I don't celebrate Christmas. My relationship to Christmas is somewhat akin to my relationship with Canadian Independence Day. They are perfectly fine holidays and I totally support their celebration. But they aren't my holidays. Please don't ask me to participate. I'll just observe respectfully from a distance.
In years past, I quietly spent the holiday season working on personal projects. While the rest of the world was busy with its holiday rituals, I had a rare opportunity to carve out a week or two for work on some new software or house project or something.
Things changed a couple years back when started dating my now-wife. She does observe Christmas and it's important to her. In years past, she's traveled back to be with her family, sometimes taking me along, other times leaving me in Austin to work on my projects. Even when I traveled with her I didn't really have to observe the holiday. I just tagged along and acted the gracious guest while others celebrated.
This year it's different. For the first time, we decided to spend our holiday season together alone. I couldn't do nothing, for that would be denying my wife her holiday, which was important to her.
We ended up working out a personal celebration that contained enough of her traditional Christmas elements to make her happy. It started last night, with a trip to the Alamo Drafthouse. As part of their "High for the Holidays" series they showed Harold & Kumar go to White Castle, with all-you-can-eat sliders and fries served.
This morning we exchanged small presents in stockings. I got a Homer Simpson talking magnet and chocolate. She got a box of Pocky and mayonnaise. Later in the day, we drove out loop 360 to look at the decorations people hung on roadside trees.
Tonight we had a nice dinner, assembled from ingredients purchased at the farmer's market last weekend. The evening concluded with a watching of Bad Santa, which seemed a fitting conclusion to the day.
My wife says it may have been her best Christmas ever. It wasn't Christmas for me, but it was one of the best holiday celebrations I've ever had.