Defining “Christmas”

The holidays are just different this year, whether that be from all of the recent violence and fear publicized by the media, unseasonably warm December weather, or the civil war in our country over the most politically correct phrase for the season.

It’s a struggle to feel cheerful right now. We’re bombarded with sales on the internet, on television, and on the road. Battles on social media over the color of our coffee cups, and pledging allegiance to the shop with the most Christmas cheer printed on the cups in red and green ink. Selfies at a Christmas tree farm with our significant other, capturing the moment.. or is it for our followers on Instagram, who we ignored last week for forgetting to wish us “happy birthday” on our Facebook timelines? Make sure to Google a cute caption for them as well.

I don’t mean to be cynical, but as I get older, I feel like I can see through the smoke and mirrors disgusted as Christmas cheer. We criticize one another for not changing our profile pictures to Jesus in a manger. We are disgusted at the ones who choose to shop on Thanksgiving night, while we publicly display on Facebook that we are filled with too much love for our families to leave their company. If we are going to love, it has to be in all things we do, not just what we say.

Each year it seems to get worse. Commercialization fills every holiday. Stores duke it out with campaigns on either side of the spectrum, either radically religious or extremely secular.

Whatever way you celebrate this season, let it be yours. There is nothing more special, more beautiful than your traditions. America is unique because it embraces all of our traditions: a melting pot of families, cultures, and values unlike any other. I hope that for you this season will spur the feelings of love and thankfulness in your heart.

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