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Monday, December 21, 2009

Why can't I enjoy the holidays?

I know that Christmas time is about love and community and people sharing the happiness of family and gifts, etc. It shouldn't bother me so much that the Christmas references are EVERYWHERE. My Jewish friend seems to have an easier time just letting it be. If people tell her "Merry Christmas," she'll say it back.

I hate to be obnoxious. As mentioned before, I'm always afraid of offending people or having people not like me.

Christmas seems to be getting stronger again. It waned for a while in the 80s when political correctness was more in vogue. Now, I think people have gone back to being stubborn about doing whatever they want to do no matter who it offends. But hey, that means I can do the same. I will be stubborn about being not-Christian and I don't care who that offends.

I know pc stuff gets out of hand, but there is some value in remembering that not everyone you meet shares your religion or your beliefs. I hate the people who assume that I'm Christian.

I'm getting email forwards about the true meaning of CHRIST-mas and how it isn't "happy holidays." I'm getting friends on facebook who have joined a group called "I don't care if it offends you, I'm saying 'Merry Christmas.'"

What really irks me about this is that if it's okay for there to be Christmas trees everywhere and Christmas references everywhere, it gives support to the idea that this is a Christian nation.

It isn't. It's a nation founded on the principles of religious freedom and that's why most of the original settlers arrived here. They left the places in Europe where everyone expected you to be their particular brand of Christian and you could be in danger for not being that.

What happened to the land of freedom? Why do I have to keep my mouth shut as Christians preach to me about the "true meaning of Christmas"?

This is the time of year when I most want to stick out and make a stand for not being Christian.

For everyone who is Christian, enjoy your holiday. Just please stop assuming that everyone else you meet is also celebrating it.


  1. Just point out that most Christmas symbolism (including the date) was stolen from paganism in the early days of the church :P

  2. wat will happen if u reply back merry christmas to the christians, broaden ur pespectives it doesnt contradict any hindu ideology if u wishmerry christmas to some1.
    dont become a white fanatic hindu.
    just try to be hindu philosophically dont try to become a cultural(ritualistic) hindu as a white u cant be that.coz for various rituals in hinduism u need to know ur varna, kul, gotra etc to know about ur ancestory.thats my view

  3. Well, I'm doing my best to be as close to a cultural and ritualistic Hindu as I can. There are parts that will always be missing, since I don't have the family history. But I'm not interested in acting like a Christian, looking like a Christian, but secretly believing in Advaita. I want to be seen as a Hindu and that's really important to me.

  4. Hi Aamba, I realise this is an old post and you've probably learnt how to handle this better since, but I've been reading through your blog backwards. Just had to say, I think you're overreacting to being wished a Merry Christmas. Why not just say thank you & wish them back? What's wrong with having a Merry Christmas? Being Hindu does not mean that you can't enjoy other festivals. I wish people a Merry Christmas/Eid Mubarak, just as my friends and colleagues wish me a Happy Diwali - it's not a hostile gesture. It's a lovely one to celebrate someone's special day with them or invite them to join in yours.

  5. Aamba,
    What Hari saying is absolutely correct...That's what Hinduism teaches you. Respect others faith. You are behaving like christian/muslim extremist.That's exactly not our teaching.

  6. I know, guys, I know. Sigh. It's something I still struggle with.

    I don't like being overwhelmed by Christian messages and it rubs me the wrong way when everyone around me assumes that there are only Christians in all of America.

    It is one of my struggles in life to stay calm in such situations and to be loving and kind and wish everyone their own happy holidays!

    I know it isn't very Hindu of me to react this way, so I'll keep working on it :)

  7. Aww - Come on! It's just people celebrating a holiday! I'm a Catholic and I love christmas, It's a time for family and love! Just as you as a Hindu, celebrate Diwali. If you celebrate Diwali and say to me 'It's Diwali today! Happy Diwali' Why do I have the right to be offended? What you have said has really offended me. You're not being Hindu at all. As Anonymous said above - You're acting like an extremist. And you aren't seeming to take that seriously. People don't assume there is only Christianity in America or the UK. (I'm not American.) They're just celebrating their faith! And what right do you have to try and change that?

    I hope you're learning - That is what faith is about.