Every year, my family indulges in winterfest. No, not festivus, the Seinfeld holiday where people have feats of strength and whining. Winterfest, for us, is the enjoyment of the various traditions of whatever holidays that happen to be coinciding in wintertime. We do not believe in any of the religions, but do enjoy candy canes, hanging ornaments, occasionally burning 1-8 candles, giving and, yes, receiving gifts.
This fits into our larger tradition of spending a week or so celebrating major events--that birthday-fest or anniversary-fest gives us an excuse to spend heaps of money on eating out and eating/drinking too much.
So, no, when I mention winterfest, I am not referring to that other thing that involves venting and all that. Sure, we vent, but that is a 365 day a year phenomenon. For this week-ish (it is as long as we want or can afford) holiday, we do what we want with a bit less guilt and with a lot more calories and spending. Because we spend most of the year in Canada, we tend to rejoice in those things we can't get in Canada, like chains that don't exist up there (Great Harvest Bread Company, Trader Joe's) or decent Mexican food. We occasionally did rock climbing with the nieces or bowling or what not. It is a tradition if we want to to and not if we don't. That is what winterfest is to us--a time to have fun together, stealing some of the fun stuff from various traditions and none of the guilt or responsibilities.
I hope you and yours enjoy your break for the ordinary. Happy winterfest and happy new year to those who visit the Semi-Spew! Let's hope that 2019 is a more just year.