It’s that time of year again, the end of fall and beginning of winter, and the time of year where there’s Christmas music on in the stores that was on before Halloween let alone before Thanksgiving. The time of year where people make a fuss about the design on Starbucks holiday cups, since that seems to be becoming a pattern too.
Out of all the things in this time of year that piss me off, it’s when people get their panties in a knot over the phrase “Happy Holidays”, insisting that people say “Merry Christmas”.
There are a lot of holidays in December, and Christmas is only one of them. By and large: there is no way to know by looking at a person what holidays they celebrate.
“But what if they’re wearing a cross necklace?”
“But I don’t want to say Merry Christmas, I don’t even celebrate it!”
Sure, there’s a good enough chance of figuring out what holiday someone might celebrate if they are wearing a symbol of their faith. However, it’s still not a good idea to jump to conclusions about people, and any particular symbol can have more than one meaning. “Happy Holidays” is a nice middle ground of a holiday greeting, because it also works even if you don’t happen to celebrate the holiday the other person does. Basically, not everyone celebrates Christmas.
I see a lot of people just throwing around numbers and saying there are this many or that many holidays in December without any citations or references, which got me thinking and falling into the rabbit hole that is internet research.
Within a few hours of research, I was able to find
twenty twenty-one! (thank you Kate) holidays in December, across numerous different religions and observances. It is by no means a full/complete/perfect list, and I’m aware of that. The point is that just a little bit of time is all that it takes in order to broaden one’s perspective and acknowledge cultural differences.
So, without further delay, in order of the calendar:
- December 5: Krampusnacht
- December 6: Saint Nicholas’ Day
- December 8: Bodhi Day
- December 8: Feast of the Immaculate Conception
- December 13: Saint Lucia’s Day
- December 16 through December 24: Las Posadas
- December 21: Dongzhi Festival
- December 21: Shab-e Yalda
- December 21: Winter Solstice
- December 21: Yule
- December 21 through December 25: Pancha Ganapati
- December 23: Festivus
- December 24 through January 1: Chanukah*
- December 25: Christmas
- December 25 through January 6: Twelvetide
- December 26: Boxing Day
- December 26 through January 1: Kwanzaa
- December 26: Saint Stephen’s Day
- December 27: Saint John the Evangelist’s Day
- December 28: Childermas
- December 31: Saint Sylvester’s Day
As I said, I’m aware this list isn’t perfect. If I’ve missed something and feel like I should include it, just leave me a comment.
And happy holidays!
*Chanukah is a holiday on the Jewish (lunisolar) calendar, and therefore it falls on different dates in the modern Gregorian calendar each year. The dates that I have given in this post are for the year 2016, however Chanukah does generally fall within the month of December.