From the Editor: Holiday wishes

The semester is finally fading into numbered days. Among the stress and anticipation of these last few weeks, students at Rider are feeling something else — excitement. The decorations are up, everyone’s mouths are running and every song is about snow. The holidays are fast approaching.
However, while the holiday season is intended for joy, people still pine for complaints. Although many are quick to think of Christmas, it isn’t the only holiday celebrated. Individuals are also celebrating various cultural holidays, such as Kwanza or Hanukah. Wishing someone a Merry Christmas doesn’t cover all the bases.
You can’t assume what someone believes by simply staring them down. It’s not fair to assume that everyone does, or even worse, should celebrate Christmas. To avoid the awkward glares or mumbled apologies, you’re better off just wishing someone Happy Holidays instead.
By the same token, people should not be quick to take offense. If someone is extending you a Merry Christmas, they’re not speaking with spite. They’re simply wishing you a good season and extending some much-needed, rare kindness.
Once again, it’s not as easy as glancing at a person and understanding their entire set of ideals and beliefs. To many people, “Christmas” is a term that encompasses of the entire season. Those people are truly ignorant, though. It’s not like all the commercials and all the songs and all the decorations we’re forced to consume are all Christmas-themed, right?
If one is unaware of your beliefs and wishes you a Merry Christmas, they are just telling you to have a nice holiday. There’s no harm in correcting them, but an issue arises when extreme offense is taken.
At what point will it be offensive to say “God bless you” when someone sneezes? You wouldn’t want to force your religious hopes down the throats of atheists. And while we’re at it, quit saying “Feliz Navidad.” It could be offensive to those who aren’t Hispanic or at least immigrants, and we need to stop playing the song. And enough with the “I Bleed Cranberry.” What about all the hemophiliacs who have bleeding issues? And what about those are allergic to cranberries? We need to find something else to bleed because cranberry just isn’t inclusive enough.
Wishing you a Merry Christmas has no connotation other than “enjoy your December 25th.” It is not intended to be offensive or to spark a social debate. Everyone is free to celebrate what he or she chooses and no one at The Rider News encourages ignorance or prejudice. However, it is time that everyone succumbs to the simple spirit of these holidays; generosity and, dare we say, love. In the spirit of safety, have a Happy Holiday, whichever celebration that may be.


The weekly editorials express the
majority opinion of The Rider News.

This editorial was written by Opinion Editor Samantha Sawh.

Printed in the 12/03/14 issue.

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