The holiday season is a very exciting time for everyone. There's the glee of gift shopping (for others and yourself), the happiness felt from Christmas carols, the kinship shared between family, friends, and even strangers.
There are so many reasons to be happy during the holiday season! We should all enjoy them regardless of religious identity or agenda. Take the time to enjoy each other and the spirit the holidays bring.
With that said, I think it's time to call out a holiday tradition that needs to fade out. Like I mentioned before, the holiday season is for everyone to share kinship. What about the people serving you for your holiday season, though?
Let's talk about the retail workers, grocery clerks, servers, bartenders, and many other people in the 'service' industry that are open 365 days a year for your pleasure.
Before I begin my argument, I understand that you might think that because we accepted a position at a job that is open on Christmas we should deal with the fact that we are indeed open on Christmas. One point.
However, I have to reply with this rebuttal: should our means to make a living determine the quality of life we receive? I don't believe that just because I am apart of the service industry - which is backbreaking - that I deserve to serve those that are richer than me for the simple fact that they are indeed richer than me.
The tips on a holiday might be good - might - but is never guaranteed. Due to the fact that most people who are in the service industry are not full-time, hourly employees we are not allotted holiday pay. Even those that receive no tipped wage receive zero holiday pay.
Yet, we are expected to work 10hrs+ in on a given holiday (Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, New Years Eve).
The next point you may have is that most of us who are in the service industry are just in college and will have many more holidays to celebrate. My response is that this is simply inaccurate and untrue.
Approximately half of the staff I work with are older than me with children or significant others to celebrate the holidays with. Besides, even if the majority of us were college students, why wouldn't you want us to be with family when we spend a majority of the year away from family?
Going out to eat is one of my favorite things to do. However, I hate the fact that my business at a participating restaurant or coffee shop would keep someone away from their family for the holidays.
Yes, a lot of this has to do with the fact that in reality it all boils down to good business - holidays are a goldmine for retailers and restaurant. Yet, if you simply didn't go out there would be no business to be had.
It might just be me, but I believe that the holidays should be spent celebrating kinship and each other. Celebrating at a place that has no connection with the family doesn't really make sense to my vision of kinship.
There is a certain kinetic energy built when preparing a meal, baking, or even awkwardly sitting with your cousin on your dad's side that has been removed from the family twice.
So in conclusion, stay home for Christmas.