The War on The Holiday Season is back, and all parties are going at it with everything they’ve got.
And it just shows they just don’t get it.
Fox News, the neo-cons, and certain (but not all) Christian groups are all decrying how people are saying “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas” (because God forbid you have to acknowledge not everyone shares your belief or that your belief is not the most important one in the country) At the same time, certain (but not all) pagan groups are accusing Christians of stealing their holiday(s), and certain (but not all) Atheist groups are outright calling people stupid for having any belief for the season.
This is what they aren’t getting.
Right now is the most depressing time of year. There is a biological predisposition towards depression during the winter months. Before the modern age, it was dangerous to venture out in the cold. The days are shorter, and the nights are longer as well. Food supplies were a constant concern as well, so the need to conserve energy has been written into our DNA. We become less active, and less energetic, resulting in less of those rewards of activity and more depression.
The celebrations we have, whether we call it Christmas, Yule, the Winter Solstice, etc, are all designed to fight off this depression. We adorn our houses with light to shut out the dark of the encroaching night. We decorate our houses with reds and greens, and other colors to remind of spring to come, and give us the hope to survive the year. People, from the ancient Morris Men to the modern Caroler, go from house to house, singing songs of joy to lift the mood. Family and friends come together for their own personal rituals, common activities to build bonds and closeness to combat the threat of depressive isolation. Gifts are given, candy and sweets adorn trees and fill bowls, and parties are thrown to spread both joy and caring through the community. All to fight off the dark specters that threaten the psyche.
That is the ultimate reasons for the Season.
Every time you complain because someone says “Happy Holiday” you are forgetting this.
Every time you have to attack or counter attack another’s belief system, you are forgetting this.
But every time you take the effort to make someone smile, every time you spread that joy, and every time you take the moment to show another human being you care, you are living the reason for the season, no matter what set of beliefs you hold.
It’s not about being Christian, Jewish, Pagan, Atheist, Islamic, Hindu, Buddhist, Heathen, etc.
It’s about being human
So be human. Spread the joy, love, and caring. Because the alternative is a hardwired darkness.