No, Politics Are Not Worth Ruining Christmas

No, Politics Are Not Worth Ruining Christmas

"Tis the season to be jolly", so it is probably not the greatest idea to talk about your political opinions.

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Now, let me be honest. I love talking about politics. The subject is something I am very passionate about. I have grown up with having political discussions/debates in family dinners all of the time. My immediate family typically agrees on general political issues, and so the discussions are rather fun. I also encourage you to have such discussions, because they are rather important. Not because talking about the issues changes anything, but it forces you to think critically about your stances on such issues. I say these things to show that I am certainly not against having political debates. However, there are proper places and times for such discussions, and I would argue that during a Christmas dinner, with family you barely remember the last time you met, is not the correct place to point fingers on partisan issues.

Understand this, Christmas has far greater importance than what is trending on the news. This is a time to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, the savior of the world. Even if you do not celebrate Christmas for that reason, it is still a very important holiday that is meant to unite others together. Celebrating Jesus should be a unifying factor during the Christmas. According to my beliefs, it is the sole reason that Christmas has any true value at all. Even though cliches such as, "Jesus is the reason for the season" are easy to understand and hold true, I think Jesus is truly the only reason for the season. So I would encourage you to keep the focus on unifying things such as the birth of Jesus, family values, or general joyful subjects. Family Christmas should be looked back on as being a positive memory, so don't attempt to spoil it for something of less meaning.

Yes, politics are important. No, they are not worth hating family members over.

Family is very important. It is very concerning that political news can divide families for years because of an unnecessary discussion that led to animosity towards each other. Again, politics is important. But, family is more important. Before engaging in controversial topics think about what you are trying to achieve. Is it a friendly conversation that isn't driven by personal agendas? Though it may be rare, that does occur. On the contrary, is it a pointless personal agenda fueled debate that seeks to put down someone else so that your opinion is validated? I believe this is often the case.

Sadly, many people are attracted to debate tactics that provoke others to anger, because this is equated to winning a debate. Being provocative does not mean you are winning a debate, and it also just leads to putting someone down. It is easy to say something controversial that angers someone and feel like you have said some truly profound thing, but that tactic is rarely beneficial. Please, remember that a Christmas family reunion is not a nationally televised debate, and it is not necessary for you to attempt to offend someone.

Though what you say may be true, their feelings of hurt from your words can equally be true.

Why would I push for avoiding political discussion altogether? Simple, politics today is in a very nasty place. To say the least, politics is a very divisive today, and probably more so than it ever has been before. Individual's political opinions make up an important part of their identity today. Debates that seem harmless at first can easily be perceived as an attack on personal identity. That is why harsh arguments can be started from virtually nothing. Even though you may be harmlessly attempting to learn or change a family member's mind, it can lead to a shouting match nightmare.

I ask you to think about what is more important to you during the Christmas season. Is it remembering and celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ? Maybe it is family bonding and catching up with old friends? Perhaps it is a mix of the two. I doubt many of you look forward to having serious political discussions that lead to boosted egos and hurt family members. I love political debates and I think they have their benefits. However, I know that Christmas stands for something far greater than meaningless arguments about tax policies with your cousin. It is not worth exchanging the joy and love of Christmas season for pointless debates. So, in closing, I would like for everyone to seriously consider holding off on politics for Christmas and instead pursue the joy that potentially can be had.


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I'm An Education Major Because I Know Firsthand That Teachers Can Make All The Difference In The World

"You're my teacher, but I need you to be so much more than that."

cpabel
cpabel
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This is my third semester student teaching in an elementary school classroom.

It has been an absolute honor and joy to work with elementary age students. They are so full of excitement, energy, curiosity, and ambition. It's such a breath of fresh air to be around these children and help them learn, grow, and develop into who they will eventually become one day. Going into this experience, I knew that I was going to be making a difference.... but I didn't know how much of an impact I would make on some of my students.

Growing up, I was very fortunate, loved, and cared for. I never had to wonder where my next meal was coming from or when I would see my parents again.

Unfortunately, this is not the reality that a lot of my students live in. They live in my nightmare.

There have been several times that I have arrived to my school to see a child crying, absent from school, or secluding themselves. My first semester student teaching, I didn't think much of this. It's not abnormal for children to cry over spilled milk or to seclude themselves from their friends because they've had a fight.

These inferences were far from the truth. These children are living a life that I could not even begin to understand.

At the beginning of this semester, I had a student say to me: "You're my teacher, but I need you to be so much more than that." When this student said this to me, I said yes of course and that I'll do everything to help her. Little did I know, there was so much I didn't understand in that one sentence. After a few weeks, I learned that this little girl was being raised by her elderly grandmother because her father had committed suicide and her mother was so high on drugs that she couldn't even take care of herself and was in and out of jail.

Wow. No child deserves to start their life off this way or live this way. What can I do? How can I help? How can I make a difference?

Being a teacher is so much more than just teaching students how to add/subtract, read, or complete a science project. You're teaching children to someday become young, knowledgable, and responsible adults. But how can we do this if they don't even have responsible adult figures in their life at home? It's so important to be more than just this child's teacher. If you gain their respect and trust, you can make all the difference in their life.

This student and I had created a bond. For some reason unknown to me, she gravitated towards me as soon as I stepped in the classroom. The first few weeks we made small talk, but in recent weeks, she has told me that she feels alone. She feels unloved. She feels responsible for her dad's death and her mom's pain.

Talk about having your heart ripped out of your chest.

I hid my tears. I didn't dare cry in front of her. I stayed strong. I want to be a rock in her life. I want to remain stable and help her through her pain. I want to make school an enjoyable and safe environment for her. I want to see her succeed. I want to see her make meaningful and great friends. I want to see her blossom and overcome the struggles that she has endured in her short ten years of life. Being a teacher is such a wonderful experience, but it definitely is trying and hard. When you see a child, treat them like the beautiful souls that they are. You may not have a single clue in this world what they're going through at home.

They may be stronger and more mature than you are as an adult. Be kind. Love one another. Make a difference.


cpabel
cpabel

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Christmas Of Remembrance Series: My Last Letter

Christmas time is not about the gifts... It is about something far, far more special.

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Dear Reader,

Thank you for your time.

This is a series that I have dedicated to those I have loved and lost. It was merely a thought, then an idea, and now a realized creation. Christmas time… all winter really is a hard time for me. It holds this duality in my life of being both my favorite and also my least favorite and difficult time of year. It has been that way for years now.

In a way, this series aids my closure and healing further, and it allows me to tell my story in a way that, to me, is less scary (one of the many great facets of this platform). It was never my intention to write this in order to reach people, or encourage people, or serve as an inspiration to anyone. This was for me and only me. No one else. But, if these pieces of writing do impact someone, somewhere, or make them feel encouraged or inspired in some way or another, or just simply make them feel, then I hope you have enjoyed them. If I can make someone feel, then I guess I have done my job.

The life of an artist is often an uncertain one. The life of a human is a trying one. But life is a journey, and all journeys have their trials. Their tests. Their triumphs and rewards. And they all have their losses. What matters most is what you make of all of it. What lessons you learn. What changes you make. What life you create for yourself. What art you create because of it all. It can be very, very hard. But it can all be glorious at the same time.

At the heart of this series, my words, there is this deep and valuable belief of mine: Christmas (or the Winter Holiday that you may celebrate) is so much more about presents and cooking and shopping and all that other bullshit… it is about family.

The family that is related by blood. The family that surrounds your heart. Your Mom. Your brother. Your dearest friends. The bonds that make life valuable. Worth living. These bonds are soulful bonds, ones that are far more special than any mere trivial object. So… be with them. Forgive. Forget. Heal. Mend what is broken. Reassemble what has been shattered. And stop worrying so much. Laugh together. Cry together. Heal on another. Heal together. And may your new days be better, brighter, and full of love.

Happy Holidays.

Ty


A song for you...

"Sense of Home" — Harrison Storm / YouTube

If you liked this series, I invite you to check out my previous article below…

To My Fellow 孤, The Sons Without Fathers On Father’s Day

As well as this article by a fellow creator…

What You Learn Losing A Parent So Young

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