"You're Jew-ish?" my roommate awkwardly inquired, examining me so closely I could have sworn she was looking for horns. It was clear we had both grown up in completely diverse situations, practicing different religions in very dissimilar neighbourhoods. I quickly came to realize that I was now in fact the highly unwarranted representative of the entire Jewish population.
The idea of a jolly holiday is like rubbing salt in the wound when our loved one isn't there. Honour your grief. You may find a completely new way of handling celebratory occasions by starting new traditions, or you may feel more comfortable sticking to old ones. Either way, you will know what feels right.
I've been using the power of Santa Claus for a few weeks now, and things are looking good. For maximum effectiveness, the use of Santa and his omnipresence is good for the window directly following Halloween until December 25. During this time, I enjoy the increased attentiveness, dearth of meltdowns and general calm that precedes Christmas day.