Christmas time is a special time for many people for many different reasons. I feel it is important that we celebrate Christmas in our own way, and there is no way that is better than the next.

While many people go to a church service, or other sort of pastoral service, to celebrate Christmas; there are people who do not go to a church service to celebrate Christmas, but instead remember it in a different way.

Whether that be through family, friends, going to a movie, or going to a Chinese restaurant. People celebrate the holiday season differently and I think we should embrace that. Because I believe in goodwill towards all and being a nice person to everyone.

Too often we get caught up in the so-called “Christmas Wars” where Christmas is dead, or that people no longer celebrate it. I do not believe there is a war on Christmas, or that it is dying. Instead what we have are people celebrating it differently than people have in the past.

In the past, folks would have generally gone to a church service; and then to a party, home, or a relatives house to celebrate the holiday. There was no football on television, or basketball either. Most people did not have televisions.

Nowadays it is possible to stay inside the house and not come out at all on Christmas, if one does not want too. There is basketball all day on television.

I must admit when living in Sacramento I and my mom went to a Christmas Day game in Sacramento, when the Sacramento Kings were good. We had a wonderful time. We gathered with family and friends at the arena, got there early and had Christmas dinner in the arena in the restaurant.

We still celebrated Christmas, we just did it in an un-traditional manner.

That is what I think we need to embrace as a community. Embrace the differences, celebrate that people might observe, or not observe, the holiday differently than the majority of people.

We should not pigeon hole people into something we think is right. I would never force anyone to watch basketball, or attend an event, that they do not want to attend for any reason. It is not my place to force my beliefs and what I believe in to be true on someone else.

The opposite is true as well. Holidays are meant to bring the world together, and I feel that long before the rise of high-speed internet and social media, and the ability to instantly spread ideas around the world; that the world was a much more open and friendlier space.

It is too late to put the genie back in the bottle, but that does not mean we can’t get back to a civil society. Where differences of opinion, and practice, can coexist across all cultures, genders, races, sexes.

If someone wishes to say “Happy Holidays” I am perfectly fine with that, it does not anger me like I have seen it anger others. On the flip side I have no problem saying “Merry Christmas” as well, it really comes down to what each person wants.

Christmas is a time of good cheer and peace towards everyone, it is time as a society we got back to that.

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