Christmas is NOT a Religion


Photo by Temple Square

As soon as the weather turns chilly and the leaves have fallen, our minds turn to one thing: the holidays. No matter what you celebrate, the holidays mean ‘time off school’. And if you’re like a large percent of the population, the holidays also means Christmas.

Like a snowstorm, Christmas rolls in, overshadowing other days. It grows more and more powerful as the 25th of December draws near. In American culture, it has almost grown to be a faith. “You don’t celebrate Christmas?” they ask in shock. It seems irreverent to not honor the red and green of the season. Christmas has grown so huge that it has everyone, no matter if they’re Christian, singing songs of baby Jesus.

While Christmas may be the big boss of winter, other traditions deserve a chance too. Here at Bingham High School, we have many people who have other holidays during the season. Beau Maessen is a foreign exchange student from the Netherlands who attends Bingham High School. He talks about his home customs, saying, “While we do celebrate Christmas, Sinterklaas is the more important holiday.” Sinterklaas is similar to the Germanic Christmas, but it has some different practices. Sinterklaas is a reminder of who Maessen is and his family roots. It brings him back to the excitement of his childhood without any memories of a Christmas tree or snow.

Many other religions don’t celebrate Jesus’ birth or have a different celebration during the winter. Kevin Moritz, a religion teacher at BHS, explains the different religious holidays besides Christmas. Judaism does not believe that the Messiah has come yet, so they celebrate Hanukkah, a 5-day span of gifts that reminds the Jewish of the Maccabean revolt. The Hindu people observe Diwali, a festival of lights that honors Rama, a great ancient warrior king, returning home. Sound familiar? Christmas isn’t the only holiday that brings cheer and light to people all around the world.

This year, don’t forget that there are other holidays besides Christmas. There’s nothing wrong with belting out Christmas songs with your friends, but be aware that other people might not join in. You don’t have to hang your stockings to feel the nostalgia, peace, and joy of a winter celebration. We hope you have a wonderful season no matter what you do with your winter break!