I didn’t start celebrating Christmas until I was 10 years old. My siblings and I had just immigrated to the United States. And even though we were not Christians, my parents felt obligated by the new culture of the Western ways to celebrate — at least in the Christmas decorations and gift giving part. You know that old saying, “If you can’t beat them… join them.” Personally, I was too young to neither care nor understand about the religious inclination and the true meaning of Christmas. Just like any kid, I thought Christmas was the best holiday ever because of all the presents, tasty foods, and beautiful decorations. As I got older and learned the meaning of Christmas, I became disillusioned about celebrating a holiday that wasn’t part of who I am. But like my parents, I felt obligated to celebrate it. Over the years, seems like the true meaning of Christmas have been abandoned and instead it’s replaced by commercialism and greed of the retail world. I find myself falling to the same trap of buying gifts that I didn’t have the money for but did it anyway because I didn’t want to disappoint friends and family. Then dealing with the stress of paying back the debt on my credit cards. I thought to myself, “This isn’t what Christmas is about. We shouldn’t be subject to forced spending…” Finally about 5 years ago I decided to stop celebrating Christmas, when I felt my kids were old enough to understand my reason — I wanted to be free from this yearly obligation of celebrating a holiday that wasn’t me.
I been pondering on which politically correct greeting to use — Is it Happy Holidays? Merry Christmas? And decided to wish everyone Peace and Happiness instead. 🙂