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Feel like you never fit in? Here’s how to enjoy, engage…and retain your individuality.

 

The holidays are coming! Whether that means Thanksgiving, Christmas, Kwanzaa, Chanukah, New Year’s or all of these, they will be here and gone before we know it. But for those who walk a different path from the traditional, they may seem to last an eternity. Will you ever fit in? Should you? And how can you enjoy the holidays if you’re not exactly the straight-and-narrow path?

Actually, you’re not alone. While the holidays can bring joy, they’re also a source of stress for many of us, and “getting things right” tends to top that list. Traditions can be wonderful, but it’s okay (seriously it is) to buck the norm while making yourself (and everyone else!) happy.

Take a cue from our list below and ring in some new traditions that you’ll absolutely love.

1. Switch up the colors. Pink and green for Thanksgiving? Black and burgundy for Christmas? Go for it. You may just get “oohs” and “ahs” rather than the “oh nos!” you’re expecting. (We’ll bet at least one of your guests was thinking along the same lines as you!) 

2. Mess with the menu. Who says you have to have turkey on Thanksgiving, latkes for Chanukah, and peas on New Year’s Day? Not us! Make it easy and have a soup and salad feast or a chili challenge. Or let guests serve themselves with a hot cocoa bar. Your secret is safe with us.

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3. Ditch the temporary décor idea. It kind of bites (sorry) that holiday decor gets used for a couple of weeks and then stashed away. Instead, decorate with furniture, pillows, wall hangings or other decor you’ll never want to take down. Try pillows in your favorite colors, star lights for all year round or even a Nightmare Before Christmas calendar.

4. Channel your inner goth. Wishing Halloween would never end? (We feel you, dawg.) Have a  merry Nightmare Before Christmas with black,  white and silver touches. Add plush NBC buddies on your couch as holiday throw “pillows.” Hang NBC ornaments on your cool black tree.

5. Play with your playlist. ‘K, just saying: if we hear Mariah Carey telling us what she wants for Christmas just one…more…time. (Sorry, Mariah.) Create a playlist of 80s hits, punk rock, or show tunes to sing and dance the chilly days away. 

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6. Send a sassy card. Posing is so passé! Look for highly unique holiday cards (steampunk cats, anyone?) Or get in a silly costume, include your pets, form a body pyramid, make a funny face. There are so many ways to send holiday greetings while still doing you.

7. Flip flicks. Elf and It’s a Wonderful Life are all good, but if you’re looking for more personality in your holiday, try flipping the script. Host a horror movie marathon. Or try Krampus and of course, The Nightmare Before Christmas. Trust us – your friends will LOVE you for this. (Ours did.)

No matter what you choose to do – or not do – just know that the holidays are meant to be festive for everyone. Go to Grandma’s (don’t forget the wine), Mom’s (don’t forget the pie) and then to Friendsmas for your very own cool Christmas, courtesy of the ideas above. Everyone wins…and the season is all the brighter for it.

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