Christmas is a season of stereotypes. Popular images abound of happy families gathered around hearths and holiday tables. To the unattached, the whole country appears to be paired off – a giant Noah’s Ark. Yet with more than 90 million single or divorced people in the United States, images of holidays as totally family-oriented and couple-centered are outdated and ripe for revision.
“We’re in a transition time, societally, where we still think about holidays as if we all grew up in these nuclear families with a bunch of kids and low levels of divorce,” says Bella DePaulo, author of “Singled Out.” “But demographics are changing. Our ways of celebrating the holidays are also changing, but we don’t have a new set of images or ideas for these changes.”