Happy Holidays

“Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love.” Hamilton Wright Mabie

The 2013 census informs us that Ohio has a population of 11,570,808. That population has ancestry groups from Germany, Ireland, England, Poland and Italy. Our racial makeup is white, black, hispanic, asian, pacific islander, Alaskan native and mixed. Our religions are Protestant, Catholic, Jehovah’s Witness, Judaism, Islamic, Hindu, Buddhists, Mormons and unaffiliated.

As I walk through the mall, the park, or go to work I will encounter people from these faiths, cultures, and backgrounds. All of them live, love, and may have families. We are similar in many ways. They may celebrate days that I am unfamiliar with, but at that celebration, they are often with loved ones. It is often a day of sharing memories, and receiving encouragement and hope for the coming days.

The list of ‘special days’ and ‘events’ in December is rather extensive:

Advent
St Nicholas Day
Pearl Harbor Day
Bodhi Day
Feast of the Immaculate Conception
Virgin of Guadalupe
Santa Lucia Day
Las Posadas
Hanukkah-Festival of Lights
Winter Solstice
Christmas
Kwanzaa
New Years Eve

If all I ever said to any person I passed was: Merry Christmas–or Happy Kwanzaa–or Happy Hanukkah I would be exposing my own arrogance that what ever it is that I celebrate; all others must celebrate that as well. It is to ignore the many festivities of the month.

What I am really wishing people is a time of good will. An opportunity to enjoy time with family and loved ones.  To say Happy Holidays is to wish them a month of good days. A season of fun.

Saying Happy Holidays is actually a broad respect for all people. It is not exclusive. It does not exclude Christmas. It does not exclude Hanukkah. It does not exclude any of those days.  It is inclusive.

Most importably I suppose is the way we send our greeting. The spirit in which we interact with others. Am I really wishing them good will? Or am I pushing my own agenda? People can tell.

“People may hear your words, but they feel your attitude.”   John C Maxwell

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