Marie Talks: Traditions

Most people have things that every year they do, and certain ways. The ones I am talking about specifically in this blog are our winter holidays such as Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa just to name a few of the best known ones. There are many others as well, and I think it’s important to remind ourselves that once in a while, especially when we’re excited for our holidays and want to spread our cheer. Wanting to celebrate your holiday and spreading cheer is a great thing and should not be stifled, and in a perfect world you would see decorations for all holidays and everyone wishing everyone a good holiday by holiday they celebrate. However when you look around it looks a lot like Christmas, and not a lot like we’re celebrating any other holidays. That is why as a society we are wishing each other a happy holiday instead of calling out just one. Changing our greeting is not to shove Christmas back up the chimney along with Santa, but instead to allow other holidays to be celebrated and acknowledged.

Christmas is only a small time period of the winter seasons but it seems to be everywhere even before Halloween is over. So while some of us are preparing for Christmas many other celebrations are taking place. Now to many people who celebrate Christmas it’s a very exciting time of year full of songs, decorating, loved ones, and cheer; but that is also the case for many others gearing up for their holiday. I remember the first time I was told I should not be wishing people a Merry Christmas but instead a Happy Holidays, I was young and annoyed as I wanted to share my cheer with everyone. Then I wanted to hear more then just the instrumental versions of my favourite Christmas songs, as it felt bare and dreary without them. Over the years though I have learnt, realized and accepted that although I did not see my holiday as overshadowing others that it was. I started noticing that the last time I had heard about Hanukkah I was probably still in elementary school and since then it had only been mentioned as one of the other holidays surrounding Christmas, and that upset me. 

To me Christmas time was my favourite because of the cheer and togetherness I felt within my community, and that struck home a while back. I love Christmas due to the cheer it brings me, not just because it’s Christmas but because so many people are buzzing in anticipation of their celebrations and traditions. Regardless of what someone is celebrating sharing the cheer is better then not having it there at all.

I start wishing everyone I meet a Happy Holidays as soon as December 15th passes. I do slip up and in my excitement say Merry Christmas, but I never mean it to take away from someone’s celebration, I say it out of habit of what I was raised being taught to say. To me wishing someone a Merry Christmas or a Happy Holidays means to hope they are filled with cheer, love, and surrounded by loved ones regardless of what they may be doing. Saying Happy Holidays is not taking away my celebration, it’s allowing more people to be included in the cheer I have felt every December which makes it even better

Hope everyone has a safe and cheerful winter and a Happy Holidays.

Marie Olsson 

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