Sunday, December 20, 2009

My Holiday’s Better then Yours

Hanukkah has passed, and Christmas is less than a week away, with New Year’s Eve close on its heels. A powdered-sugar snow has sifted from the sky all day, leaving roads slippery but passable – needless to say, I am not on the East Coast!

I find myself thinking about the holiday season and what I know about it. The question is, which holiday? I know this seems radical, but Christmas is not the only holiday in December. For all my Christian friends, what a wonderful time. By all means, celebrate: sing carols, wish everyone a very merry, and shop ‘til you drop. But don’t forget that those around you may not share your faith. Don’t be defensive – just be aware and thoughtful.

I have friends and colleagues who celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Eid'ul-Adha, Boxing Day and Kwanzaa (but usually not all of them). Of those who are open about their beliefs, I enjoy celebrating with them. I am as delighted to be wished a merry Christmas as I am when someone calls out “Happy Hanukkah.” And I am very satisfied to be wished a Happy Holiday – that sales clerk does not need to know my personal beliefs, nor does he or she need to fear my reaction at being politically correct or not.

Here’s an idea. Feel free to wish those around you a Merry Christmas during the month of December. And, if you like, during Hanukkah, wish your friends a Happy Hanukkah. And so on – I don’t think that it’s terribly important that you share the same holidays or beliefs as the other person – what you’re honestly sharing is your hope for blessings, peace, joy and those other intangibles we humans so lust after.

At the very least, educate yourself about other cultures and beliefs. Doing so does not make you less of a Christian, but more of one.

To learn about Jewish holidays, visit:

To learn about Kwanzaa, visit:

To learn about other religious and cultural holidays, visit:

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