In the past few days, I have been observing and taking part in conversations on Facebook about the greetings we use during this holiday season. Some people were taking offense at the idea of a generic “Happy Holiday” salutation, indicating that it was their right ‘as Americans’ to say “Merry Christmas” and no one was gonna take that away from them. I am not intending to make fun of those who wrote that, but that is truly how it was expressed. I responded respectfully in all cases, that we live in a world in which this time of year honors many holy-days, including Christmas, Hanukkah, The Winter Solstice and Kwanzaa. If I am missing any, please forgive me. I don’t assume anyone celebrates any particular holiday and I celebrate them all. I was raised spiritually and culturally Jewish and shared holidays in our home and theirs, with friends from diverse backgrounds. I was taught to respect other people’s practices. As an ordained interfaith minister, I appreciate the common thread that the Light is present in us all and is at the core of all of the winter rituals.
We have an annual Latke Party at our home, with the smell of sizzling potato pancakes permeating the air not only on that day, but for a week afterward. Friends and family stream through, bearing their own culinary delights and open hearts to share. Laughter, music, fun and celebration abound. White twinkle lights are around my hallway and dining room, a menorah and a miniature tree on the table in my front hall, decorated with feathers, faeries and angels greet those who walk through my door. Candles shine brightly throughout the house. A feeling of warmth and welcome radiate outward from those glad hearts in my life. That energy remains as powerfully as the food aromas for quite awhile.
Wishing you the beatitudes of the season, however your soul sees fit to celebrate. And in that spirit, I wish you a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Joyous Kwanzaa, Blessed Be.
One of my favorite songs that honors two traditions:
Christmas in the Ashram