Respect all holidays

Parents and children sit around Santa reading book.

The last three months of the year can get chaotic. There are so many holidays that it’s hard to keep track of them all unless they’re clearly written in your Passion Planner.

We have the people who think Halloween was Satan’s gift to mankind, those who rely on Thanksgiving – and it’s delicious food – to distract them from their plummeting GPA and the people who start playing Christmas music on the first of November.

Everyone goes crazy and thinks that the holiday they support the most is arguably the best. There are arguments that can be made for and against most holidays, but no matter how you feel about the holiday season, please respect other people’s holidays.

Every holiday is important, and every holiday deserves respect.

Parents and children sit around Santa reading book.

Parents and children sit and meet with Santa Claus on Dec. 11, 2013. People should respect other holidays during the winter season. Photo via U.S. Army Corps of Engineers / Flickr

We are raised as children to treat people with the respect that we want to receive. We are taught to listen and understand. But when the holidays come around, people get Santa crazy and start to think that a jolly old man in a red suit is the second coming of Christ.

December is a tricky month. Christmas, Hanukkah, Diwali and Kwanza all team up to viciously attack the month of December with presents, cards and festivities. In America, our school districts give us a winter break to celebrate Christmas and New Years without worrying about school.

But where does that leave students who celebrate other holidays? Of course, by law, any religious holiday can be considered an excused absence, but what example does that set for small children who don’t celebrate Christmas. Their holidays are important enough to have an excused absence, but not important enough for their own holiday break.

We are “one nation under God” but at the same time, the First Amendment protects all religious freedoms. The United States doesn’t have a universal religion. Therefore, there’s no reason that the majority should get two to four weeks off of school just because their religious holidays are important.

Most movies that hit the Hallmark channel during December are geared towards Christmas. Each movie is a stereotypical romantic comedy where two people fall in love and magically connect on Christmas Eve. But there’s little to no representation of other holidays.

The focus of American holiday celebration has always revolved around Christmas, which leaves out so many other people and the holidays they celebrate.

You can celebrate your favorite holidays while respecting the holidays of others. It’s as easy as saying “Happy Holidays” when you don’t know someone’s religions, or when you know which holidays someone celebrates, acknowledge their holiday.

If you want to be unnervingly nice because of the holiday season, go for it. While it would be great for you to keep the sentiment year-round, we’ll settle for your four weeks of kindness which means being self-aware of the other holidays happening around you.

Opinions expressed in The Nevada Sagebrush are solely those of the author and do not necessarily express the views of The Sagebrush or of its staff. Jacey Gonzalez studies journalism and can be reached at jaceygonzalez@sagebrush.unr.edu and on Twitter @NevadaSagebrush.  

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