Michael L. Stoller would like to wish everyone a very happy holidays. Shouldn’t that suffice?
I do not celebrate Christmas. While that is hard to believe, not everyone celebrates Christmas. Over the years this is something that I have struggled with and it often makes me become very angry during the holiday season. Recently, I was with my 4 year old son (Sam) at a car dealership getting my car fixed. While we were waiting, the lady behind the counter asked my son if he was excited about Christmas this year. Here is how the conversation went:
Lady: Are you excited about Christmas?
Sam: No, I don’t celebrate Christmas
Sam: I celebrate Chanukah
Lady: Oh, are you excited about Chanukah
Sam: No, it is already over
Lady: Oh, What did you get?
Sam: I got 8 presents and my big present was a drum set
At that moment, I was so proud of my son. He was not offended at all about what the lady had asked him and just spoke his truth to her.
Last year my brother-n-law and I got in a heated discussion about why it bothers me so much when people say Merry Christmas to me. He thought saying Merry Christmas means the same thing as Happy Holidays. I could not disagree more. After going back and forth for about 45 minutes, I decided he is never going to see my way so I just gave up.
As men, it is not always easy to speak the truth. Around the holiday season, I find myself hoping to avoid these awkward moments of being wished Merry Christmas or asked what my kids are getting from Santa this year. Depending on who the person is, sometimes it is just easier to say thank you. At other times, I speak my truth and let them know I am Jewish and I celebrate Chanukah. This year, I have been inspired by my son Sam. I will be more proud, honest, and truthful about who I am and what I celebrate during the holiday season.
So, what is my point? My point is to be more observant of others. While you don’t have to say Happy Chanukah to me, I would appreciate if you said, Happy Holidays. I am sure others would appreciate this as well.
Photo: C.K. Hartman / flickr