We use to be normal. We did all the normal people things. But then we got bored. So we started doing weird things, just to aggravate normal people.
We do not celebrate holidays like most people do. We have fun at work for our clients but we still keep it pretty simple. I love the earthy winter type holiday decorations, but we don’t decorate much at home, even everyday stuff is pretty basic at home and the shop. Simplicity is my style.
When it comes to most holiday activities we just don’t have the desire to participate. We find other things more fun. Like after-holiday clearance, I like a fun scavenger hunt. Forget tracking down hidden eggs, we like finding the good stuff 75% off. Now that’s fun!
But there is this expectation of participation in holiday activities. Christmas especially. While we are Christians, we do not celebrate the birth of Christ and I don’t buy the story he was born in December either. But it coincides with Yule and well, you know the deal.
We had fun the first few years of Christmas as a family. We started a few traditions even. But it kept getting more and more stressful. Hoarding gifts you eventually forget about instead of giving when you buy. Standing in the toy aisle on Christmas even trying to figure what to buy when you don’t need or want any of it, you are broke, but you are short 3 gifts to make it even for everyone. Staying up till 2 am Christmas Eve eve to finish gifts and literally sewing your thumb (true story)
As we scaled back Christmas I realized my children didn’t mind. We don’t deal with the peer pressure of school but we aren’t isolated either. We never did Santa, but I always felt bad for some of the children who did. The really good kids who were expecting Santa or bring them some desired but impractical gift only to discover Santa gives gifts based on income and not character. And I felt even more empathetic for the parents who want to give their children the world but know they only have enough to pay the high heating bills winter brings. The expectation of the Christmas spirit has made Christmas less fun. I am certainly not a Scrooge, but we buy things just because. I didn’t want my children to feel entitled to gifts.
We don’t trick or treat, but we love tricks and treats and dressing up on our own time. We enjoy Christmas lights and usually take tours 3 or 4 times each season. There is no big dinner on Thanksgiving unless we meet with friends, then it’s like any other time two or three large families converge for meals.
When it comes to holidays we pick what we like and leave what we don’t. So this year we will buy colorful lights that will stay up all year and leave the trees outside in the ground. We will make or buy gifts when we feel prompted. We will stock up on low cost turkeys and hams. We will make green bean casserole every Sunday and eat candy corn in January.
Because we can.