Happy Holidays, not Merry Christmas

On Friday I went to the Holiday Party hosted by my work. The Friday before that, Jeremy’s work had his Christmas Party.

If you just read that sentence and thought that both of those parties were the same….keep reading. I have a point.

I work at a Jewish agency.

Our Holiday party consisted of saying the HaMotzi before breaking bread and eating a kosher lunch. The centerpieces were Menorahs and we lit the fourth candle at sundown while reciting the traditional blessing.

I would like to point out here that I am not Jewish. I ate my bread before I knew what a HaMotzi was and I awkwardly stayed silent during the Chanukah blessing (which was recited from memory in Hebrew by my fellow Jewish co-workers)

But I loved feeling like an outsider. Because it highlights what minorities feel all the time living in our Christian based country.

While we don’t have an official religion, Christian holidays are clearly the front runner in American society.

Christmas is everywhere. It’s on TV and the radio. It’s at the mall and decorating the houses in the neighborhoods. Christmas is a federal holiday and most work parties are Christmas parties.

I am by no means saying that we shouldn’t celebrate Christmas or that it isn’t a wonderful holiday.

But take a moment to think about how it feels to be a minority that doesn’t celebrate Christmas. I can tell you from my experience as a non-Jew in a Jewish dominate work culture…it’s not exactly comfortable.

So the next time you want to spread holiday cheer, make the effort to use the word Holiday instead of Christmas. Because it’s not the same thing to everyone. Just that one little change in word can go a long way in making someone feel more included in our world.

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