By Priyata Richy
As Christmas season approaches and the flashing Christmas lights and Christmas products everywhere force you to acknowledge the holiday season’s presence, now may be a good time to step back from all the Christmas joy and think about why Christmas may, after all, not really be the best time of the year.
Before I am mistaken for the Grinch, let me clarify that I am most definitely not a Christmas hater. If anything, I love the decorations, the Christmas carols and the joy that seems to overtake people of all ages. This may come as a surprise but I possess the startling ability to abstain from being mesmerized by the twinkling Christmas lights, and am able look at the holiday objectively. Like everything else in the world, the Christmas season is not without its flaws.
1. Christmas is, in most cases, almost forced upon us. What I mean by this is that during Christmas season everyone just automatically wants you to be in the “holiday spirit” while blatantly ignoring what the holiday season may represent to some. I’m sorry to have to say it, but just because it’s Christmas doesn’t mean you can take away my right to feel a certain way about the holidays. Maybe I don’t have a family to go home to for the holidays? Many things can get in the way of enjoying Christmas. Not being in a joyful mood 24×7 doesn’t make me the Grinch. It means I don’t have to conform to the Christmas spirit if I don’t want to. Judge me all you want.
2. We’re in New York City people! This is one of the most diverse cities in the United States. A major chunk of the population consists of immigrants, many of whom are not Christian. I’m Muslim and you don’t see me going around wishing people Happy Ramadan or Eid Mubarak and expecting them to understand the excitement of chaand raat, now do I? And how about the Hindu holy days of Diwali and Durga Puja? That’s just Muslims and Hindus, but how about the Jews and all the other religions? People are celebrating other holidays around this time as well and it would be great if everyone could start saying Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas. I think St. Nick and Jesus would understand if we gave the other holidays a bit of importance too.
3. Hold on now, maybe I missed something because I immigrated to this country pretty late in the game. Am I under a misconception, or isn’t Christmas supposed to be about celebrating the coming of Christ with your family? I thought this would mean spending quality time with your family and appreciating one other with whatever it is you have. Instead of this simpler style of celebration, it appears some families prefer to spend Christmas time decorating, cooking and throwing big parties, oh and how could I forget, shopping.
4. Talking about shopping, that’s all Christmas seems to be about nowadays. Christmas is so over-commercialized that stores start their Christmas-oriented deals and decorations immediately after Halloween! All people can talk about when referring to Christmas is how much they can’t wait to go shopping, or about all the gifts they are expecting.
Christmas has become all about buying things, and nothing is more pleasing to retailers than this. In others words:
If more people spent time giving thoughtful gifts and stopped fretting over price-tags and all the material things they want, maybe there would be more time to devote to friends and family. Be happy with what you get, people, and keep in mind that many people do not have the same luxuries you do (like orphans, homeless people, and let me not get started about third-world countries).
5. Christmas: a Christian holiday that is celebrated on December 25 in honor of the birth of Christ (definition from Merriam-Webster). So Christmas celebrates the birth of Christ right? Except Jesus Christ wasn’t even born in December! As a non-Christian this idea baffled me, so I asked around and took to Google. Turns out the Bible does not specify the date on which Jesus was born but there is enough information to infer that it was most definitely nowhere near December. There is a lot of speculation as to when the actual time was though.
6. Who else thinks Santa needs to lay off all the judging? I mean, come on! The man works only one day a year and spends the rest judging everyone else! Hahaha, no? No one found that funny? Okay I’ll retire back to my little writer’s corner.
While Christmas is most definitely not without it’s flaws, it is still a time to celebrate for many people. The pretty decorations and the joy in the air is a refreshing contrast to the cold winter air. So I’m ending this with some good vibes and wishing everyone Happy Holidays! And if you aren’t observing any holidays, well I hope you enjoy the mini-vacation we are getting.