Living in the United States, December and November are characterized by Christmas magic. Christmas commercials begin immediately after Halloween, urging people to buy gifts for their loved ones. Tv shows all begin circulating their “holiday” episodes, which are almost always just about Christmas. And people begin sending out invites for Christmas Parties. Everywhere you turn, Christmas in its commercialist, praise-Jesus-glory, is shoved in your face whether you’re Christian or not.
I love the merry spirit that this time offers. Exchanging gifts and expressing thanks to loved ones, eating cookies, and spending extra time with family and friends. However, I don’t go to church and I’ve never read the bible. I’m not Christian. My family and some of my friends are, but not everyone. That’s why I think it is important to keep the “Christmas” out of the “Christmas magic” of the season.
This relates to the somehow heated debate over whether it’s appropriate to say “Merry Christmas” to strangers or “Happy Holidays”.
To be inclusive, we should stop assuming everyone is Christian. We should stop assuming that everyone celebrates Christmas because they believe in Jesus and God. I’m not saying that there should be an all-out boycott against Christmastime, hell, I love Christmastime! What I’m suggesting is that people need to be more consciously inclusive during the merry season.
The main way to be more inclusive: have a Holiday Party or a Winter Party instead of a Christmas Party. Some ways to un-Christmas a Christmas party include:
- A collaborative playlist of everyone’s favorite songs.
- Wintery or extra cheesy Santa Claus decorations. Keep baby Jesus out of it, let him sleep.
- A potluck meal with everyone’s childhood favorite, nostalgic dishes.
- A bonfire or fireplace lit to set a warm atmosphere.
The last point may have come as a surprise given what I’ve been saying. However! Secret Santa, exchanging gifts, eating a gluttonous amount of food, none of these things truly coincide with Christmas as a religious holiday. December has molded into a consumer holiday season, or if you want to be less cynical about it, a season of Appreciation and Love for those around you. Emphasize this aspect of the season.
Because love is something we all celebrate.