Christmas was a fair time in my memories. There was always such joy in bullying my sisters for control of the movies, arranging the Christmas decorations, and indulging in ridiculous amounts of sweets.

As I grew up and away from religion, I entered a time where I was rejecting the holidays for the religious attachments I saw. I fought to separate myself. Ignore family. Forget this. It is dumb. It was a failed rebellion. I was miserable.

When I was in my college dorm, I dabbled in the decorating. It brought me such joy to run through the halls with giggling girls to compete over best decorated door and floor. And it stunned me. I had forgotten my love for preparing for the winter holidays. Beliefs were thrown out. It was just having fun and being together.

Fast forward, I was dropped out, in an apartment with a Christmas addict, and exploring the joy of deciding how to decorate. What to get. What to do. This encouraged me and was extremely fun.

Even when I was living alone, I tried to decorate. I pinned up stockings. Taped up some lights. Hung some ornaments on the lights. Called it a day.

Last year, I got to share Christmas with my glorious partner that does not celebrate Christmas but appreciates the holidays. We had a conversation about how the religion isn’t the big part for us. We love the decorating, the concept of being with loved ones, and spending cherished time together. It made me realize that I liked the holidays for those reasons and respected how others felt. Our living arrangements prevented us from decorating fully, but it was fun all the same. We enjoyed the debates, discussions, and being together.

This year, I bought us a beautiful Christmas tree with colorful lights. The ornaments are basic and several are owls. Eager to start a tradition, I bought a cute couple ornament and plan to continue doing so each year. We have plush stockings. I have never been so happy. I get to spend time with my partner, who has hinted of a travelling adventure soon. I get to spend time with my employees. I have a surplus of goodies to share. I have a niece to spoil for the first time ever.

It’s not about the religion to me. It’s about spending time with my dear ones, decorating to bring joy, and sharing gifts to spread even more joy. This opinion of mine may change in the future, but for now, I am glad to have established this. It is nice to not be an evil Grinch.

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