Raising a child teaches you many things. Not just about parenting, but about life and human nature, in general. This holiday season I feel like I have learned so much from my son. He is a shining example of the joy that is innately part of the human condition. It makes me startlingly aware that the negativity, prejudice, and bigotry that have become forefront features of our society, are, indeed, learned. It is an absolute shame.
While social media has many positive aspects, it also let’s you see things you sometimes wish you hadn’t. Like people’s opinions and views that aren’t in alignment with your own. I try to be respectful about other people’s viewpoints. I really try. But there are times I actually feel dirty for not speaking up and setting the world straight. I know there is a line. I’m just not sure of where it is anymore. I feel like it used to be enough to just live your life by the principles you tried to uphold. You did what you thought was right and prayed for the enlightenment of others who didn’t seem to follow the same compass. But today, it seems as though there is a complete blur about what is good and just. The grey area is an abyss and the surety of black and white is all murky and tainted.
There was a thread on the Book of Face that had something to do with preferring to say Merry Christmas as opposed to Happy Holidays. Now this debate is dated, I know. It’s been around for quite awhile. In 2017, though, it is not only old fashioned, but has the air of “Make America Great Again.” Choosing to post and repost that sentiment could be construed as offensive, ignorant, and disrespectful of other cultures. Do people understand that? Do they? I’d like to think anyone I know might not have thought it through fully. I’m not saying don’t write or say Merry Christmas. If you celebrate Christmas, then by all means, sing it out to the world. But to be offended by “Happy Holidays” is just ridiculous. Because there are several other Holidays celebrated at this time of year. In addition to the Christian Christmas there are a slew of Holidays celebrated in December:
Saint Nicholas Day (Christian)
Fiesta of Our Lady of Guadalupe (Mexican)
St. Lucia Day (Swedish)
Three Kings Day/Epiphany (Christian)
Boxing Day (Australian, Canadian, English, Irish)
Kwanzaa (African American)
Yule & Saturnalia (Pagan)
Eid Al-Fitr (Muslim)
So, I go back to my son. He has learned about Christmas from us, as we celebrate it. But he has learned about most of the other holidays of the season from Sesame Street. Yes, Sesame Street. He seems partial to Christmas, but I think it is only because of Santa Claus. It is hard to resist the jolly saint in the red suit who brings you toys. But, he is as spirited about the other holidays. I suppose it is because he has learned about them and sees that they bring joy to the people who celebrate them. Even my three year old can see that saying Happy Holidays does not take anything away from his Merry Christmas. He is an eager elf who wishes anyone and everyone tidings of the season. Happy Holidays, Happy Kwanzaa, you name it. It’s equal cheer to him. Why can’t it be that way for all adults?
I know several people who believe in the Make Christmas Great Again theme. They are church going folks. They believe they are good Christians. If you asked them, they would insist they weren’t bigoted. But negating another religions sacred time, is bigoted. Not to mention, un American. Remember this country was founded on religious freedom. It seems to me, the people who claim to have the moral high ground have lost their footing, most assuredly. I know this Christmas vs Happy Holidays is such small potatoes. Especially nowadays. But I can’t help but think it’s these little things that chip away, bit by bit, at the core of our human decency.
Whatever it is you celebrate this season, may it bring you joy and peace in your heart. We will do our best to keep the joy in our sons heart for ALL Holidays. For ALL people. For Goodness Sake.
Until next time, keep,fighting the good fight. Remember, behind every great kid is a mom who is pretty sure she is screwing it up. Happy Holidays! Xo