My family doesn’t do Christmas, but I do—here’s why

The holidays are everywhere. You pass bright multicolored lights wherever you go. Depending on where you live, there might be snow soon (if it hasn’t arrived already) and you’ll be decorating gingerbread men and hanging out by the fireplace with tons of family and friends, but what happens if that’s not your thing? What if your family’s holidays aren’t right out of a TV special?

Well, that’s the case for me and many others. My family doesn’t do Christmas or any other holiday in the way that most families do; we still celebrate but it’s a much calmer than most people. We’re so spread around the country and so busy into each of our lives that Christmas doesn’t feel celebratory. I’m not exactly sure when I realized our celebration was different but I can picture it being around the time I turned 8. That year my sister joined the army and couldn’t always come home for Christmas so it was just me, my mom and my sister and brother.

A few years after that we relocated back to my home state, but my brother stayed behind so then it became just myself, my mom and sister. Christmas has always been with only my immediate family and as the size of my house went from 5 to 3, things changed. My family was eventually expanded by the arrival of my two nieces, but they lived in a different state so we were still a part around the holidays. 

For Christmas, My mom still cooks and has a tree and lights, but it’s super low-key. I remember her always telling me that it’s too commercial and it doesn’t feel significant anymore so she doesn’t make the giant hullabaloo that she used too. This year my mom even told us what our gifts were, and we got them the moment they arrived in the mail. On Christmas morning, we do the same stuff that you would normally do any other day, except for a few phone calls from all over and lots of food. 

But here’s thing; I’m really into Christmas and probably always will be. I love the lights and cookies and the decorations. My birthday is about two weeks before Christmas, so I’m into the spirit very early on. I get tons of Christmas music and of course decorations and my family rolls their eyes so much it’s almost audible, However, we still decorate our living room windows with stick on snowflakes and I constantly play my favorite Christmas commercial on YouTube. I’m very into gift giving and finding the perfect gifts for my friends. It’s a really big deal and I’m all about it while my family just looks at me weirdly when I get over excited. I like the idea of making people wait until Christmas Day and the surprised look on their faces.

To be perfectly honest, Christmas means a ton to me because it connects me to my childhood and as an adult who is “too old” for the toys that come with Christmas. It reminds that none of the other stresses of the holidays aren’t really important and as cheesy as this may sound, nothing is as important as creating memories with people you care about.

Maybe one day, we’ll be able to all be in one place, on the same schedule to celebrate with one another, but I’d be okay if we didn’t. There’s always chance that when all of my siblings and I have families of our own, we’ll change the tradition for our own kids.  

[Image via Warner Bros.]