Every year, the same stupid debate rears its ugly head – what should we say to each other during the festive season?
We spat with each other pointlessly in the name of being politically correct. I’m all for being politically correct in most instances -- saying ‘Inuit’ instead of ‘Eskimo’ comes to mind, but I digress.
So let’s settle this argument once and for all -- the fact is this shouldn’t be about political correctness in the first place. This great nation of ours is built on the idea that we have freedom of religion, speech and to be who we want to be without prejudice.
So why then can we not celebrate and share well-wishes however we prefer without jumping down each other’s throats when it doesn’t jive with how we mark the holiday season?
We all celebrate different things in different ways.
Perhaps it’s St. Nicholas Day, which marks the anniversary of St. Nicholas’ death on Dec. 6, 343 AD. The holiday pays homage to the man who spent most of his life helping those in need. It is celebrated in several European countries and by Europeans worldwide.
Of course, there’s Hannukah (or Chanukah) -- which is also known as the Festival of Lights. Instead of one day of presents, there are eight crazy nights, Adam Sandler points out. While there may be gifts involved, the holiday, which is marked Dec. 12 to 20, actually commemorates the rededication of the Second Temple in 165 BC.
There’s Kwanzaa – the African holiday which translates to ‘first fruits of the harvest’ in Swahili. Created in 1966, Kwanzaa has seven core principles and strives to reconnect individuals with their African culture. It is celebrated Dec. 26 to Jan. 1.
If you’re like me, this year you’ll be marking the third annual post-prequel era gong-show that is the release of the latest Star Wars film. This year, the celebrations run from Dec. 15 until whenever you can finally stop talking about the new movie. I hear this year it’s not going to go the way we think.
Then, of course, there’s Festivus for the rest of us.
“Welcome newcomers. The tradition of Festivus begins with the airing of grievances,” said the one and only Frank Costanza.
So say whatever the hell you want this holiday season (as long as it’s nice), but don’t get mad at someone if they say something different because you’re too insecure about the fact that your neighbour doesn’t put up a Christmas tree and sing about rocking around it.
Whether you celebrate any of the holidays listed above, or you’re just gearing up for a hearty National Maple Syrup Day (Dec. 17), just be comfortable in your own skin and accept that we aren’t all the same. Accept what others say with a smile and perhaps reply with a kind message of your own – like ‘Thank you.’
Basically, be a Cindy Lou Who this holiday season, not a Grinch.
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