I was arrested yesterday for the first time in my life. A jerk tried to give me a Christmas greeting, so I decked him. I don’t like being called Mary.
People have all sorts of ways to greet each other this time of year. “Merry Christmas”, “Happy Hanukkah”, “Happy Kwanzaa” are all holiday greetings.
We celebrate the birth of the Christ on December 25th, but festivities extend from the day after Thanksgiving until the day after Christmas. For some, it’s all about the exchange of presents, while others love to get together with family and friends.
Jewish people celebrate Hanukkah, also spelled Chanukah, this year from sunset, December 16 to nightfall, December 24. Most celebrate by lighting candles each night, singing special songs, reciting Hallel prayer. They also eat foods fried in oil, such as latkes and sufganiyot, and dairy foods and playing the dreidel game, and giving Hanukkah gifts each day.
African American people celebrate Kwanzaa, which is a tribute to African heritage, unity, and culture. The holiday period also celebrates creativity, faith and the giving of gifts. It lasts from December 26th through January 1st.
This is not to say that all ethnicities only celebrate in the above mentioned ways, but I think it’s important to know what people celebrate and the importance of the holiday season for everyone.
It is for this reason that I’m never offended to say “Happy holidays”. I also say “Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah”. I don’t presume that all African Americans celebrate Kwanzaa. I’ve made that mistake in the past and received a lecture about the mixed celebration of that holiday period. So, I say “Happy holidays”.
My point is that some Christians get so horribly offended by the term “Happy holidays” and I think it’s kind of selfish. Yes, Christmas Day is a celebration of the birth of Jesus, and I love that. I also believe that nativity scenes should be left alone and that Christmas trees are just that. Not holiday trees.
There are many, many stories about the significance of the tree, but none has lasted as a symbol like that of the first first person to bring a Christmas Tree into a house, in the way we know it today. 16th century German preacher Martin Luther, as the story goes, one night before Christmas, was walking through the forest and looked up to see the stars shining through the tree branches. It was so beautiful, that he went home and told his children that it reminded him of Jesus, who left the stars of heaven to come to earth at Christmas.
In any event, let me wish my readers a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and Happy Kwanzaa.
See you tomorrow.
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See you tomorrow! Jerry