When did a season of love and cheer turn into hatred and resentment?
By Mercedes Deutscher, Staff Writer
I see Christmas as a season of love, joy, and caring. I look forward to it all year, so I get in the holiday spirit when fall strikes. Ten years ago, it was common to see those around me getting excited too. Today, if I so much as breathe the word “Christmas” before December, I’m looked at as if I’m a monster.
One of the arguments that I’ve heard is that by getting ready for Christmas, I’m showing disrespect to our veterans and Remembrance Day. By no means do I place less significance on November 11. I wear a poppy and I’m very conscious of the moment of silence. Just because I’m excited for an upcoming holiday doesn’t mean I’m showing disrespect to another.
I recognize that many members of service will be abroad during Christmas, and that some people will not make it home. So why not utilize Christmas to further respect our troops? Write letters and send care packages to those abroad to show that you’re thankful for their service during the holiday season. Donate to foundations that support veterans and families of those killed in combat so that the holiday season is easier for them. It shows that you care, and caring for our service members is the main purpose of Remembrance Day.
An increasing phenomenon of the holiday season is the so-called “war on Christmas.” People have been insistent on using “Happy Holidays” in replacement of “Merry Christmas” as a greeting, claiming it is attacking other holidays. I find this hilariously hypocritical. Even if they don’t celebrate Christmas, they know that it’s a greeting that wishes good cheer. There are other winter holidays besides Christmas, like Hanukah or Kwanza, to name a few. Some people don’t celebrate a holiday at all. So it doesn’t matter what holiday you celebrate, but the meaning behind your words. If someone came up to me and wished me a Happy Hanukah, I would be happy. I may n0t celebrate it, but that person is simply wishing me a happy holiday season.
The holiday season isn’t an easy and happy time for all. Some people have nowhere to go due to either homelessness, estranged relations with family, or no family at all. In other cases, impoverished families may not be able to afford gifts or food. Some people claim it’s insensitive to get so worked up over Christmas because others have hardships that prevent them from enjoying the season. But there is a solution. Is it not the season of giving? There are so many ways to bring joy to people who are struggling. Charities of all shapes and sizes help by donating presents and food to less fortunate families. Shelters offer a hearty Christmas dinner to people on the streets. These foundations are always looking for help. Small things count too. Invite a friend into your family if you know they will be lonely on Christmas. Spreading joy will also bring peace within.
The largest complaint of the holiday season is that it’s become too commercialized. Christmas decorations are in stores as early as September, and while I feel excited when I see them, others are disgusted. Christmas is a profitable time of year and you can’t blame a company for wanting to capitalize on that. What’s important is to realize that not all of the joys of Christmas come with a price tag. The gifts will fade but the memories will not.
I’m not expecting everyone to be excited about Christmas; everyone is different. I’m just hoping that some new perspective will make Christmas less of a negative thing and bring it back to its true meaning: spreading joy and loving all.