Believe What You Want

This is a little break from my writing challenge.

What do you believe in, as far as spirituality goes? Do you believe there’s a higher power? Do you believe in God/Allah/etc, etc?

Do you believe in YOU? As in, YOU control whatever happens to you?

Next question. Do you care what other people believe in? If so, why and how does their choice affect you?

———————————————————————————————–

For some reason, particularly around this time of year, there’s always this sense that those who believe in Christmas are wrong. Why? I’m assuming because it’s a Christian holiday. Unless you’ve been living under a rock or are a child, you know Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ on Dec 25. (Let’s not debate the actual date of His birth. I know theories are out there that it’s a different date, but I don’t have the energy to debate it now. Thanks.)

So we all know this is what Christians celebrate. On the flip side, we know that Jewish people celebrate Chanukah/Hanukkah. We all know this and yet, there is always this sentiment that celebrating Christmas is… I don’t know…bullsh*t. Maybe what I’m getting at is, there does seem to be a little bit of an attack on Christmas. I didn’t want to really believe that there was, but I think to some degree, there is. Is it the consumption around the holiday that’s tainting the actual celebration of Jesus’ birth? Sure. But is that the fault of Christians? I don’t know. Perhaps I need to do some research to see when all of this gift giving/spending got out of hand. I think it started in the last 10-15 years or so, but that’s just a guesstimate, of course. I definitely don’t remember it being so intense when I was a kid. But surely, the Catholic church (or any other Christian denomination) didn’t instill this idea to go out and spend thousands of dollars on gifts. And if anyone wants to prove me wrong, please comment below with some proof that I can read.

But…why does Christmas get “trashed” (can’t think of a nicer word…maybe “dissed”?) for the gift giving (mass consumption), when Jewish people give gifts EVERY DAY of Hanukkah?? No one talks about how that’s excessive. And FYI: I don’t think it’s excessive. I think it’s AWESOME! *lol* When I learned that Jewish people give gifts during the eight days of Hanukkah, I was like, WHAAAAT!? Why can’t Christmas be like that!? (Mind you, I was like 12 when I learned this information.) But they don’t get attacked for this. Why not? Are there not enough commercials about Hanukkah? Or do people feel there is there more meaning behind Hanukkah than Christmas, so the multiple gifts seem more…legit? more…acceptable? more…real or honest? I don’t know.

Before I go on, check this out:

Hanukkah is not a “Sabbath-like” holiday, and there is no obligation to refrain from activities that are forbidden on the Sabbath, as specified in the Shulkhan Arukh.[39] Adherents go to work as usual, but may leave early in order to be home to kindle the lights at nightfall. There is no religious reason for schools to be closed, although, in Israel, schools close from the second day for the whole week of Hanukkah. Many families exchange gifts each night, such as books or games and “Hanukkah Gelt” is often given to children. Fried foods (such as latkes (potato pancakes), jelly doughnuts (sufganiyot)and Sephardic Bimuelos) are eaten to commemorate the importance of oil during the celebration of Hanukkah.  –Wikipedia 

Just wanted to post this to let you know what goes down. Read more about it, expand your mind. 🙂  But check it out, during Hanukkah there are gifts AND indulgence in yummy foods!!! AWESOME!!! But we ain’t talking about this! No one’s like, “And look at all these Jewish people giving all these gifts and treats every day during Hanukkah! It’s too much! It’s over the top! It’s overconsumption!” Nope. No one says this. Probably because most of us don’t know anything about Hanukkah. I get it. Maybe that’s the problem. We’re in the dark about what other religions do?  I mean, if you didn’t know the above about Hanukkah, you can now see it’s virtually the same as Christmas (well similar to Christmas). The difference is all gifts are given on one day as opposed to spread out. And we all know during Christmas we indulge in sweets and decadent foods. Just saying, ya’ll. Just saying. Yes, the gifts during Christmas are probably more…elaborate. I mean, face it, most parents these days aren’t really giving their kids books to read. If you do, GOOD JOB! If not, well….

I’m moving on.

I feel like Christmas is ruined a little bit more each year because of this “attack”. I don’t even get excited about it like I used to. I’ve loved Christmas since I was a kid, and not just because of the gifts. It really used to be the “happiest time of the year” to me. I mean, no other time in the year are we decorating our homes/businesses, singing cheerful songs and celebrating with family all at once. Of course you celebrate with your family during other holidays, but you don’t sing songs and decorate your house. Are there Fourth of July songs? Do you decorate for Labor Day? No and no. Christmas is awesome in that we do all these fun things…as a country! It’s fun to see so many people get into it, right? I think it’s such a cool holiday. But these days, it kinda sucks. No lie. It kinda sucks because there’s this new notion that it’s bad. It’s bad because it’s a Christian holiday. It’s bad because it’s now the holiday of mass consumption and overindulgence. It’s bad because it’s the religious holiday that takes over all other religious holidays.  

And hey, I’m not trying to say that other religious holidays don’t matter. Oh gosh…dare I say it?

ALL HOLIDAYS MATTER!

I had to do it, sorry.

But they do matter and I respect all of them. But…I don’t know. If we’re going to go after Christmas, can we go after all the others equally? *lol* I know, that sounds ridiculous and I’m kidding (sorta). These days, I’m scared to wish someone a Merry Christmas. I don’t want to offend anyone because everyone is always offended these days by something. It’s kinda scary. Anyway…

Maybe we should just shut Christmas down. No more gifts! No more spending money we may not have! Shut it down! Would that be better? Maybe. I don’t know. I’m over it.

Ok. Back to the regular schedule tomorrow, folks.

-t

EDIT: My friend, L.M., posted this on Facebook:

My family and I celebrate Christmas and Kwanzaa. I haven’t noticed any attack on Christmas where I am– in fact, I’ve noticed the opposite; I have friends and relatives who maintain that everyone should say “Merry CHRISTmas” (yes, they write it just like that, despite it not actually being Christ’s birthday– but I suppose that’s neither here nor there), and each year I struggle to find anything in the local stores (either big retail stores or “Mom & Pop” shops) that would enhance my family’s Kwanzaa experience. I suppose I don’t really care that much– I can always order stuff from Amazon– and honestly, it doesn’t really bother me that everyone celebrates different holidays. But it would be nice if my local Michaels arts and crafts store carried something– ANYTHING– that pertains to Kwanzaa. It’s like stores only recognize Christmas and (C)hanukkah.

–Thanks for your response, L!  It’s gotta be frustrating to celebrate Kwanzaa. I don’t see many stores selling the candles/candleholders for Kwanzaa, let alone anything else that can be used to celebrate it. I can see that stores pretty much sell Christmas and Hanukkah decor. And, I get it. The large majority of Americans celebrate either or, so that’s who the stores cater to. Not saying it’s right, just saying.

As far as wishing people Merry Christmas, I think in some spaces (i.e. smaller, independent stores), people still say it. But in general, I feel like the media and large business/chain stores, goes with “Happy Holidays”. That’s from what I’ve seen. Perhaps I’m wrong. I don’t reeeeally care what people say in the long run. I know it’s a way to be more inclusive and I can get down with that. We all don’t celebrate the same things, I get it. But for me, it’s becoming sad to celebrate Christmas when there are some people (a lot of people) that get so offended by the sheer mention of the words Merry Christmas or Christmas. It’s like, when did it get so bad? When did people get so fed up with it? I meannnn, when you live in a predominantly Christian country…. um, errr, yeahhh…someone’s going to wish you a Merry Christmas. You’re going to see mention of it everywhere. It’s kinda hard to escape! *lol*  This makes me wonder, what do Christians do in predominantly Jewish or Muslim countries? I wonder if there has been a movement to be more inclusive in those countries too? (And I’m speaking of countries where Christians aren’t persecuted/harassed for their beliefs.)  If anyone has that info, holla in the comments.  –t

 

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