The Christmas Dilemma


Zelda Fishman, Reporter

The Christmas season can be a difficult time for people who don’t celebrate said holiday. When I moved here from Los Angeles 13 years ago I was shocked as there were no other Jewish kids in my class. Every year since then, there has always been Christmas decorations, Secret Santa, and other traditions that I was welcomed to participate in, but there was always sort of a disconnect from these traditions

Living in Idaho, there is less sensitivity towards people who don’t celebrate Christmas in schools, work environments, even sports teams. People are very focused on their own holidays and their own traditions because the majority of them celebrate Christmas. I understand playing Christmas music and putting up decorations; I’m all for it. Where I have my problem is when people thoughtlessly leave out other religions. In one of my classes, the entire room is filled floor to ceiling in red and green lights, decorations, and a Christmas tree, but not one trace of anything that represents other religions in the slightest. The library has done a fabulous job being inclusive with its decorations. They did this by having a menorah (which symbolizes Judaism) and a happy Kwanzaa banner. I appreciate these decorations because they aren’t minimizing the Christmas decorations by having these other symbols up, but simply adding and creating a more inclusive environment. 

The Holiday season can already be a lonely and mentally challenging time for some people and when you add on not celebrating Christmas, that isolation magnifies it. I think that actively working towards being more inclusive looks like understanding that if you’re going to decorate, you should be inclusive and play music that includes all religions or none at all. 

I completely understand that I live in a dominantly Christian State and school and with that comes being a minority. I understand that not every religion is always going to be represented. What I’m asking for is a more inclusive environment that allows for more minorities to be represented.