We have a good thing happening at our office. There are quite a few of us, but everyone celebrates Christmas. There are no non-denominational Christmas wishes in our office, or carefully worded cards. We get to decorate, talk about Santa and give gifts without having to worry about it. But because we’re a public company, all of our social media pages have the ‘Happy Holidays’ wishes on them, and nothing in the way of Christmas trees or decorations. Some snowflakes, a little winter scenery, and that’s it.
I wonder sometimes how we’ve created this world that we offend everyone by saying Christmas greetings in a traditional way. Is it really offensive to say ‘Merry Christmas’ to someone who doesn’t celebrate Christmas? It’s not like they’re saying ‘baby Jesus eventually died for your sins, so this time of year we all have to celebrate’. When I say to someone ‘Merry Christmas’ do you know what I mean? I’m saying ‘isn’t this a wonderful, happy time of year? I hope you’re happy as well and if not, let me spread some of my happiness to you’.
It’s definitely important to understand different beliefs and different cultures, but I don’t think we should take offense over such little things. Last year I celebrated that winter solstice with my friend, and we are not pagans. One year I had a ‘winter holiday’ part with a few friends because someone was christian, another was Jewish and another was… let’s call him unique 🙂 We had so much fun, and no one took offense when we did a Secret Santa.
Santa is not a christian invention. He’s a Coca Cola invention. So why is he offensive to those who don’t celebrate Christmas?
I think all this came around because of the religious bigotry that has gone on for years. People think of Christmas as another Christian invention used to push religion on you. But really, Christmas has become something much bigger than just a child’s birthday. People who celebrate Christmas spend their time with family. They put up lights, they give each other gifts and tell one another they love each other. This is no longer a christian holiday. It has become a holiday to spread joy to everyone, and see the smiles of the people you love. When I say Merry Christmas, it’s not religious at all, so don’t get offended.
I think part of accepting the differences in one another is accepting that we all do things differently. It’s not for us to get offended when someone doesn’t know your specific beliefs. We should be heart-warmed that we want to share our beliefs and experiences with one another. Because if I say Merry Christmas to you, and your say Happy Hanukkah to me, I will definitely smile and be glad I have a friend like you.