Every family can ‘present’ a unique Christmas

By Saketh Vasamsetti, Columnist

My family and I just put up our Christmas tree, so I did what one should do and Snapchatted a picture of our tree to a couple of friends.

I got multiple responses saying, “Do you guys even celebrate Christmas though?” and, “Bet you get a textbook or something.” The second response was funny, not gonna lie, but it was the question of whether or not my family celebrates Christmas that confused me.

It’s not like there’s some “College Restriction” error or something that pops up when we try to put up Christmas lights because my family is Indian.  Every family has their own traditions of celebrating, and there is no right or wrong way to do it. For example, some families have Christmas trees and some don’t … but they both still celebrate Christmas. That’s how it is.

Celebrating a holiday doesn’t mean you have to commit yourself to it completely.  The most important part of celebrating a holiday is adopting the spirit, not just the religious, societal or familial aspects.

My mom’s favorite holiday is Christmas, followed by Diwali and Thanksgiving. She was born in India and spent a majority of her life there. She was never exposed to the traditional American holidays while living there, so when she moved to the United States with my dad, Christmas as well all of the other holidays were new to her.

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She kept to her roots, celebrating a majority of the Indian holidays she did back in India, but she also wanted to fit in, so she gave Christmas a chance. She got a tiny little tree and some Christmas lights to put up around the house and loved it.

Ever since, my mom has loved to celebrate all sorts of holidays, and her enthusiasm rubbed off on the rest of our family. We go down to Navy Pier in Chicago to watch the 4th of July fireworks every year. Halloween comes along and my mom puts on her annual witch costume and passes out candy. We have a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner within our family. Our Christmas decorations get bigger and better every year.

My family and I don’t do everything related to these holidays, like going to church or having a bunch of family over for Thanksgiving, but we still have the same excitement celebrating in our own way. There is no change to the interpretation of the holiday, just to how we celebrate.

That shouldn’t set us apart from any other traditional American family. A holiday is a day of festivity when everyone is happy and gets a chance to share that happiness with their loved ones.

You can do the bare minimum of any holiday and at least gain the gratification that you tried.

Being politically correct with how you celebrate shouldn’t be the priority. The priority should be placed on simply enjoying the holiday to the best of your abilities.

Saketh is a freshman in DGS.

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