Nov 28, 2011

Happy Holidays!

The end of the year is already a week and a month away. Those who celebrate Advent light today the first light in their Advent Wreath, but also there are other customs and celebrations being displayed. The stores that have been displaying Christmas decoration since August or at least October, push it harder as customers fill their aisles and many temporal helpers and salespeople are hired to face the flood of people spending their hard earned money on things they don't need, and plenty of presents, often for people they don't even like but feel pressed to buy something for.

However, thing is that this time of the year isn't only about Christmas and the Christian celebrations, as it happens that Hanukka is also around these days for the Jewish Faith, and Pagans celebrate Yule. There might be other holidays too - Islam celebrates around these days the Ashura, which isn't a particularly happy holiday - and so for those who are not Christian the overpowering Christmas mood, and the overstated "Merry Christmas" wishing can - after a while - become somewhat offending. Also, there are people with a very aggressive religious stance who get offended if someone wish them anything different than Merry Christmas, or even if they hear other people wishing anything different.

Logically speaking, it's irrational to act like that, but I believe all of us will agree that extremist or fundamentalist people can't be labeled as "rational". I wouldn't mind if a small group of close minded jackasses mumble and frown for themselves if they hear people wishing each other Happy Hanukkah, except that the whole thing is becoming a sort of passive-aggresive bullying, with little space or respect for other religions. Depending on the official religion of a country, or what the accepted majority professes are religion, basically that's the only holiday decoration and motives we can find, unless of course, we go to specialized stores where you can - I don't know - find Yule decoration.

Perhaps we are still far away from the day when all stores will give equal chances to all religions and all holidays, but we shouldn't be so far away from being tolerant and accepting the faith of those around us. Wishing each of us according to our holiday and our faith, or simply "Happy Holidays" can be the first step towards a better understanding.

Thing is that it doesn't make you less in your faith to recognize and accept people of other faiths, nor is your faith so weak - if it is a true faith - to be broken if you partake in the celebration of those whose faith is different than yours. So what do you say? Shall we receive these Holidays in our faith with the determination to open up to others and accept them in their own faith?


Sartassa said...

My parents are spending the early days of December in Egypt (such as in the two years before) and I always hear them complaining about the crazy commercial Christmas things they tend to see in the tourist centers of the country even though Christmas isn't actually celebrated there...
Still, Christmas Songs have only been on the radio since the first Advent Sunday so I am not that fed up with it yet.

Sartassa said...
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