On Oct. 13 during the Values Voter Summit in Washington, President Donald Trump said, “We’re saying ‘Merry Christmas’ again.”
I didn’t realize the White House and Americans stopped saying this. We didn’t actually. At our workplaces, at our churches, at our family and friends’ gatherings, and even at department stores, we still say “Merry Christmas.”
On many shopping trips, sales associates often have said to me, “Merry Christmas.” They also have said “Happy Holidays.” I was never offended when I heard the Christmas greeting, and I was most certainly never offended by the holidays greeting either.
One of the reasons why I say “Happy Holidays” to others, in addition to “Merry Christmas,” is because the New Year holiday is right around the corner — and because there are numerous holidays honored and celebrated during this festive season.
Our country is not a nation of one religion or belief. That’s the beauty of the freedom of religion according to the U.S. Constitution.
Some of the various religious and cultural holidays, which I found on deseretnews.com and educationworld.com, that occur in November, December and January are:
Mawlid al-Nabi (Islam) — “an Islamic holiday that honors the birth of the Prophet Muhammad, who founded Islam”
Hanukkah (Judaism) — “an eight-day Jewish festival of lights, which celebrates the Maccabean revolt in Egypt”
Yule (Wicca/Pagan) — a time when the solstice is celebrated and when “the winter-born king, symbolized by the rebirth of the sun” is honored
Christmas (Christian) — celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ
Kwanzaa (African-American) — a celebration that lasts for seven days and allows those honoring the holiday to reconnect with their African roots
Rohatsu (Bodhi Day) (Buddhist) — “the historical Buddha’s decision and vow to sit under the Bodhi tree until he reached spiritual enlightenment”
When I talk with a family member, friend or co-worker and know he or she celebrates Christmas, of course, I will wish him or her “Merry Christmas.” But to others whom I don’t know, I’m not sure which holiday they honor — or if they celebrate one at all.
My family partakes in Christmas festivities, and this year will be extra special for us because our son, who will be 9 months old, will enjoy his first Christmas. (This obviously entails many gifts purchased, not to mention the ones his grandparents will get him!) Plus, two days before Christmas last year, we found out we were matched with his birth mother — best Christmas present ever — so this holiday will forever be a joyous one for us.
If you do celebrate a holiday around this time of year, I hope it is a memorable occasion filled with laughter, wonder and love. May the season’s greetings fill your heart with warmth.