If a lonely Christmas sounds as awful to you as much as it does to me, it’s really awful to hear about how many guys tend to experience one during this time of year. After all, Christmas is supposed to be a joyous holiday, celebrating friends, family and a bunch of other traditions, not all solemn and blue.

Unfortunately, mental health issues and depression know no limits, which is why having a lonely Christmas is so prominent in men. I don’t know if it’s a combination of the weather, being away from family and/or friends, the holiday traditions some feel like they’re missing out on or what, but it’s becoming a bigger issue these days, and here’s to hoping that stops soon.

Since we wanted to know what it is that leads some guys to having a lonely Christmas, we surveyed 1,000 men between the ages of 18 and 40, asking them what exactly it is that brings them down this time of year. Our results are below.

As a side note, for any men out there who do feel lonely this Christmas, don’t hesitate to email Harriet Sugarcookie at harriet@sugarcookie.com. Every year, Harriet opens up her inbox to guys who email her and are down in the dumps about having a lonely Christmas, so send your messages and know that you’re not alone this year.

How many men said they have a lonely Christmas?

According to our research, having a lonely Christmas is more prominent than you might think. In fact, it’s an even more popular feeling than not feeling lonely.

Based off of the respondents we talked to, a whopping 80 percent of men have experienced a lonely Christmas at some point in their lives, and an additional 50 percent of men expect to have a lonely Christmas this year. This is worrisome, and something that we hope can get reversed more than becoming the norm.

Where are lonely guys at during Christmas?

Naturally, we wanted to know why so many guys thought they have a lonely Christmas. That meant asking our respondents where they’re actually going (or not going) for the holiday. That’s because, when most people think of having a lonely Christmas, it typically means being alone in a house without other people around, no presents in sight and no decorations to bring some cheer.

That’s not always the case, though, based off of the men we spoke with.

According to our survey, while 35 percent of men did admit that they’ll be all alone on Christmas, 50 percent said that they would be with family this year. Yes, it’s shocking that 1 in 5 men will be along this Christmas, but it’s even more surprising that some will feel like they’re having a lonely Christmas while surrounded by loved ones.

The reasons for this varied, with some saying they didn’t feel close to their family, while others said they were with just one relative or, yep, even spent the holiday with an ex.

Other guys admitted they have other reasons for having a lonely Christmas, with 30 percent of respondents saying they’d be working, 21 percent say they’re anti-social, 14 percent live abroad, 10 percent just don’t like Christmas, 9 percent don’t have family, 8 percent don’t celebrate the holiday and 14 percent having other excuses.

Is there a way to beat this lonely Christmas feeling?

While it definitely sucks having a lonely Christmas, it doesn’t have to be bad. That’s why we wanted to ask guys what they did if they were all alone during the holiday, with a lot of them giving some pretty interesting ideas to pass the time and not feel so isolated; hopefully.

Here were some of the top responses from the men we talked with about having a lonely Christmas.

  • 53 percent play video games
  • 37 percent watch TV
  • 36 percent watch porn
  • 27 percent don’t mind being alone
  • 25 percent drink alcohol
  • 7 percent use webcams
  • 5 percent use escort services

Considering gaming is now the world’s most popular form of entertainment, and it’s interactive when playing online against others, it’s not surprising to see it fall in the top spot.

What may be a little shocking is the high percentage of guys who watch porn when having a lonely Christmas. OK, maybe not how many admit to it, but that more don’t admit to using interactive porn like webcams or escort services to help stimulate them without being solo.

Don’t be shy about talking about having a lonely Christmas

As we mentioned above, there are people who want to make sure you don’t have a lonely Christmas, guys — with Harriet Sugarcookie being towards the top of that list. But she’s not the only one out there who wants you to feel special this holiday season, so make sure you speak up.

Here’s the thing about guys: most of them won’t speak up or do anything if they’re going through a lonely Christmas holiday. That’s right from our research, because one in three respondents (71 percent) said they’ve never invited a lonely person to join them at Christmas. That may not be because all guys are jerks, but rather because others don’t know that people are having a lonely Christmas, as most men don’t speak out about it.

If more guys opened up about their feelings and were honest about their loneliness, they may find that other friends, colleagues or acquaintances feel the same, and they could break their lonely Christmas together by spending time with one another instead. So don’t be afraid to speak up, gents.

Instead of having a lonely Christmas, is there something you can do instead?

Outside of speaking up more about having a lonely Christmas this year and, maybe, joining a buddy who’s alone to celebrate — which is definitely encouraged — there are plenty of other things you can do, too. It’s just a matter of being proactive and getting a little creative.

Some simple solutions for overcoming a lonely Christmas are doing things like volunteering, using technology or organizing an event, among other options.

Volunteering won’t only make you feel good on a day where we’re supposed to be grateful, but it can also introduce you to some cool people. Using technology will help you interact in a different way than usual, so, if even if you’re a bit socially awkward, you can FaceTime with people, play video games or even use MeetUp.com to see what things are going on around you for others having a lonely Christmas. Finally, organizing an event is a way to bring everyone together on Christmas so not to feel alone. It can be an ugly sweater party, a dinner or, well, anything you want to celebrate.

Now that you’ve got the stats and some tips on how to overcome having a lonely Christmas, here’s to utilizing our advice and making this year a little bit better than the others. And, remember, if you still choose to or are forced to have a lonely Christmas, make sure to message Harriet Sugarcookie at harriet@sugarcookie.com and she’ll write you back to remind you you’re not alone at all.