It takes real effort not to participate in Christmas, I know.. I’ve actually tried for years. But the truth is, much like other holidays you don’t have to follow a certain religion to be a part of it. You simply have to let go and be ready to be happy.
As a child and most of my adult life, I have not just disliked Christmas, I have used the word hate when referring to the festival of red and green. I had a long list of reasons why the holiday was not only a waste of time, but down right awful.
- People drive themselves crazy trying to buy the perfect gift, fighting one another for the title of best present ever.
- Christmas has pushed all of the other holidays off the calendar. We start hearing Christmas music and seeing decorations in September.
- It is a Christian holiday forced down the throats of everyone else.
( And this list went on… and on… and on.. )
I lived in the world of the Grinch for many many years. I sang Bah Hum Bug as I strolled through the isles of Christmas shoppers and glared at those who would wish me a Merry Christmas. I spent a lot of time and effort showing how much I disliked being forced to celebrate something I didn’t want to celebrate. But for what?
The truth is, like many people, I didn’t want to accept being happy. The world was not a happy place, I was not a happy person. Even though I declared that I was, and for flashes I tried to be. I didn’t accept that I was the only person in the world that could bring happiness into my life.
Christmas, like every other holiday on the planet doesn’t judge who participates. It’s just there for anyone who wants to join in. You can do it in whatever fashion you want. There are no rules, except you must be willing to put aside your anger. You don’t have to jump faiths and rush to Christmas Mass. You just simply need to be willing to be happy. Stop judging others for what’s in their baskets and look in your own life to see why you feel like you need to compare yourself.
In our house we don’t put up a large tree and decorate, but we do have a small lit tree that we often call our Hanukkah bush, it stays up til January. We try to make it out to everyone’s holiday parties and don’t declare that we are Jews and don’t celebrate Christmas. We just roll with it and enjoy being together with friends and family. We bake cookies and treats, because it’s fun and we enjoy it. And as Christmas rolls in, we try to make sure we let the people in our lives know that they are special to us, it’s a reminder to reach out, wrapped in red and green bows.
Just like St. Patrick’s Day, when everyone becomes a little Irish, Christmas means everyone can become a little jollier.