Winter-een-mas is a holiday concieved and created by the author/illustrator of the webcomic Ctrl+Alt+Del, Tim Buckley.
Initially, I was going to write an entirely original piece on Winter-een-mas and its principles and practices, but I happened to stumble across a 2004 newspost on the Ctrl+Alt+Del website from Tim himself, explaining the holiday. I almost continued writing my own thing, but then I figured "Why change what the creator himself has written?". So without further ado, this is what Winter-een-mas is all about...
What is Winter-een-mas?
Winter-een-mas, in it's essence, is a holiday for gamers. It is a celebration of games and the gamers who play them. Video games allow us to do things, go places, see stuff that we
couldn't do in real life. They can be an escape from reality, a release after a long day, a fun activity with friends, or just an enjoyable way to pass time. They give us a lot of entertainment. So why shouldn't
they be celebrated?
And in the same spirit, gamers themselves are extraordinary people. There are millions of people world-wide that enjoy video games. Some are hardcore fanatics, some are casual gamers. But we are all part of
the same community, and it's a community to be proud of.
The Winter-een-mas season lasts all of January, with the actual holiday lasting seven days, January 25-31.
How do I celebrate Winter-een-mas?
Well, Winter-een-mas is fairly new, so there aren't a lot of traditions yet. Those will come with time. Here are some practices that I suggest:
Wish people a Happy Winter-een-mas! Some people might not know what you're talking about, so be prepared to offer a brief explanation of the holiday. Say it when you enter/exit a chat room or game server, say it
to friends and family. Even say it to strangers. Spread the word!
Show your Winter-een-mas festivity. During the holiday, wear game-related stuff. Wear gaming t-shirts. Draw gaming logo tattoos on your arms and hands. Find interesting ways to wear gaming accessories as
fashion accessories. Even dress up as your favorite game character or console, if you're so inclined.
Gift giving is not encouraged for Winter-een-mas. It could too easily detract and destroy the spirit of the holiday. If you want to exhange gifts, make them very inexpensive (under $10), or even better, handmade. A handmade card, picture, gaming console stand, etc will mean a lot more to the person receiving the gift. Winter-een-mas gift cards are available on this site and are free for you to print out and give away. And most importantly, keep it game related!
This is a big one: Write letters of praise and thanks to the developers of some of the video games that you most enjoy. These people are directly responsible for providing us with such entertaining material, and they
deserve to know that they are appreciated. If you go to the website of the developer, you should be able to find some email addresses. Write them a letter wishing them a Happy Winter-een-mas, and letting them
know how thankful you are for the work they do.
Play video games! This one should be obvious. During the Winter-een-mas holiday, make it a point to schedule some gaming time into your day, even if it's only for a little while. Play video games on each of the seven days if you can. Treat yourself to a new game in the name of Winter-een-mas, if you can afford it.
Organize Winter-een-mas LAN parties. Have some friends over for some multiplayer. Go to the arcade with some friends. Play an online game with other people. Start a server in the name of Winter-een-mas.
Be nice to your fellow gamers! I know that we're all competitive by nature, but at least for the Winter-een-mas season, try to go out of your way to be pleasant to your gaming bretheren. This doesn't mean you can't lay the smack down on some people in Call of Duty, but just keep in mind the fun spirit behind the season. Try not to let people irritate you as much. Enjoy yourself! Make sure you tell people how much you enjoyed playing a game with them.
There are many ways to celebrate Winter-een-mas. As long as you keep in mind the spirit of the holiday, feel free to come up with your own Winter-een-mas traditions. Then email me to tell me how you'll be celebrating Winter-een-mas, or send pictures. I'll share them with everyone. This is how we develop holiday traditions
Do I have to play video games to celebrate?
Of course not! Much like you don't have to be religious to enjoy christmas, you can celebrate the spirit of Winter-een-mas even if you aren't a gamer. Just wish some people a Happy Winter-een-mas and support the nature of the holiday!
I live in a place where it's summer now... when do I celebrate Winter-een-mas?
Winter-een-mas was originally created because of the bitter winter chills, but has expanded to encompass the gaming spirit. What better way to take your mind off the cold than with some video games? However, just because Ethan is dealing with winter, it doesnt mean the entire world is. But you can celebrate Winter-een-mas just like everyone else.
Well, there you have it! One thing I would like to add on the second to last question (regarding the necessity to play video games to celebrate), is that this is certainly true. You don't have to play video games to celebrate Winter-een-mas. I know of many people who have anime marathons, watch lots of Star Trek or other such things. Keep that in mind while you're planning how to celebrate Winter-een-mas in future years.