The Spirit Of The Season

 Well, I cannot believe that another year has sped past, and we are officially into the Winter Holiday Season. I have already seen or read about random good acts performed by my friends and others that make me thankful that I do know so many people now. From a police spending his own money to buy a man a pair of shoes, to a young lady that I watched grow up being given a random holiday gift from a stranger and vowing to pay it forward, to another young lady who was inspired by this and bought two new tricycles to put in the nearly empty Toys for Tots box where she works, there are so many things that really make a person feel good at this time of the year. It doesn't matter if you celebrate Chanukah, Winter Solstice, Christmas, Kwanza. It doesn't matte if you celebrate nothing, you cannot deny that there is a good mood that surrounds most people at this time of the year. We celebrate giving of ourselves to others less fortunate. We show family how much we appreciate them by giving gifts, large and small. People tend to volunteer to help the homeless more at this time of the year.
 Regardless of what the news says, there is always an up-tick in sales for the retail stores, big and small, at this time of the year. The lament is usually that the INCREASE in sales was not as large as the number crunchers would have liked; but there is always an increase, nevertheless.
  Now, I would like to get to the heart of my essay. It bothers me, because I have so many friends of different religions, and many with no religion. It's the matte of what to call the season and how to greet each other. I see people posting angrily about people saying Happy Holidays to them. They want to hear "Merry Christmas." While I can understand somewhat their wanting to hear their traditional greeting, everyone must realize  that there is more than  one holiday celebrated at this time, and other religious people do not feel comfortable about being told "Merry Christmas." Why should it offend someone to be told 'Happy Holidays?' I don't find this offensive and, in fact, have been using it for years when I do not know a person's religious beliefs. I use it out of respect for others and the though that I may have offended someone never crossed my mind. I just try to spread a little cheer by acknowledging  that this is a special time of the year to many people, not just Christians. I am sure that others who say the same thing, or something similar, are doing so for the same reasons. 
 So, if someone says "Happy Holidays!" to you, please, do not take offense. Rather, feel thankful that others, regardless of religion, want to share their spirit of the holiday season with you. Smile, let the warmth flow over you, and wish them the same. Let's end this year on a note of unity and brotherhood, and start the New Year with the same. Happy Holidays, everyone!

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