The big question this time of year is how to respect our religious differences while still celebrating our favorite holidays all while not contributing to the annual battle between the holidays. Here are 6 tips to help you successfully navigate the holiday season
· It’s about Peace on Earth: If we are to have peace on earth, we need to learn to not be offended when someone doesn’t share our beliefs. The way to peace is to embrace our differences and allow people to celebrate something other then Christmas if that is their desire.
· Have Goodwill Towards All: Your motivation should be to wish people, all people, happiness and health. Don’t turn “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays” into a war cry. The point is to wish people well. Fighting over the words we use to express that wish kind of defeats the point.
· Respect People’s Beliefs: Don’t wish them a Merry Christmas if you know your friend doesn’t celebrate Christmas. It’s rude. If you know what holiday someone celebrates, wish them a happy whatever it is they celebrate. It’s the nice thing to do.
· Don’t Make Assumptions:
· When In Doubt, Go Generic: While most people in America consider “Merry Christmas” to be a generic wish of happiness during this time of the year, it is actually more polite to recognize the real differences of beliefs Americans hold and to respect those differences by simply wishing people a Happy Holiday Season. That way, whatever holiday they celebrate, or even if they don’t, they are included in your well wishes.
· It’s the Thought That Counts: And finally, if you are wondering whether your Humanist friend(s) would like to receive a gift from you, the answer is yes. We like presents and good food. So feel free to invite us to whatever holiday gathering you are hosting. We’d love to join you.
Jennifer Hancock is the author of the book, The Humanist Approach to Happiness: Practical Wisdom ($12.98 - 122 pages). She publishes the Happiness Thru Humanism blog and podcast and writes a monthly freelance column about Humanism for the Bradenton Herald newspaper.
For more information go to: http://www.jen-