The Christmas season is here. Department stores have put out decorations, candles in every Christmas scent imaginable, red coffee cups, and if you’re like me, Mariah’s Carey’s Christmas album is on repeat. But amidst all my favorite things about Christmas, I’m also overwhelmed by the amount of animosity. That’s right, hostility. Christmas, regardless of religion, is a precious time for families around the world. Maybe that’s the one time of year when your whole family is together for the holidays. Maybe that’s the one time of year you get some time off from work (I’m not quite in “adult land” yet, so someone please tell me this is true). For college students, the Christmas break is probably the one break that isn’t totally teasing. By that I mean you don’t have to stare at a single textbook, pages of notes, or login to see how much homework you have in about a month. Oh happy day!
With all these moments to celebrate throughout the year, I am amazed at the lack of happiness in the media and those who take such precautions by saying things like “Happy Holidays” so as not to offend someone depending on how they celebrate their holiday . Real? “Happy Holidays” is an expression of good wishes and happy vibes. Is someone wishing you a merry “Christmas” versus a “Merry Christmas” really that bothersome or offensive? What I mean by that is that people have their own way of wishing good things to others. Just because it may not have the same spiritual meaning or background that you grew up with, there’s still no reason to be spiteful. Please don’t misunderstand. I have the utmost respect and understanding that families and people of different religions celebrate holidays differently. Negative attitudes and turning up your nose at someone else for not celebrating the way you do are, well, tacky. You don’t have to agree. You don’t even have to like it. But remember, class and respect never go out of style (the phrase “never say never” doesn’t apply here). I remain so humble in the fact that we live in a country where we can celebrate and worship both national and religious holidays as we please. Some men and women aren’t home for the holidays to see their families, and we fight over Starbucks red cups? I can promise you that a red coffee cup is not the start of the “War on Christmas”. Some families are missing loved ones who were expected to be there during the holiday season, and all we’re concerned about is our three-paragraph rant we posted on social media.
I challenge all of you to take a moment and think about exactly what kind of vacation you want to have. What example will you set for society? What positive things can we say at a time of such controversy? Remember the reason for your season, but also remember to respect everyone else’s.