Thoughts on Christmas from non-Christian students


Jacob Belgrad

In honor of Hanukkah, Alison Albelda, senior, has been wearing a festive shirt with a menorah on it.

It’s now early December, which means Christmas is right around the corner. With it comes Christmas festivities, Christmas-themed commercials, and Christmas music on the radio every hour of the day. It’s a great time of year for those who celebrate Christmas, but it’s even a great time for those who don’t celebrate the holiday. Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, and, sometimes, Eid are around this time too.

Countless students who attend the school celebrate these holidays. Central has a large Muslim population that celebrates Eid. There is also a Jewish community that celebrates the eight days of Hanukkah. And while Kwanzaa is far less popular, it’s still celebrated too. Often times these holidays are overlooked, though.

According to Pew Research Center 92 percent of all Americans celebrate Christmas. So, considering such a large population celebrates it, then, logically, it seems OK to put more focus on Christmas. But what about that other eight percent?

Omar Nabulsi, senior, is part of the minority; he is a Muslim and celebrates Eid.

“[We] celebrate Eid twice a year,” Nabulsi said. “But the dates change every year based on the lunar calendar.”

This year, Eid fell in September. So, for Nabulsi, this holiday season won’t be too festive. Regardless, he really likes this time of year.

“I’ve never celebrated Christmas, but, it’s a very festive time and brings people together,” Nabulsi said.

This fondness for the holiday season is one shared by many who don’t celebrate Christmas. It’s a happy time for many reasons, including anticipation of winter break and the closeness families and friends because of the holiday.

In an era of political correctness, it’s tempting to put more of a focus on other holidays. For example, there is a huge push to get people to say “Happy Holidays” rather than “Merry Christmas.” Or, for companies to market other holidays instead of solely Christmas. But many of students seem not to mind.

Many non-Christians have become accustomed to the holiday and even celebrate it with their friends. One of such examples is Alison Albelda, senior, who identifies as culturally and ethnically Jewish, is participating in Secret Santa this year for her Honors Seminar in Writing class.

“[Christmas] is a bit overwhelming,” Albelda said. “But I’ve gotten used to Christmas so it’s not really a big deal.”

Considering a vast majority of Americans celebrate Christmas, this makes sense. So many students have seen Christmas movies and have sung Christmas songs since childhood that at this point, the emphasis on Christmas is normal. 

With all that said, it is still important to be educated on the other holidays that are being celebrated. 

“If those who celebrate Christmas educate themselves about other holidays a path will be paved to a more inclusive society,” Nabulsi said.