‘Tis the Season, But Not for Everyone

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The holiday season is in full swing with one of the year’s biggest holidays, Christmas, only days away. Stores are pushing predominantly Christmas themed items, yet a large portion of the nation and of this area doesn’t celebrate Christmas, which we tend to forget. In parts of the country that have larger Jewish populations, you can find a greater number of Hanukkah themed items. However, this isn’t the case in Northern Virginia.  

Senior Intisar Mohamed, who is a practicing Muslim, said she isn’t bothered by the Christmas lights or decorations.  

“When it comes to the Christmas stuff I think it’s really pretty and I love the whole entire holiday spirit. Getting into it is so much fun. Every single day when i go to DC and I see all the holiday decorations I think it’s really exciting and really pretty. I don’t think that Christmas anymore is a religious thing. I think it’s more of a commercialized thing that everybody can take part in,” said Mohamed.

Junior Justin La Kier, on the the other hand, doesn’t care for any kind of holiday decorations in stores.

“On the one hand I think it’s kind of silly to have everything all bedazzled and look like evergreens all the time but whenever stores do everything with dreidels or Kwanzaa decorations it’s also kind of silly,” said La Kier, who is Jewish. “If I see a very Christmas based item for sale for example I just wouldn’t really care to buy it. I just don’t buy winter themed items.”

La Kier added that the commercialization surround Christmas has also influenced Hanukkah, the Jewish holiday that takes places around Christmas time commemorating the rededication of a Holy Temple in 165 B.C.

“Hanukkah has kind of become Christmas centric too. Hanukkah used to not even really have gifts but ever since the Jewish kids got jealous of the Christian kids for getting gifts all the time we’ve started getting eight nights of Christmas and I really can’t complain about that,” he said.

Senior Saman Fatima, who is Muslim, said she feels a bit left out from Christmas activities.

 
“I think I feel left out because I work [at Michael’s] and a lot of people buy Christmas related things and I have no idea what those are. I actually got yelled at because I didn’t know the difference between a wreath and garland,” Fatima said. “I just don’t know the importance of Christmas [and I] don’t know what it means. No one tried to explain what Christmas was to me. When we came here [from Pakistan] we didn’t celebrate Christmas or Thanksgiving or Easter. Everyone goes out to hunt for eggs and I’m just at home watching T.V.”