Responding to the "Worries" People Had When They Found Out I Don't Celebrate Christmas
December 25th is a regular day for me -- a day like any other.
Growing up, I've heard every form of shock from my classmates when they found out I wouldn't take part in the school Christmas party, or pretty much any other holiday for that matter.
Some people felt bad for me. Some people said I was being deprived of a positive spirit. Some said that I was missing out or that I was abnormal, and it made for a very outcasted decade and two. The list goes on and on from there, but the truth is, I didn't mind and still don't. Here's why.
It's been stated, to start, that not being involved in Christmas celebrations divides a family or proves that I don't value close bonds with people I'm supposed to cherish and love, but family is actually the most important thing to me of all time. My mother is very devoted and religious, but my father is not, and most of his side of the family celebrates this to the fullest.
I admit that I didn't spend this day beside them, but I also never missed out on a graduation party, or on congratulating my relatives on their college scholarships. I was there when they were experiencing the pain of grief and I was there when they entered new life into the world. I was there for a casual cup of coffee or a day of jokes and happiness. I was there when they needed me the most. In my view, there's so many more days in the year to show that we love each other, and it should not be limited to a couple here and there.
Besides, based solely on the quick videos on Tiktok and Instagram (I know, not a very strong source, but personal to real scenarios, right?!) that explain the struggles of Thanksgiving and Christmas, and the disagreements that people experience when two very different opinions clash among a variety of subjects, I consider there to be division regardless of what we do. The world is not perfect, and it doesn't come down to attending or being present at these celebrations. What it comes down to is much more complicated than that.
It's not that I haven't experienced that tension before in other places, and that's exactly what the point is. I think there's miscommunication and disagreements always will be there in the mean time, at least. After all, our views on politics or how the heck we're supposed to raise a child is enough to cause a fight for a lot of people (not even only with our families thanks to the media. We're all too different it's bound to happen every so often. One day of the year isn't what causes the division when it does arise.
It's also been said that because I don't get involved with Christmas, that that would suggest that I'm stingy, greedy and don't appreciate the importance of giving, or peacefulness. This couldn't be more untrue. When I was growing up, because I didn't receive presents on Christmas, my mom would usually give me gifts on random days of the year, likely when I'd least expect it.
This might be to applaud good grades, good efforts or a kind deed and as time passed it grew on me to express in anyway possible, whether that be with gifts, words or time to prove that I appreciate someone. I loved how the eyes of my family have lit up when I have given them an unexpected gift or when I bring up random surprises and honestly I always will treasure that. I love, love, love experiencing giving whenever I want through throughout the year, and not simply because of tradition or because a day told me to.
Now for my last point, since I don't want to get too "preachy" or religious on this platform, I'm not going to be too loud about it, but I am going to say that just because I have chosen to step back from the celebration of Christmas it doesn't mean that I don't consider myself Christian. I understand that I follow a different direction than many people do and that I'm also very different from many other religions or non-religious people, but that's the way it is these days.
Most of us don't believe the same thing and think differently than each other, but the important thing is that it makes us happy and gives us comfort when we need it. I'm excited about my beliefs and I do like to talk about them, but I also hope that other people have that same excitement because that's what it's supposed to do. It shouldn't be the source of our fear and anxiety, and if it is, there might be a better place for us elsewhere where we do feel calmer and welcomed.
I'm not trying to make a big deal about myself, but I am trying to say that even though we might not agree with each others ideas and way of life, we should at least respect each other. In the end, we're all humans and not too different side by side. We're all trying to get through the chaos of our own 24 hours. I'm happy doing what I do. I've explained myself and have made sure the people I love understand why I do what I do, and I hope everyone has this kind of attitude in every which way. In fact, I hope that we get to a point that we don't have to explain ourselves for doing what makes us feel joy and feel empowered.
Unique as can be, we all deserve to be cared for.