Two things happened this week.
The first thing that happened was I wrote my holiday greeting cards. The second thing that happened was a good friend I hadn’t heard from in a while called to say hello. Separately, neither are worth writing home about, but the unification of both started my mind ticking over and my pen ink flowing.
Writing seasonal cards isn’t a task out of the ordinary for me at this time of year. I try to send greetings every year — last year may have been the exception. But this year with that grinchy COVID, I think everyone needs a warm word, hug or two.
Each October or early November I start looking for the perfect cards to send. I think that cards must reflect my personality and love of the holidays. For the past several years I have made certain to be politically correct and non-denominational in choosing cards with generic holiday greetings so as not to offend anyone.
Jump forward to this afternoon, after writing my holiday greetings which do not mention any specific religious event but send ‘warm tidings of the season and best wishes for the New Year’, my friend telephoned. My friend, whom to protect the innocent and for the sake of this opinion, we will call ‘Maudrey’. In chatting, we discussed the study of ancient civilizations and the importance of carrying on and teaching cultural traditions so they can be passed down. Maudrey mentioned to me how we have our own ancient story and our own cultural traditions that create our identity, but for the sake of political correctness, we are no longer permitted to mention this in the fear that it may be offensive to the listener. Of course, she was referring to Christmas, and the story of the Nativity.
I grew up in a Christian household that celebrated Christmas. We went to Sunday School each week and church activities throughout the year whether we liked it or not. As a teenager, it was more ‘not’. But when I became a parent I returned to the values and beliefs that my own parents had taught me, and theirs had taught them. I taught my children about Christmas and its origins — because that is our culture and makes our traditions.
So, when Maudrey pointed out that Christmas and the Nativity are part of my individual identity, I realized that for the sake of political correctness for the past several years I have been suppressing my own truth as to who I am. (Thank you Maudrey for ‘pinning’ this for me.)
I want to be proud and unashamed when I pass you on the street to wish you a Merry Christmas. In return, I want you to share with me who you are. Wish me back a Happy Hanukkah, Happy Diwali, Happy Kwanzaa, Happy Eid, Happy Solstice, Seasons Greetings, or whatever you may. I want you to do that because we all need to be kind and open-hearted. We need to ‘see’ each other, accept each other for who we are, and say “I am not offended by your culture, your traditions, or your beliefs, and I am proud of my own.” With all my respect to you, the season, and with holiday love, I wish you a Merry Christmas.
K-J Millar | Journalist
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