For years my family and I have had a tradition to scout out a real Christmas tree. We often visit a local tree farm (we do live in Oregon after all), but at times we have hiked through the snow to chop one down (there was that one time with the moose) or purchase one from a parking lot. I love the smell of a real tree! The aroma that fills the house brings back memories of Christmas' past.
What I block from my memory every year is the hassle of getting the tree lined up straight, keeping it watered, cleaning up the needles, dealing with the tree after the holidays. All of it. So this year, we did it: we bought a fake tree. And... it is beautiful. It is already strung with lights and we can even choose if we want all colored lights, or white ones. Loving it!
Whether you are a real or fake Christmas tree household, it is ok. While getting the right tree has been a tradition of ours, it is important to remember that not everyone cares. They don't celebrate Christmas this time of year - they have other cherished traditions.
As a friend, leader, colleague, and neighbor, you too have a responsibility to remember that December is not just about Christmas...
Inclusive leaders specifically, will focus their efforts beyond the traditional Christmas celebrations. They will keep not only the dates below in mind, but learn which holidays their employees do celebrate.
December 18 - December 26
This holiday is the eight day Jewish celebration of the victory of the Maccabees over a larger Syrian army. A candle on the menorah is lit each night to celebrate a miracle that happened during this time.
This holiday celebrates the birth of Jesus, who Christians believe is the Son of God. To celebrate many attend church services, spend time with loved ones, and exchange gifts.
St Stephen's Day
Recognized by many European countries, this holiday celebrates the first Christian martyr and is concurrent with Boxing Day. Traditions often include family gatherings and special meals.
December 26 - January 1
This holiday celebrates African heritage, unity, and culture. This holiday culminates in gift giving and a feast of faith, called Karamu Ya Imani.
This list is just a few of the holidays celebrated this time of year. Here are a few additional days of importance this month*:
December 3 - International Day of Persons with Disabilities
December 7 - Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day
December 10 - Human Rights Day
December 21 - Winter Solstice
December 31 - New Years Day
Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, or any others during this time of year, please remember that December is more than just about Christmas.
*Please note that this list is not intended to be exhaustive. If I have missed an important day, please comment and share below!