At various times in my life I have had the opportunity to create holidays from scratch.  Not invent holidays, but create the holiday experience from the ground up.  In college I couldn’t afford to fly home for Thanksgiving so I caught up with some of my fellow students and we would create Thanksgiving for ourselves.  It was a fantastic process full of heartfelt sharing and lots of laughter as we figured out what we knew how to do, what we didn’t, and how we were going to get there from here.  The best part was that it was somewhat like having a table full of craft supplies and being told you can make anything you want.  We went through our notions of what the holiday had to have, what we could do without, and what we really, really wanted and then we put that all together on a student’s budget with student abilities and it was fabulous.  Everyone brought something to the table and all the stuff we didn’t want or need just wasn’t there to begin with.  And there was plenty of pie left over.  What were we thinking?

I had that opportunity years later when my friends and I decided to do our own separate Christmas.  At the time no one had kids so it was just us adults with an entire day to do Christmas the way we wanted to.  Corny Christmas music, Christmas specials, any movie we wanted to watch while we were decking out the tree, enough food to feed a small nation, eating from the moment we got there in the morning until we couldn’t move late that night, games and jokes and laughter and presents at some point in the evening. Creating traditions using what we loved and loved about each other was the rule.  Discovering precious memories and moments from holidays past and bringing those to the event to blend into a new version of the holiday.  It was priceless.

So this year, take a moment to start making choices for your holiday.  You don’t have to do it the way you’ve always done, you can choose to do it the way that makes you happy now.  Make a list of the “have to” things about this holiday and then evaluate it to see if you really have to do them at all.  Can you substitute something else that would be better or more fun?  Can you possibly leave some of them off all together?  Is it possible to make room for something else that you would enjoy doing?  Is there something you’ve always wanted to do?  Because maybe this is the year to do it.  If the season is about Joy, then perhaps you should have some.