This time of year is overwhelmed by holidays. Lots of people celebrate something, be it Christmas, Yule, Hanukkah, A’phabet Day (or No “L” Day), Grav Mass Day, or what-have-you.
There are also people who celebrate nothing at all.
Whatever the case may be for you, I want to wish you a Happy Holiday. And even if you celebrate nothing at all, have a good day.
So let’s talk about the people who get offended by not wishing everyone a Merry Christmas today. Or, on the other side, those who would be offended by being wished a Merry Christmas. The question for either is — why does it matter?
There are so, so many things to get upset and offended about in the world. Most are far larger than what phraseology one uses to wish you a good day. Getting upset because you were or were not wished a Merry Christmas is rather silly in the grand scheme of things.
I was born and raised Jewish and grew up in the Midwest of the USA. My contemporaries were largely Lutherans who celebrated Christmas. As a kid growing up in the ’70s and ’80s, I was frequently wished a Merry Christmas.
A little more inclusivity is nice, but the spirit of the notion is what really matters. Merry Christmas doesn’t mean “F*#k you if you are not Christian.” At least, for the most part, that’s seldom the intent I have encountered.
By the same token, using Happy Holiday and the like is not some “War on Christmas.” It is not “F*#k you if you ARE Christian,” it’s a recognition that there are other beliefs out there.
Religious freedom is not about persecution
Historically, however, that’s not true. A lot of historical matters of people seeking “religious freedom” was actually more about them having the power to be the persecutors.
Take the Puritans, for example. They loved to persecute anyone who didn’t follow their ethos. In England, they were the persecuted. When they got to America, however, they got to be the persecutors.
Witches were burned. Native Americans were chased off their lands. They held certain very strict beliefs that have continued to impact American society today. Don’t believe me? Notice how offensive people find naked bodies versus bloodied, beaten, and murdered bodies.
The misunderstanding that comes with religious freedom is that there is no one, single, absolute religion. There are many. Christianity in-and-of-itself is comprised of more denominations, sects, organizations, ideals, and religions than can easily be listed. Islam and Judaism are also not a single ideal.
When you impose your will on other people in the name of religious freedom you are not expressing actual freedom. That, in turn, creates rifts, divisions, and other problems in society.
Wishing you a happy holiday persecutes nobody. It is an expression of freedom in that it recognizes no single idea, no one notion, yet bids goodwill to all.
The spirit of the season
When someone starts in on the whole idea of “put Christ back in Christmas,” they may believe they are being inclusive and/or fighting being excluded. But that’s not the case.
Christmas is not now, nor has it ever been, a purely sacred holiday. If it was, then the commercialism that starts at the end of October wouldn’t be what it is today. But by that same token, the spirit of the season is not sacred, either.
History shows that the Church placed the birth of Christ on the 25 thof December in order to override Pagan holidays. Yule is a perfect example. Yet yule logs, wreaths, and trees have come to be symbols of Christmas, haven’t they?
Holiday lights? Hanukkah is the Festival of Lights, celebrating the miracle of a single jar of oil for the eternal flame in the temple lasting 8 days. Yet displays of light have also become associated with Christmas.
When all is said and done, however, this is not so important. The spirit of the season — being kind to one another, opening your heart and mind…these are far more important. The spirit of peace and goodwill towards others is the best reason for the season.
It doesn’t matter what you believe — or not — you have the power to be a good person. You get to choose to be helpful to others or not. You decide how you will act towards others. It’s up to you if you will make the most of the spirit of the season and work on having and making a happy holiday.
I don’t know about you, but I enjoy the positive energy that this idea brings out.
Have a happy holiday and/or a good day
Life is precious. You and I have only a short span of time that we will be here, on this planet, experiencing this life. Maybe today is special because it’s a holiday, but maybe today should just be special because it’s a day.
To me, every day that I get to experience new things, grow, learn, and change is exceptional. Life may be difficult and challenging sometimes, but that’s all part of the experience.
While you don’t generally live at the extremes, you still need them to understand all that lies between them. Good and bad, fat and thin, black and white, male and female, yin and yang, all of these extremes are the endcaps. You and I exist between them, possibly leaning towards one or another.
It is entirely up to you to choose how this day is going to be. Good day or bad? To be certain, there are going to be happenings that fall far, far outside of your control. But that’s typical. When it comes to that which you can control, you get to decide how you will think, feel and act.
In truth, that’s everything. Your thoughts, feelings, and actions are you. They make up your mindset, your headspace. That is where you truly exist.
As Yoda said,
“Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter.”
That is you. It is me. Maybe today is a special day, and maybe it is a day of good memories or bad. But it is a day, and you have a choice as to how it can and will be for you. Your approach is the key to your experience.
Hence why I bid you, whatever you celebrate — or don’t — have a good day!
You are worthy and deserving of using your mindfulness to find and/or create the reality in which you desire to live. When all is said and done you and I matter. Have a great day!
Originally published at http://titaniumdon.com on December 25, 2019.