It's getting to be that time of year again and honestly I dread it...the older I get, the more disheartened I get. There is so much negativity surrounding the holidays, especially Christmas. I know it's a matter of time before that first irate status on Facebook pops up...you know the one where someone is madder than a red hen because the cashier at ________ (insert favorite store of choice) said "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas". In one simple greeting, someones's whole life turns upside down. Or so that is how they portray it.
We live in a melting pot of cultures and religions And while this might be America, land of the free, home of the brave, there is not one set religion. That my friends, is the beauty of this country. We are free! Free to worship and believe as we choose. We do not have to hide and worship in secrecy. And yet, so many people choose to overlook this at the holidays.
I don't care if you wish me a "Merry Christmas", "Happy Holidays", "Season's Greetings", "Happy Kwanzaa or anything else. The very fact you took the time to wish me anything means more to me then what holiday you choose to acknowledge. I have friends from many races and religions. I know not all of them believe that "Jesus is the reason for the season" and that is fine with me. So out of courtesy I just say "Happy Holidays". Does this somehow detract from my celebration? No way!
But yet there are people who will have you believe that someone we've taken Jesus out of Christmas. That somehow by that random clerk at Wal-Mart not wishing you a "Merry Christmas" that your holiday is ruined. Here's the thing, I don't for one second believe that Jesus is in heaven taking points off your "religion card" because someone wished you something other than "Merry Christmas".
At a time of year when the focus should be on love, why can't we just love everyone and accept that everyone celebrates differently? Why is it such an affront on our personal beliefs if Target doesn't wish you a "Merry Christmas"?
I don't celebrate the religious aspect of Christmas. That's just me. It's not that I don't know it - I grew up in Church - it's a conscious decision I've made along with my husband for our family. I acknowledge though that others do and that is a wonderful thing for them. I have no desire to take that away from anyone. Christmas for us is about family and friends, love everlasting making new traditions and memories while celebrating the old ones, remembering those love ones we've lost, celebrating new beginnings and yet starting to see the year come to a close. It's all that and so much more. It's really hard for me to put into words. Dare I use the word, "magical"?
We make choices every single day. We choose to be happy. We choose to be angry. We choose to be sad. We choose to let the words of others affect us positively or negatively. Sometimes we give others too much control over how we feel. This holiday season I urge you to see the positives and hear the positives. Don't let something so simple as a phrase ruin your holidays and in turn cause you to spew more discontent and hate. Let your heart shine this holiday season. Let others see that no matter how anyone else chooses to celebrate you can be happy and enjoy your own celebrations.
No matter how you choose to celebrate the holidays, do so with love towards all of mankind, not just those who celebrate as you do. Open your heart and eyes this holiday. Find the peace and love in everything. Make it a holiday to remember!