At last, Thanksgiving is over and now everyone can finally start getting ready for Christmas. You turn on nearly every radio station and Mariah Carey’s “All I want for Christmas” song is blaring through the speakers. Whether you are alone or with friends, everyone sings Christmas music to the top of their lungs. Every snap chat story or Instagram feed is filled with people setting up their Christmas trees.
As the semester starts to dwindle down and finals start to creep up on us, the phrase “Christmas vacation” starts being heard throughout campus. The excitement of having a month off of school is felt even through the stresses of preparing for finals. However, I used to not think twice about that phrase but as I have gotten older I started thinking more into the small phrase “Christmas vacation” may affect people who do not celebrate Christmas.
I can admit being raised Jewish I always had a sense of jealousy for those who celebrated Christmas. I would hear my friends talk about Christmas morning, waking up to a glistening tree, with presents all around the trunk. I remember telling my parents I wished I had celebrated Christmas. I wanted the tree, the lights, the cookies for Santa and his reindeers. I wanted what I thought was “normal.” Almost all of my friends are Christian, because let’s face it most of America is Christian. When I hear the phrase “Christmas vacation” I almost feel like an outcast, like I am so different because I do not celebrate Christmas.
Every year, on Christmas my family has the tradition of volunteering in city of Baltimore, either at a food bank or delivering presents to people’s homes. In America, we have glorified holidays, while most people say it’s the season of giving, often times people do not follow that saying. Most holidays, including Hanukkah, have become more about the presents we receive rather then the actual meaning behind the holiday. I am not saying people should be more religious but, especially during the holidays it is important to be empathetic. Think about others and do what you can to help society.
My ancestors were murdered in the Holocaust just for simply being Jewish. I spent a great amount of time wishing I was something else just so I could fit in. But, as I have gotten older and met so many different types of people, it is boring to be the same as everyone else.
America is a melting pot of so many types of people which makes it a beautiful place. It is important to learn about other religions and cultures so we can spread love and not hate. While “Christmas vacation” may be what everyone is used to, I ask that you think twice before using the phrase. We all deserve a break from the stresses of college and winter break is a great time to relax and enjoy time with family and friends.