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What’s all this, then?

Back around Christmas of 2010, my daughter (who was then a freshman in high school) came home and told me that a classmate said that non-Christians “weren’t allowed” to celebrate Christmas. In response, I told her that we were going to celebrate EVERY winter holiday the following year. I was being sarcastic at first, but when we considered how much fun it might be to try it, I decided to actually give it a shot.

Once I started mapping them out, I decided to start with Halloween (since we already celebrate it now) and end with the last day of our winter.

Once I started examining them all, I found an incredible collection of traditions from around the world, from people who are doing their best to get through a cold and dark period of time – people just like you and me, who just have a different language, a different skin color, and a different history. I found people who set out to mock the holiday season with a new one of their own, and were shocked to discover it catching on. I learned a lot. And I wanted to share it.

Why are you doing this?

Enlightenment. The pursuit of knowledge and understanding. More excuses to celebrate something. Civil disobedience. Take your pick, but they all apply pretty equally.

Are you being disrespectful?

No. I aim to be as respectful as possible to all cultures. If we are having fun, it should not imply disrespect.

Why are you celebrating made-up holidays like Festivus?

It is my opinion that all holidays are made-up at one time or another. Think about it – at one point, a bunch of people got together and said “We’re going to have a holiday for this reason, and here are the things we’ll do to celebrate it.” Over time, the traditions may change as people add their own ideas, but it all starts with some people deciding to celebrate for a particular reason.

Why aren’t you celebrating [NAME OF HOLIDAY]?

Some holidays were skipped for different reasons. Some did not land in the time period between Halloween and the end of winter (Ramadan and Eid are an example here). Some do not have specific dates (in most cases, I assigned a date for them). And some I just didn’t know about. Feel free to contact me to let me know about any holidays I may have missed.

Is this some kind of response to the War on Christmas?

No. Let’s not even mention that again.

Do you hate Christmas?

No, I totally love it. Seriously. Ask my family. I’m a total nut for the Christmas holiday. Once Thanksgiving is over, I listen to practically nothing but Christmas music, and that goes on through New Year’s Day. It drives people nuts.

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4 responses »

  1. Are you going to list them off for us?

    Reply
    • Absolutely!

      Reply
      • When and where? For that matter, why not the rest of the year? Do you include totally secular holidays such as Guy Faulks Day or (extended) April Fools Day? Or combined features – Halloween includes fireworks in Canada because Guy Faulks Day doesn’t have any meaning there, unlike in UK

      • When and where?

        As they happen, and at our home, for the most part.

        For that matter, why not the rest of the year?

        I usually have a lot of other creative projects going on, so my free time is limited. Plus, the concept here is to demonstrate how different people and cultures celebrate during the winter months. There are MANY reasons for the season.

        Do you include totally secular holidays such as Guy Faulks Day or (extended) April Fools Day? Or combined features – Halloween includes fireworks in Canada because Guy Faulks Day doesn’t have any meaning there, unlike in UK

        Secular holidays will be celebrated. And you bring up an important issue – any celebrating we do will have to fit within the bounds of the law and social mores. Sadly, fireworks are illegal in Delaware, so we won’t be able to use any for our celebrations. Likewise, we’ll be skipping out on any animal sacrifices or dancing around in the nude.

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