Holidays are for celebrating the things you already have

By Anthony Szudarski

It’s about that time of year again: Finals week is almost upon us, the semester is ending, and oh yes, that wonderful holiday is just around the corner–Xmas.

No need to read that twice, I said Xmas. Now, before you write that wonderful introduction to your hate mail, let me explain why you can have your Christmas, your Hanukkah, your Kwanzaa, or any other holiday you can think of, and I can have my Xmas.

We live in the United States of America, a melting pot of different cultures and people—something that we as a nation are proud of—yet when it comes to the holiday season I’m supposed to know what you’re going to celebrate?

As soon as we start wearing name tags with our selected holiday I’ll do just that.

It’s not like Xmas is some sort of atheist holiday anyway, it’s just a shorter way to say Christmas. And don’t get me wrong, I love me some Xmas cheer, but if we’re celebrating someone’s birthday…why am I getting gifts?

When I asked around campus, the students I spoke to all were going to be celebrating Christmas in some way over the upcoming winter break, but when I asked them to explain to me their favorite part of the holiday none said that they were in it for the gifts.

Sophomore painting major Alexandria Stueber, a student who celebrates both Christmas and Hanukkah, said her favorite part of the holiday season was “Being home with my family, cause’ I don’t get to see them often.” She even gets gifts for both holidays, but family time is what’s important to her.

Do you think she gets offended if someone tells her happy holidays? “Not at all,” she said.

This became a trend. I spoke to junior sociology major Delores Folkes, who will also be celebrating Christmas. She’s looking forward to getting together with her “huge” family to spend time together and have Christmas dinner.

Although the students I spoke to are planning on celebrating very well-known and widespread holidays, that doesn’t mean it’s the only one coming up.

There are other holidays that take place over winter break that many of us forget about, like Epiphany on Jan. 6 (better known as Three Kings Day) and, for the Seinfeld, fans out there Festivus on Dec. 23.

The great thing about all these holidays is that they promote being together with family and celebrating what you already have. Though many are based in religious traditions, it’s not an attack if people celebrate them differently or don’t celebrate them at all.

I know this year when I’m celebrating Xmas I won’t be thinking about the gifts I’m getting…well, maybe a little. I’m going to be thinking about how nice it’s going to be to see my little cousins and family that I don’t otherwise get to talk to. Isn’t that what the holiday season is about?