Here are some of the things Carla and I discussed. I believe that the pain of the season can be addressed by looking at, and attacking the four "p's": People, Prayer, Praise and Presents.
People. Don't try to go it alone this season. Actively seek fellowship opportunities, and spend time with family and friends, particularly those who understand your struggle and will encourage you. Feeling down? Get a kid fix. Borrow one of your nieces or nephews or godkids and see the season from a pint sized point of view. It's very difficult to be sad when you're around a kid at Christmas. Enjoy the wonder and the excitement that only children have.
But if people sap your energy, then avoid them. Take your Bible and a journal and spend the day--yes, I am saying this to singles--alone. Find a retreat center and concentrate on listening to God for a change, not jingle bells.
Prayer. Let God open a window to the world through your prayer life. Pray over our cities, our country, your family or the persecuted church.
Praise. Christmas is about celebrating the joy of Christ's birth, but not everyone celebrates in the same way. If you are part of a liturgical tradition, why not visit a charismatic church? On the other hand, if you're used to a more lively worship experience, check out a midnight mass or a Christmas cantata. Either way, you can see how the other half gets its praise on!
Presents. As the song says, you can't "beat God giving." Don't try. But you can give to God's Kingdom and to His people. If you can earn overtime pay during the holidays (perhaps by taking a married person's shift), use the extra cash for your church's capital campaign, adopting a foster child for Christmas or helping a foreign mission.
If you don't have the cash, try to make the time: take a senior to lunch or volunteer to drive to the grocery store.
Christmas celebrates the most amazing miracle of our faith: that the infinite Divine would want to connect with us. Why not use this time to connect with people, in prayer, or by giving praise or a present? I cannot promise that the pain that you may have will go away, but I can tell you that you will be glad you didn't miss the party. I know I won't. Hope to see you there, or if not, I'll catch you around the throne.
Need more resources? Check these out:
Single Roots.com Great blog posts for Christians about singleness.
The Singles Network Ministries
Energizer Bunny and singles' conference speaker Kris Swiatocho knows about and has information about singles ministries here and in Europe. She is also the author of Jesus, Single Like Me.
In the Baltimore-DC area? These churches have vibrant singles ministries:
Celebration Church WOW (Walking In Our Wholeness) Ministry
First Baptist Church of Glenarden Singles Ministry
St. John Singles For Christ
Mount Moriah Baptist Church L.I.V.E. ("Living in Victory Everyday") Singles Ministry.
M.O.V.E. ("Motivated Optimistic Victorious (men and women) Eager") Singles Life Changing Ministries