From the non-Christian’s point of view
By Elika Roohi
You know how there are those people at Christmas time that insist on saying “Happy Holidays,” and they make you put up unspecific decorations? I am one of those people.
I’m not going to tear down the holly wreaths on campus, I’m not going to bemoan the fact that there are poinsettias everywhere, and I won’t complain when Christmas Carols are played nonstop. In fact, I’m not even going to make a fuss.*
Even though we live in a country that is predominantly Christian, it’s exactly that: predominantly. Which means that there are a whole lot of people around that are Hindu or Buddhist or Jewish or Zoroastrian or Baha’i or Muslim. And those people don’t celebrate Christmas.** A lot of those people don’t even celebrate a holiday in the month of December, so when you try to be politically correct and wish them a “happy holidays,” you’re still not getting it.
The thing is, before I got to college, it seemed like everyone was making a genuine effort to say “happy holidays” instead of “merry Christmas.” But then I showed up at UAF, and there are holly wreaths and poinsettias and Christmas trees all over the place. I played in a concert this afternoon that had a completely Christmas carol repertoire; there wasn’t even a token Jewish tune. Not to mention, I haven’t seen a single menorah on campus.
I’m a Baha’i. I celebrate Naw-Ruz, which is in March. And I don’t have a problem with Christmas in the least. But I do have a problem with the fact that people seem to forget there are others out there that don’t celebrate Christmas. We just had World Week at UAF. Wasn’t that all about diversity? Well, where is the diversity now?
*I’m just going to write this blog post. And okay, I might ask you to turn off the Christmas music.
**Except sometimes they do because of societal norms.