"Home Alone" is a movie franchise that plays a little boy's being abandoned over Christmas for laughs, and thanks to Macaulay Culkin, we get to enjoy Kevin McCallister's solo holiday right along with him.
But as one of his co-stars from "Home Alone 2: Lost in New York," Brenda Fricker, recently noted, the reality of being alone over the end-of-year holidays is not usually a laughing matter.
Fricker played the pigeon lady in the 1992 sequel.
"I would be lying if I said that it would be a nice and happy Christmas because I'm one of those people, I'm old and I live alone and it can be very dark," said the 75-year-old Irish actor during an interview with Irish Radio 1.
It may be tough for even more people this year, thanks to COVID-19 restrictions that are keeping more families at home, rather than gathering in large groups with loved ones. Here are some tips on how to make things merry and bright if you're spending the next couple of holidays by yourself.
"I don't want to be sounding kind of negative. But it is a different kind of Christmas, that's all," she added.
That doesn't mean she hasn't tried to participate in the holidays this year. Fricker noted she'd "put up Christmas lights, give me some marks for that.... That's a huge achievement for me."
Still, her plans for Christmas and New Year's were to spend time with her pet, and not extended family.
"I just turn the phone off and put the blinds down. I prerecord some good programs and films. I have my dog and I get myself through it that way," she said.
Harder is New Year's Eve, she said, noting there's "no one to turn around to, hug or smile at" when the year ticks over and local church bells ring. "I can't get away from the bells," she said.
Looks like we're all having to muddle through, somehow — just like Judy Garland sang in "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas." Even in a non-COVID isolation year, some of our most beloved stars sometimes go it alone at the holidays: in 2012, Betty White also spent the festive days with her dog!