While lying in bed tonight, I was thinking about traditions (and also styles of baseboard, but that isn't particularly relevant to the issue at hand), and I came to the conclusion that just because something is always done doesn't mean that it is wise, or useful, or good.
Take the big three: Christmas, Easter, and Valentine's Day, and then throw in weddings for good measure. People feel enormous amounts of pressure and spend enormous amounts of money for no reason other than the fact that there are certain things that are done (and therefore expected) on these days. The exchange of one $25 gift card for another, the flora struck down in its prime, the bland chicken dinners in return for the buying of toasters: none of these things make any sense to me, so I choose not to participate, or at least to participate as little as possible.
As a topical aside, a certain amount of Christmas gift giving is unavoidable when one's family members love the holiday. I do send cards, which is wildly hypocritical of me, I know. This year I refrained from digging the Christmas cone (my sparkly silver conical version of a tree) out from under the stairs, although I did place the Santa Grinch (a green-faced cloth Santa figurine that my mother gave me one year, which I love for his oddness) on display. But that is as much Christmas tradition as I will concede.
I think people should never do anything if the only reason for the behaviour is that they feel socially obligated to. There is too much passive acquiescence and not enough thoughtful rebellion in this world.
Cut down a tree and throw some shiny stuff on it in March if you like the look of pine trees covered in shiny stuff so much--people will probably think you've gone mental. Go mental, I say! Don't put up a tree at Christmas. (Hell, don't even put out the Christmas cone!)
Throw a party to celebrate summer because people don't get outside enough and the warm weather only lasts for so long.
Hang out with someone instead of buying them something (time is so much more valuable than things), but if you see something you know someone you care about will really like or could really use, buy it for them, just because it's Tuesday.
Don't get married--marriage was only useful when fathers needed to pass their daughter-objects on to another man and men needed to ensure a legitimate heir in order to maintain their property.
Splurge on some really good chocolate in a month other than February, April, or December.
Tell the people you love that you love them because you want to, not because you feel you have to.
Do what feels right for you (unless what feels right includes pedophilia or murder) and don't worry about what society will think of you. The less you care, the less powerful society becomes, and the more powerful YOU become in turn.
To sum up, because it is after 4 a.m. and my eyes are heavy and my brain is winding down, I urge you all to go bravely forward into this black wintry night, and fuck the status quo whenever you can, because it needs a good hard fucking, don't you agree?