There is More than Christmas in December 

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There is More than Christmas in December 

Isabel Haas, Opinion Editor

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This time of year, stores will line their shelves with Christmas decorations for almost two months. From Christmas trees to candy cane themed everything, there is no shortage of Christmas themed products in stores across the United States. Also, at around this time of year, people often complain about Thanksgiving Day being overlooked, since it falls so close to Christmas Day. What most people do not realize is that there are many other holidays that are also being looked over, during the month of December.  

Although Christmas should be rightfully celebrated and represented inside most stores, there seems to be an underrepresentation of other religious holidays during the months of November and December. I believe that this is caused by the prevalence of individuals who practice Christianity in the United States.  

A holiday that is near and dear to my heart, is Hanukkah, which is celebrated from December 22nd to December 30th this year. Being a half-Jewish woman, raised by a Jewish father, I have searched stores for common items, such as menorahs, dreidels, and even house decorations with the Star of David, all while oftentimes coming up short. According to Pew Research Center, there is an estimated 5.3 million Jewish adults living in the United States, and although that number isn’t as large as the number of Christians living in the United States, 5.3 million people is still a large and noteworthy number. 

In addition to Hanukkah, there are other religious holidays, such as Kwanzaa, (celebrated from December 26th to January 1st this year) that are being underrepresented in stores throughout the United States. Although Christianity is the most popular religion in the United States, it is still important to represent other religions that are celebrated during the same month, and a way for organizations and stores to be more inclusive of their customers is to help in the celebration of all religious holidays.  

I was blessed to have been raised with parents who are not of the same religion, who encourage religious inclusivity and have always celebrated the Christian and Jewish holidays, and because of this, I would love to see more representation of religious holidays throughout stores in the United States. Although my siblings and I were told stories of Santa coming down our chimney and filling our stockings with gifts, my family and I are still proud to bring out the menorah every year. Where we set it next to our Christmas tree and celebrate both religious holidays, together.