(Originally published in November 2014)
You know what I like? I like Christmas. …well, the idea of Christmas anyway. I like spending time with my family, having good meals and good laughs, and I like to give and receive gifts.
You know what I don't like? I don't like being questioned why I celebrate Christmas if I'm not a Christian. As if that's even a valid question, considering the fact that Christmas was put in place near the Winter Solstice to convert Pagans to Christianity back in the days of old. Anyway, that's why I created Swissmas.
Swissmas was conceived in November 2013 while I was enjoying a cup of hot chocolate (guess which brand) and reading news articles about the so-called "War on Christmas" and other negatively-laced topics. Then the famous words from the show Seinfeld blew through my mind… "A Festivus for the rest of us."
Eureka! This needs to be a thing!
And so I went to work.
Unlike other holidays around this time of the year, Swissmas leaves out any type of religious connotation. This isn't to say that one can't celebrate their chosen religion's holiday(s), of course—feel free. This means that whether you subscribe to a certain dogma or not, you can celebrate this holiday. To make it simple for everyone, Swissmas lasts the entire month of December. So, you can celebrate it from December 1 through December 31, or you can just pick a certain day or set of days. Personally, I celebrate Swissmas on December 1, 21 (the Winter Solstice), 24, 25, and 31. Any or all days are available to you, based on your preference. As far traditions are concerned, do what makes you happy. Our traditions (so far) include many different things, some of which may be confusing to others. For instance, we put up our traditional
Christmas Swissmas Tree, and we have a 24 day Advent Calendar. Again, one may ask why we have an Advent Calendar if we aren't Christian, and the answer is simple—I like cheap chocolate.
So, whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or any other holidays around this time of year, feel free to celebrate this holiday in between, or even on those days. Below you will find the basics of Swissmas.
Who: Who can celebrate this holiday? Everyone! He may celebrate Christmas, and she may celebrate Yule, but they can both set aside their religious preferences for a day or the month, and celebrate Swissmas together.
What: What is Swissmas? Swissmas is like Christmas, but without religion. It's a celebration of happiness and gratitude for everyone.
Where: Where is it? It's everywhere, so long as you can set aside your differences.
Why: Why did I create this? Initially, this holiday was created because I was tired of being questioned why I celebrate Christmas if I'm not a Christian. Now, it's because we need unity as a human race throughout the entire year, and I think setting aside one month to forget our differences is a great start.
When: When is it? Swissmas can be celebrated throughout the entire month of December, or you can pick any individual days that you want. There are no restrictions, just individual preferences.
How: How do you celebrate it? Any way that you want! Bring out the Yule Log, stand up the tree, or even bust out the aluminum Festivus Pole. Any way that you want to celebrate this holiday, you can.
That's all for now folks.I appreciate you stopping by and taking a gander at the workings of this secular holiday. The underlying principle of Swissmas is simply unity. In the words of Bill and Ted, "Be excellent to each other."