Christmas is probably the most anticipated holiday in America, it's a time when everyone starts counting down the days as soon as January and people start listening to Christmas music as soon as it's deemed "acceptable." Most of December is spent doing Christmas activities or getting ready for the biggest spending expense you'll have for the year. To not celebrate Christmas is sometimes quite a shock for everyone else. I was raised in a Muslim family that skipped Christmas every year without even realizing it. To tell my other friends that I don't celebrate Christmas was like telling them that I had no family. The solemn look on their face and the pitying reassurances they would give me made me feel like I was missing out on something.
I would go home that day and ask my mom why we didn't celebrate Christmas. Besides the surprised look on her face she handled it pretty well, explaining that we don't have to celebrate everything everyone else does. There are things that we celebrate that they don't, and that's okay. When there's something that's different about someone that doesn't mean that it's bad or even something to be upset about. Saying "Merry Christmas" is not an offensive term, nor is trying to be politically correct and saying "Happy Holidays." Honestly, it's not a sore topic to not celebrate Christmas. It's a normal thing that doesn't affect my life at all but for some reason I still feel obliged to buy presents, to do Christmas things, and sometimes even just put the tree up at that point.
The pressure to feel included is overwhelming at times but I've learned to embrace the fact that indulging or not indulging in the Christmas part of the holidays is fine. Just like hearing "Merry Christmas" everywhere and seeing all the decorations is something to brighten everyone's mood. It's not something to get upset about because it would imply you are unhappy with people celebrating happiness. Just like I wouldn't want someone to be upset when I'm celebrating my happiness I expect the same.
I'm very happy to be in such a diverse community such as America and I think it's beautiful that we have so many different religions and cultures that we can all embrace with open arms. The holidays are important because they give us time to spend with our family so, no matter what we celebrate it's nice to have the time off. If someone doesn't celebrate Christmas, it's not something to be pitied for. We, as Americans, are good at celebrating diversity not repressing it. Let's keep that mentality and move forward with that.