As we draw closer to Dec. 25, it’s an appropriate time to discuss how we refer to this time of year.
In recent times, as the Western world has become even more ethnically diverse and political correctness has become the rule, the trend has been toward eliminating references to Christmas, as if that will somehow create a more inclusive society. Rather than avoiding the reference, why not use the opportunity of the Christmas season to start conversations about others’ experiences at this time of year?
Rather than being fearful of alienation of others, simply by calling the holiday what it is, why not make an attempt to develop greater understanding of the various cultural and religious traditions practised in our area?
Many believe the season has become more about commercialism than spiritualism. But Christmastime is still, when all is said and done, more about the feelings people have toward each other than any blatant Christian expression of faith.
Regardless of one’s race or religion, everyone is affected by the marking of Dec. 25. Not only do the vast majority of workers enjoy a day off with pay, many people find themselves in a lighter frame of mind.
Walk down the street the morning of Dec. 25 and you’ll hear far more Merry Christmas salutations than anything else. That’s because it isn’t Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa, Rohatsu or even the winter solstice – Jewish, African-American, Buddhist and pagan anniversaries also celebrated in December.
We’re not sure how many people use the phrases “season’s greetings” and “happy holidays” as a way to be more inclusive, compared to those who are trying to be more PC. Let’s also not forget that such terms have been seized upon by greeting card companies and merchants looking to stretch out the “special occasion” buying season.
People shouldn’t say Merry Christmas if their heart doesn’t tell them to. But we should all try to use the day, and the season, to act more from a place of love than fear, which is something the day’s namesake was trying to teach people in the first place.