The idea of giving up Christmas may seem shocking, until we learned how it can be a breath of fresh air. Cat Palmer gave up Christmas with her kids! She tells us she wants to give folks permission to ditch things that stress them out, and do what works for their family.

She celebrates Christmas on the 26th because, frankly, they can! Cat co-parents, and splits time with her kids at the holidays. This way, her kids don’t have to stop what they are doing with Dad, and can just enjoy their day. So, Cat invites my best friends over, and they have dinner the day after Christmas. She tells us this is also a time to give yourself permission to remove yourself from toxic family. She did, and says it feels great!

The dinner Cat hosts is not traditional, and she lets the kids pick out what we to eat. This year it will be pizza from Villaggio and a charcuterie board! You do not have to do traditional for the sake of traditional. Ten years ago she asked her kids if they wanted a traditional tree or an artsy tree and they said artsy. So, her family left the regular trees behind and have done non-traditional ever since!

Instead of going to the store to buy a bunch of ornaments that first year, they had a friend ornament party and friends had to make or bring an ornament that represented them.

We love the idea of making the holiday whatever you choose to make it! There is no one size fits all, and there is wonderful freedom in that!

Follow Cat on instagram @catpalmerphotography and online

Deena Manzanares
Deena Marie Manzanares is a Utah native, but lived in NYC for a few years while attending the Atlantic Theater Company Acting School. Locally, she has worked as a professional actor for years in both stage and film.