Head to Head: Merry Christmas

Gillian Burks, Editor in Chief

Iwork at a small grocery store just two minutes away from Jefferson City High School. The time has come when Christmas jingles are on a nonstop repeat over-head. Don’t get me wrong, I can enjoy “Silent Night” like the best of them, but it becomes tiring to hear it twelve times in one shift. A problem I face every time I’m stuck at a cash register is whether I should send a customer off with a “Happy Holidays” or a “Merry Christmas.”

For the majority of last year, I reminded myself to always say “Happy Holidays” for the fear of offending someone who didn’t celebrate Christmas. It has reached this point in the year again, and I’ve decided that I will no longer stifle my own belief for the sake of others.

I understand that in a society where the majority of the population celebrates Christmas, it can feel silencing to never see your own beliefs taking front stage. It can be infuriating that someone else’s beliefs are coming before yours.

When you try to argue that the way to make yourself feel better is by demanding our silence as well, that is when I have a problem. If you feel that you are not being represented equally, represent yourself. Decorate everything you can in every way you want. Call in to radio stations and request songs you want. Send people off with your blessings, you don’t have to say “Merry Christmas.” I will respect your holiday in whatever form you give it, respect mine as well.

Why is it such an issue for me to tell someone “Merry Christmas” and for them to respond “Happy Hanukkah?” We’ve both wished good times to the other in our belief and at no point have we disrespected the other’s belief.

We are all individuals. Respect is the only thing that needs to be demanded. I see and respect that our beliefs don’t match. I will maintain my beliefs and never insult yours. In fact, I will gladly put effort into understanding your beliefs and taking my time to support you if someone is attacking your beliefs. However, the answer is not to attack my beliefs as well. I will say “Merry Christmas” and you can say whatever you want.