Now it makes me sad to read in the news how the holidays are becoming more divisive year by year. Defined as religious Christmas, retail Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and Festivus (which most people were introduced to in an episode of Seinfeld), there is an inability or choice by some, that doesn't allow holiday greetings to be accepted by different religions or belief systems.
I don't understand why it has to be this way. Why can't we celebrate our own beliefs and allow others to not only celebrate but include us in theirs with no criticism? I've been invited to and have attended many diverse events including an adult Bat Mitzvah, an Episcopalian wedding, Catholic mass and 2 Buddhist funerals even though I wasn't baptized or raised any of these religions... So I welcome the opportunity to help others celebrate their holidays as well.
The thing is, I accept we aren't all the same and rather than be divided or torn apart, I choose to celebrate our differences. Instead of focusing on the words, I appreciate the intention when being wished a happy or merry Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Festivus or the all inclusive "Happy Holidays" and will simply say "Thank You." I don't have to practice, understand or believe in every aspect of every religion or secular (non-religious) group to accept a gesture of goodwill. When someone wishes me a holiday greeting different than the one I observe I can honestly say I've never felt negated or disrespected. I've always felt welcomed, even for a moment, in the holiday they are offering to share with me.
So today I'd like to say thank you to everyone who has taken the time to wish me a holiday greeting by mail, email or on Facebook and hope everyone has already or will enjoy a holiday season full of laughter, love, peace, goodwill, merriment, celebration, generosity and acceptance.