And Russell didn't go on unchecked, he just had enough money to keep it quiet. But you know, anytime you're dealing with Black women being disrespected, especially by Black men, nobody gives a shit.

And Black people don't police themselves so it doesn't matter. Why should anybody care? And Black women don't care. They'll buy an R. Kelly album right now. They’ll stream that shit right now. They don’t care. So, nobody cares. Nobody cares. And if you're not going to police yourself, then nobody's ever going to care.

xoNecole: Do you have any regrets about anything you wrote or perhaps something you may have omitted?

EO: Absolutely not. No. There's nothing that I wish I would've gone back and said to myself, no. I don’t think at 20-something years old, I'm supposed to understand every little thing. I don't think the 20-something-year-old woman is supposed to understand the world and know exactly what she's doing. I think that one of my biggest regrets, which isn't my regret, but a regret, is that I didn't have better parents. Because a 20-something only knows what she knows based on what she’s seen and what she’s been taught and what she’s told. I had shitty parents and a horrible family. Just terrible. These people had no business having children. None of them. And a lot of our families are like that. And we may pass down those familial curses.

*This interview has been edited and condensed

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Feature image courtesy of Elisabeth Ovesen

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