holidays

Merry Christmas vs. Happy Holidays

Well, the battle over “Merry Christmas” vs. “Happy Holidays” seems to have reared its ugly head yet once again.  Apparently it’s becoming a new holiday tradition.

I listen to people wishing each other “Happy Holidays” and yet complaining about not saying the other.  I wonder why the dilemma.  Why are we so unable to wish a Merry Christmas to those celebrating this Christian holiday?  Yes, there are those who are not celebrating this event but instead, celebrating Hanukkah.  So are we so unable to say to those, “Happy Hanukkah”?  Why can we not look to those in our communities who may be Muslim and offer them “Eid Mubarak” or “Ramadan Kareem”?

Why are we so aholidaysfraid to embrace members of our community for the diversity that they bring?

I watched the Michael Buble Christmas special earlier; in one segment of the show, he spoke with two little girls and asked how they celebrate Christmas.  They let him know that they are Jewish so instead, they have their own traditions.  He asked them to explain and they did so happily, sharing their excitement and joy.  Out of the mouths of babes…..

Why is this so hard for us to do as adults?  Why are we so afraid to ask people, friends and strangers, to help us understand how they celebrate their own holidays in their homes?   Why can’t we learn from each other?  Why are we so afraid of that which is different?

I lived in the Middle East for nearly a decade.  During that time, community members took pleasure in wishing each other congratulations on the various holidays that occurred.  If people there can accept each other and that which makes us unique, surely we can learn to do so here.

Can’t we?