We’ve kind of reached that time of the year when people start thinking and planning ahead for the Christmas season. This time of year can be pleasant but also quite hectic for some and awkward for many as the prospect of affording gifts for all of our loved ones becomes a concern that lingers well into the new year. For myself, Christmas was never a very celebrated time, Although, my family did trim a tree and place gifts.
My father used to do shift work and whether he’d be home on Christmas or not was always up for question. Given the nature of our household and the fact that my brother and I were both sick children, any holiday season spent outside the hospital was really all we wanted/needed. And believe me when I say, there were Christmases where I spent the holiday lying in a hospital bed. But I digress…
With the coming of the holiday season also comes the opportunity for many to focus on their own agendas. In recent years, saying something classic and genuine like “Merry Christmas” has become a faux pas, considered by many to be offensive to those who don’t celebrate Christmas. This essentially makes zero sense and doesn’t jive with me. Although I inherently have no issue with saying “Happy Holidays,” I don’t believe wishing someone a Merry Christmas should be construed as offensive or insensitive, whether the recipient observes the holiday or not. After all, I don’t celebrate Hanukkah but if someone wished me a Happy Hanukkah during that specific holiday, I would simply say thank you.
This is a trend that seems to permeate and infest the holiday season, with public locations being forced to change directions and in some cases even forego decorating in favour of not “offending” someone. Here’s the reality: people will have different beliefs and faith backgrounds. And that’s okay. All those differences is what makes Canada unique. We are home to a perpetual rainbow of people and cultures. But respecting each of those cultures without taking offence of those we aren’t a part of is key. This is what’s referred to as tolerance.
The holidays are already a busy time and somewhat hectic for people, dealing with work schedules, finances and potentially hosting family. And there is already enough intolerance in the world at the best of times. Let’s be sure this holiday season, to appreciate when someone wishes us well, regardless of what terminology they use. There’s no need to be offended is someone says Merry Christmas. By that same token, there’s also no reason to be offended if someone says something different, or nothing at all, in return. Let’s learnt o be more accepting and tolerant. Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean we need more snowflakes. Food for thought…☯️