Christmas Is A Time To Celebrate Everyone! Here’s How We’re Making The Holiday More Inclusive

I grew up without religion (save for my Lutheran grandmother) and was taught to decide for myself what felt true to me. That being said, we always celebrated Christmas in a BIG way — tons of presents, holiday decorations (just no nativity) and of course the tree and lights. We would joke that we were celebrating the holy trinity of Frosty, Rudolph and Santa. I know that sounds blasphemous, but it was our light hearted attempt at not feeling left out of the single holiday of the year which truly takes over this country.

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My hubby is a Bahai and he certainly did not grow up in Tehran, Iran celebrating Christmas in any way. He saw all the American holiday movies though and already had a love for the holiday and the way the media has always portrayed it. During his first marriage and when his kids were small, they never had a tree or lights and tried to just ignore the craziness of Christmas in America. That was all until he met me and I taught him that anyone and everyone (even an Iranian Bahai) can celebrate a non-Christian Christmas.

We can all agree that Christmas has definitely become a pretty secular holiday — it’s basically about consumerism at this point. But if you’re going to embrace our consumerist culture, there’s no better way to do it than to celebrate your relationships with the people you hold dear by exchanging gifts. If Valentine’s Day is for your romantic partner, then Christmas is for everyone else — from your kids’ teachers to your mailman and your distant cousin you rarely talk to. Everyone gets celebrated at Christmas. People tend to be friendlier, everyone feels festive and giving, and people are spending time with family, baking and watching nostalgic holiday movies. At what other time of year does any of this happen?

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So what’s the “problem” with Christmas? If it’s become something secular then doesn’t it include everyone now? Well, yes and no. Yes, Christmas has become something that many non-Christians and atheist or agnostic people feel comfortable participating in. And honestly, it’s just easier to participate than not. But also no, because we can easily forget that many non-Christians are actually religious but of a different faith. And they have their own wonderful holidays and traditions that have deep meaning and nostalgia for them. 

The fact that we all celebrate Christmas and basically force everyone else to as well doesn’t sit well with many non-Christians. What about their religious holidays? They get little to no recognition while we have a 30 ft tree in the lobby of every single office building, and holiday music and religious tunes pouring out of the speakers of every public place. That’s one super effective way to remind people that they are a minority. If you don’t fully embrace this one specific religious holiday then you are a “grinch” and have no “holiday spirit.” 

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So what can we all do to be more inclusive? If you have friends or family who are of another faith, ask them about their favorite religious holiday and the traditions associated with it. Consider adding more religious holidays to your corporate calendar or finding a way to honor them without singling any one specific person out. If you’re doing a family or company buffet or potluck, add some dishes from other cultures and consider some decor that includes a menorah or some traditional Diwali, Kwanzaa, Rohatsu, Zartosht No Diso, or Yalda Night decorations. Don’t know what any of those things are?? That’s kind of exactly my point, and this is a great opportunity to read up on Google or Wikipedia and educate yourself. We can all benefit from a holiday season that is more inclusive, less divisive, and lets everyone feel welcomed and comfortable. 

Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, Happy Yalda, Happy Rohatsu, and may everyone have a Happy New Year.


Christmas really is a season of giving that everyone can be part of! Do you have any non Christian Christmas traditions, or do you celebrate another holiday this season? Share with us in the comments!

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