Most of this stems from the overt religious overtones of the holiday, but I have to say, the end of the year, no matter the dominant celebration, is a time where everyone is allowed to flourish the happiest colors of their personal belief, or even just take the opportunity to be a bit nicer and more generous.
Whether you’re Christian or Jewish or pagan or with the church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, there’s something to celebrate near the end of the year. It’s a chance to magnify things important to you, whether they be your loved ones, the Savior, the earth or a tongue-in-cheek joke.
The historical roots of this season do stem from the celebration of the natural occurrence of the shortest day of the year, Winter Solstice, which was Thursday. There’s also the need of retailers everywhere to get rid of 2017 stock to make room for the myriad of shiny new things coming in 2018. We give gifts, we give time, put up evergreen trees, spin a dreidel, eat some ramen and all together just try to enjoy spending time with people we may only see once or twice a year. Our holiday practices may not be the same, but the stresses we feel are similar.
In our Wilson County corner of the world, just outside of the central gem on the buckle of the Bible belt, the dominant celebration seems to be Christmas. We know this from the show of community that rallies around the Christian holiday, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t Jewish, pagan, Pastafarian and other celebrations going on around the county.
A community is made up of the sum of its parts, which are invariably the people who live there and the things they come together to do. Here at The Democrat, we cover the things the community comes together to do. We don’t discriminate about our coverage. If children were to sing “Hail to the Spaghetti King” at their school’s holiday concert, we would still shoot a live video and share the celebration with our followers.
For me, I don’t really care what you celebrate as long as you don’t go dissing what I believe and celebrate during the season. The stage may be set here for the traditional Christmas style, but in my mind everyone should get a fair share, and everyone else shouldn’t feel threatened by the variety of beliefs.
For the record, I celebrate this season because of the birth of Jesus Christ. I know he wasn’t born Dec. 25, but I still take time in reverence of the event because the whole idea around the Winter Solstice is a new beginning, and if the birth of Christ doesn’t signal a new beginning, I don’t know what does.
So this year, as those around you flourish their personal flare, maybe put your pitchforks away and just enjoy the spirit of the holiday season. After all, it’s the most wonderful time of the year.
Sinclaire Sparkman is The Democrat’s news editor. Email her at [email protected]