Everybody has something without which the Holiday of Their Choice is not Their Holiday.
For me, at Christmas, it's the tree.
For some people, the tree is traditional, but not their holiday sine qua non. If you're a tree person, discovering that one's significant other is not of your tribe can be a startling discovery . . . which is why the very first Christmas tree Himself and I ever shared was a drawing of a Christmas tree, taped to the wall. ("It's Christmas Eve, and we still don't have a tree! What are we going to do?" "Um . . . go to midnight mass and open our presents?" "Not without a tree, dammit!" Pause. Scribble scribble scribble. Tape tape. "Tree?" "Yes. By definition. Tree. Merry Christmas!") When we were in Panamá with the Navy, and Christmas trees were imported and cost the world, we made trees out of crepe paper streamers, again, taped to the wall. ("Tree?" "Tree!")
Now we live in the land where the Christmas trees grow. Literally . . . if you pay the Forest Service what at least used to be a $5 fee, you can go anywhere in the local National Forest that's 100 yards or more from the road and cut your own tree, if you're so inclined. Himself and the kids did that one year. ("See? Tree!") Starting in November, trucks laden with trees from the local Christmas tree farms roll south, carrying trees to the big cities, where they sell for prices that make North Country minds boggle.
We bought our tree yesterday from the IGA grocery store, and the offspring put it up and decorated it. ("Wheee! Tree!")
Merry Christmas to anybody reading this who celebrates it, and to everybody -- all the seasonal happiness you want (or that you can stand, as the case may be.)