It took me a few years before I realized that all the hoo-ha wasn't for my birthday. Between Hanukah and Christmas I really thought that I was ME that people are celebrating!
My friend from childhood was similarly confused...her birthday was December 24...
For many years now I have been celebrating the Winter Solstice.
It sort of covers all the bases. It means that the next three months will be devoted to cold weather and boots.
The only decoration I put up is a Peace Symbol. It's that circle divided into thirds, very popular during the 60's. It has blue lights and hangs in my front window. I do get strange looks from the neighbors but no more than usual.
This should be the season where we look out for each other. Put aside the religious aspects and look to see if there is someone out there who could use something that you can provide. It doesn't have to be some huge donation. Shoveling the snow off your neighbor's sidewalk is a big deal when he is too unsteady to do it himself and can't afford to pay someone to do it.
I don't donate to organizations. The idea that the people in charge of it get large paychecks and all sorts of 'perks' is what puts me off. If you have a senior citizen building in your area, there is usually a bookcase that can use some new books. That's NEW books...not the paperbacks that you stored in the box in the cellar in 1975. Senior housing is also a way to give someone something. The offices know who is just about getting by and if you ask them to, they will make sure that someone who needs a small order of groceries will get it. Don't do it just to make someone send you a thank you note. Leave your name off and put "Santa Claus" on a card. .......Like I do.