December is one of those rare months during the calendar year that offers a profusion of holidays. So much for “hot fun in the summertime” as here in the Northern Hemisphere, usually the opposite is true. However, our same gender loving (gay) and bisexual brothers in the Southern Hemisphere have the opportunity to enjoy both the festivities and the warm weather simultaneously! “Go for the gold, Down Under!” You now are responsible for enjoying the season for all the rest of us!
The list of holiday observances throughout this month (and including the first day of 2019) can go on forever. There’s an abbreviated version in the graphic above. We would be here forever if I had to manually type in all the data!
The current U.S. president (I intentionally wrote the position with a lower case “p”) often proclaims (and tweets) that there is an escalating “war on Christmas” underway spearheaded by…(guess who?)…the gay. lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer (GLBTQ) community – and other “undesirables!” I beg to differ but someone neglected to tell me that a state of war existed between us and the Christmas-followers! (I would type Christians but I know that some Christians do not celebrate Christmas. The Jehovah’s Witness faith is the first that comes to mind).
Someone needs to tell “Donald the Duck” to activate his brain before engaging his mouth or else break all of his fingers so he’s unable to tweet. No one has declared war on Santa Claus, Rudolph the Reindeer, the jolly elves or Frosty the Snowman. That piece of “fake news” simply didn’t happen in real time nor in a parallel universe.
Some of us honestly care about creating an environment that is truly more embracing and inclusive and that includes sincerely making an effort to be tolerant of the fact that not everyone thinks and believes the same as we do. There are a variety of faiths, attitudes and values that encompass people and are different from our own. None of us are insensitive enough to require adherence to a particular tradition simply because it is supposedly reflective of a societal norm.
Values change. A century ago, women were not permitted the right to vote. Now they have been a candidate for the highest elected office in this land. A century ago, African-Americans were routinely stymied in their quest of living the American dream. The same may be true in some respects even today, but the challenges are more subtle than simply the perception of race.
I find it very strange and extremely disheartening that the political party that prided itself on espousing “family values” not even as far back as ten years ago today has no problem with separating children from their parents at the borders, irregardless of their age. The passive message that I receive from this selective dissociative is that if you aren’t a white family, you really don’t count as one.
A very happy and proud Polynesian Santa!
I seriously doubt that any Buddhist, Muslim, Sikh, atheist or Jewish parents love their children less than their so-called Christian counterparts. The fact that they bring them to the border with them is positive proof of their commitment to family values and their devotion to their entire family. They want a better way of life for both themselves and their children. Strange how the basic tenet of Christianity, “love one another,” always manages to be cast aside whenever a comparison is made between belief systems or perspectives.
The same holds true for parents and children of racial groups that are different from the mythological dominant family, the white one. All races and ethnicities equally place a high premium on the family structure. It is, after all, one of the foundations universal to the entire human society in general. The very notion that only Caucasian parents love their children is nothing more than a xenophobic fallacy. Xenophobia, as we all know, is nothing than the irrational fear or hatred of those we perceive as being different from ourselves. We are all human, first and foremost.
“Happy holidays” or “season’s greetings” aren’t just salutations that excludes any doctrine or tradition that isn’t our own. Rather than ignore, downplay or disrespect, they instead acknowledge, affirm, encompass and include all the diversity of traditions that “we the people” hold dear. They are expressions that respect everyone equally – except, perhaps, the Ebenezer Scrooge who lives among us.
This year, Aaron, my spouse, and I will serve breakfast at a local homeless shelter on Monday, December 24, and on Tuesday, December 25. We chose those dates so that the regular staff and volunteers who have young children can have the time off to be with their family. In 2010, our first winter holiday together, we had the pleasure of serving breakfast to the children living in the facility. It has become a tradition with us as Aaron loves to read stories to them while they eat their breakfast and I just enjoy watching my husband spread his joy to all!