This year, I made a decision to celebrate the Winter Solstice instead of Christmas. To be completely honest, the origin of this decision is based in the fact that this will be my first Christmas as a single person. I’m very scared to go through December 25th in the same way that I have, but without the traditions that I’ve formed and have now been lost. Because of that fear, I’ve decided to mix things up this year and celebrate December 21st instead.

It really isn’t that crazy, because I’m not religious at all. The actual meaning of Christmas doesn’t hold meaning for me, and I also really love the changing of seasons. Until now, though, it never bothered me that I was celebrating a religious holiday with no personal beliefs. And I realize that’s hypocritical, but I also know that I need to do this for my own sanity this year. Next year, I might go back to celebrating the same day as everyone else, but it just has to be a little different this year.

When I went shopping for greeting cards, I was in the mind set of looking for things that were generically “winter” themed, and not “Christmas”. As I was walking through the store aisles, I saw this colorful twinkle light wrapping paper, and I stopped dead in my tracks. I first thought that this was the most perfect wrapping paper I’d ever seen, and then I thought how it was much more “Christmas” than “winter”. But then I realized that it doesn’t matter what things are labeled as. I celebrate whatย I want to celebrate, and that’s really all that matters. Why would I pass up the prettiest wrapping paper in all the land because it’s not what I had envisioned originally? That would be ridiculous.

It’s an interesting concept, though… taking the aspects of things we enjoy, and collecting them into what we celebrate andย who we are. We do it all the time! I may identify as a liberal, but I don’t agree withย everything that liberals are “supposed to” believe in. I consider myself to be an artist, but not every aisle of Michaels interests me. There are an infinite amount of ways to do things, and the ways we decide upon are a big part of who we are, and that’s a beautiful thing.

My point is, that you can do what you want to do. If you’re Jewish or an atheist, you can still participate in Easter egg hunts, and if you only have a stuffed otter or dog, you can still celebrate Party With Your Bear Day. Don’t let silly things like semantics and logistics limit your opportunities for fun.

So my cards might not say “Merry Christmas” inside them this year, and you might get them a few days early, but I’m not turning away anything Christmas related just because. I strongly welcome cards with beautifully decorated Christmas trees and really encourage you sending me pictures with a blinking Rudolph nose. Create your own traditions, drawn from any source of inspiration. Let your name represent a hodge podge life of all the things that matter and make sense to you. Commence Holiday Mode.