Whose reason for the season?

I wrote this a couple of seasons ago and do not wish to lose it. It seems there are spammers out there who are finding all kinds of reasons to attach spam comments to my web site. I don’t want to just delete this copy so here it is again.

I can remember as far back as the early 1950s seeing Christmas cards to the family saying both Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. People would freely exchange the two greetings in the days prior to December 25. I always assumed the Happy Holidays greetings included Happy New Year as well.

Nowadays there are people calling themselves Christian who insist that nobody say “Happy Holidays” to them. They MUST hear “Merry Christmas” or they get offended.

That seems OK with me when the calendar rolls around to maybe the second or maybe even the third week in December starting about the 15th or so.

Due to the conspicuous consumption forced upon us by merchants, we are forced to begin enduring the thoughts of Christmas as early as mid September.

Has anyone officially declared the beginning of “the season” yet? If the season starts in September, is that when we are supposed to start wishing each other only Merry Christmas, when the Christmas music starts blaring in the stores and the trees and trimmings are first displayed?

What bothers me is the number of people who fail to even consider that there are Christians in every nation, just as there are Non-Christians  from every nation who have made the United States their home. These people have their own non-Christian religions and holidays which have become the backbone of their own family traditions. They have the right to have their holy days acknowledged as well.

In my humble opinion, Christians have no right to usurp the calendar from the middle of September until December 26 and say that only the birth of Christ shall be recognized during that time.  After all, there was one time in the new American country where Christians themselves outlawed Christmas. Now Christians are saying that, in their own minds, only Christmas shall be mentioned during that time. The pendulum swings.

I tried to find on the internet all world holidays from the middle of September to the end of the year. I was not successful. I did find this list.

October 6 – Sunday Dassehra (Hindu)
October 7 – Friday Yom Kippur Begins at Sunset (Jewish)
October 12 – Wednesday Sukkot Begins at Sunset (Jewish)
October 16 – Sunday Sweetest Day Third Sunday in Oct
October 19 – Thursday Sh’mini Atzeret Begins at Sunset (Jewish)
October 20 – Thursday Simchat Torah Begins at Sunset (Jewish)
October 26 – Wednesday Diwali Festival of Lights (Hindu, Buddhist)
October 17 – Saturday Sikh Festival of Lights (Sikh)
October 31 – Monday Reformation Day (Christian – Protestant)
October 31 – Monday Halloween

November 1 – Tuesday Dia de los Muertos Mexico, Day of the Dead
November 1 – Tuesday All Saint’s Day (Christian)
November 2 – Wednesday All Soul’s Day
November 3 – Thursday Hajj Begins Begins at Sunset (Islamic)
November 6 – Sunday Eid-al-Adha Starts at Sunset (Islamic)
November 10 – Thursday Birth of Guru Nanak Founder of Sikhism
November 24 – Thursday Martyrdom of Guru Teg Bahadur (Sikh)
November 24- Thursday Thanksgiving Day US National Holiday
November 25 – Friday Muharram – New Year Begins at Sunset (Islamic)
November 27 – Sunday First Monday of Advent (Christian)
December 4 – Sunday Ashura Begins at Sunset (Islamic)
December 8 – Thursday Bodhi Day Buddhist
December 20 – Thursday Hanukkah Begins at Sunset (Jewish)
December 22 – Thursday Winter Solstice (1st Day of Winter) Shortest Day of the Year
December 24 – Christmas Eve
December 25- Christmas US National Holiday (Christian)
December 26 – Monday Kwanzaa Ends Jan. 1
December 26 – Monday Boxing Day Canada, UK
December 31 New Year’s Eve  

That’s a lot of holidays besides just Christmas during that time period, and I know that’s just the tip of all the holidays throughout the world. Perhaps, in the name of respect for each other, Christians should lower the volume of their complaints about Merry Christmas and start recognizing that the calendar belongs to every human being.

We all sing about Peace on Earth during this time. But failing to recognize that every ethnic group from every country has the right to their own traditions and beliefs is not the way to achieve this peace.

The greetings are meant to recognize each other and to wish everyone good will. Isn’t it about time all religions started being more inclusive than exclusive? I think we should invite people into our beliefs, not force our beliefs upon them.

In the month of December when a warm fireplace, a warm hug, a warm handshake does much to warm our bodies and our spirits, I think we should declare a moratorium on this cold war of the ownership of the calendar. Acceptance of the beliefs of others goes far in breaking down the barriers some are so anxious to build. Let there be peace on earth.

Happy Holidays everybody. Namaste Attic Annie


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