Merry Christmas. No really, Merry Christmas to you and your family! Let me share with you what Christmas means to me.
Today is a day we take to relish time with loved ones and friends. We celebrate the joy in all the blessings we have been afforded in life.
I vividly remember some of my first Christmas mornings with my family. My father with the Sony video recorder to capture the joy while proceeding around the house to wake up my siblings. We would all run downstairs to find out that Santa stopped at our house.
After opening gifts, my mother would bake some remarkable loaves of homemade bread, which was always a highlight of the morning for me. I also remember the years in which I was genuinely scared of Santa coming into my families home when I was not awake...oh the good old days!
That very sense and feeling of family and home are what the holidays are all about. Growing up, as I walked past the signs out in front of Macy's that display the word "Believe," I was always intrigued by the magic of the large red letters and sign pointing to Santa's mailbox. No matter your age, we all must "Believe," and let that spirit guide us through the season.
Moving away from my childhood and into reality, I think its always important to remember this time of year is about giving of oneself. While doing so, it encourages us to re-center our lives in great gratitude for all we have, no matter what faith, political convictions or walk of life.
Too often we are so caught up in how "politically correct" we are, that we lose sight of the genuine nature others have in saying the innocent and caring, "Merry Christmas."
In a recent opinion piece in the Washington Post, Ms. Julia Ioffe urges people around her to "not wish [me] Merry Christmas.”
While I respect Ms. Julia Ioffe's opinion and thank her for exercising her first amendment right, I firmly believe she has entirely missed what the cordial message of "Merry Christmas" is all about...or even what the salutation of "Happy Hanukkah" or any other holiday saying is meant to convey.
Too often we live in a world where people honk at you for not moving fast enough or stampede on the Metro escalator if you aren't in the correct lane (walking left side). I much prefer people greet each other with respect than move towards a hypersensitive world where we fail to welcome each other as fellow human beings.
While I understand the argument you present, in not being a Christian, I offer the idea of when someone says, "Merry Christmas" return that with a "Happy Hanukkah" or "Happy Holidays." Any greeting for that matter, don't be frustrated - choose happiness on this day, month, year, and in your life.
During this festive season, I think it's important to remember that we don't always know others stories or what they are dealing with, so instead of being upset about something that someone else has no idea about, try shedding those frustrations to wholeheartedly enjoy a truly magical and special time of the year!
I leave you with a clip of my all-time favorite Christmas movie that is sure to inspire anyone to "Believe" anything is possible if we put our mind to it.
Merry Christmas, Ms. Julia Ioffe. Feel free to wish me a Happy Birthday, any day of the year!