In a world obsessed with fitting in, my family marched to the beat of its own drum.
While most of the world was taking down their holiday decorations shortly after the New Year, my mom decided it would be easier if we just left the Christmas tree up year-round.

Yes, you read that correctly.
365 days.
With a Christmas tree in our living room.
The room where our family of six spent most of our time.

After dedicating what seemed like an eternity to decorating our tree, she decided that it would be far easier for everyone if the tree remained up.
Disguised.
With a simple tarp thrown over it and a sign that read,
DO NOT OPEN UNTIL CHRISTMAS.

My mom was unashamedly practical.
Anything that made things easier, she was game for it.
She was so practical; if practicality were an Olympic sport, she’d have gold medals.

And her practicality didn’t stop there. She once tried to invent a bathroom contraption for the car. Why? Because why waste time stopping at rest stops when you can turn your vehicle into a moving restroom?
Like I said…unashamedly practical.

Perhaps this is why I have had short hair since I was 20.
Because my hair, grown out long, is like a lion’s mane x 2.
Crazy, unruly, and demands copious amounts of time.
You see, the apple didn’t fall far from the tree.
I went with the most practical thing.
Plus, Mary Lou Retton was my hero, and she wore it well.
Why couldn’t I?

So, what is your hallmark of unashamed uniqueness?
And have you muted or altered that due to the opinions of others?
My mother’s fearless individuality and practicality not only made our lives more exciting but also instilled in me a profound lesson:
Embracing what truly makes you “you,” regardless of outside noise, is a superpower.

Perhaps you have a passion for something unconventional.
Or a hobby that you’ve been too shy to share.
A style choice that you’ve been hesitant to embrace fully.
Or maybe, like my mom, you have an unconventional approach to everyday challenges that others might find peculiar.
Embrace these traits.
They are the colors that paint your personal story.

God created each of us with unique quirks and talents.
Not to be hidden but to be celebrated.
Our distinctiveness is not a mistake.
It’s a divine design.

And just like that 365-day Christmas tree,
standing proudly in our living room,
we too should stand tall in our individuality.
May this blog serve as a permission slip to mute the noise of conformity.

Our unique qualities are not just parts of us.
They are what make us irreplaceably us.
So, go ahead.
Be unashamedly and unapologetically you.