Hello dear reader(s)!
What is your favorite holiday? Is it Independence Day? Halloween? Rosh Hashanah? Wesak? Eid-al-Adha? Diwali? Christmas?
Well, mine is Halloween but that isn’t the point of the this post.
My second favorite is what Christians often refer to as Christmas and so do I because when I was growing up that is what it was called. We’ve been celebrating Christmas as long as I have been alive and I can tell you right now that Christ was never the focus. I guess that is what happens when one tries to incorporate two pagan holidays into one giant birthday party in the wrong month for a zombie.
“So Josh, why call it Christmas and not one of the two pagan holidays it incorporates?”
Because I just don’t care. I don’t care where the traditions come from. I don’t care the religious significance it has to religious people. I don’t care if someone wants to call it December Cheese Fest or Creepy Guy Breaking Into Houses And Exchanging Cookies For Toys For Children Day. I. Don’t. Care. I call it Christmas, because that is what it is in this area whether or not I subscribe to the beliefs that started the name. Come up to me and say Merry Christmas to me. Guess what I will say in return? Merry Christmas!!!
There is no war on Christmas, no war on Christianity. If I have friends (and I do) who aren’t Christian or have their own meaningful holidays around the same time, I may send a Happy Holidays card rather than a Merry Christmas card, but that isn’t to be PC. It isn’t to offend Christians or attempt to not offend non-Christians. It is to INCLUDE everyone in the joy of the time of year and having a pretty major holiday season that could be really awesome if people weren’t fighting each other for cheap electronics to give.
Quick story before the fun: I was getting clothes around Christmastime and after the sale said something to the cashier. I didn’t know she was Jewish. I said, “Merry Christmas!”
She said, “Thank you, but I’m Jewish.” (note the “Thank you, but…”)
So I asked, “Oh cool, is it Hanukkah?”
She replied, “No, it ended yesterday.”
I said, “Well I hope you enjoyed it, and happy belated Hanukkah!”
She smiled and said, “Thank you.” Then she asked me, “Did you know that Hanukkah isn’t even our most important holiday?”
I said, “I had heard something like that, but now I know for sure.” Then we exchanged smiles and I walked away with my purchases.
DOES THAT SOUND LIKE A WAR TO YOU? I call it a nice conservation.
So, here are some photographs that explain my idea of Christmas. To me, the holiday is about family, friends, joy, happiness, treating people as you would have them treat you (wait, that’s everyday), lights, decorations, and fun. I don’t mind giving gifts when I can, but it has never been about that, even if they were there.
We had these red and white chairs at the condo that we hated the colors of, until Christmas time.
I can’t find the pictures of the rest of the condo but we had garland strung over the tops of the windows, lights in the window facing the street, and we gift wrapped our pictures on the walls to look like hanging presents. We do that every year.
This was taken right after we squeezed it into the door and got it set up. It took a half-hour to get in, and I wasn’t sure we would get it.
There are hundreds of pictures from the Christmases we have spent together, but I think this gives you an idea of how we do it. We love the lights, the decorations, the trees, and the fun. I’d show you pictures from our Christmas party in the condo, but I do not want to self-incriminate. I’m not sure any laws were broken, but I’m not really sure of anything from that night.
I guess what I am trying to say is, if you attach a religious significance to a day or time of year, then good for you. I hope you are happy or peaceful in doing so. But don’t get offended if someone else does not. Don’t get offended if someone incorporates your religion’s incorporation of different celebrations to celebrate differently.
If someone says Merry Christmas to you, and you do not celebrate it, understand that the person saying it to you may just be trying to spread the joy they feel at that time of the year to you. Likewise, if someone says Happy Holidays, do not get offended if you are a Christian. Holidays is basically the English language’s tendency of turning 1 word into 2, in action. Holy days. People are telling you to have happy holy days. Is Christmas not a holy day for a Christian? And if you’re agnostic or atheist and someone says either to you? Don’t sweat it. Who cares? It is a national holiday. It is Christmas around here, whether you believe in the reasoning behind it or not. Thank the person, wish it back, and go on with your life and beliefs.
Let’s put the humanity back in any celebration.