Lance Scranton: Is it OK to celebrate?
It’s getting more and more difficult celebrate the season, and not just because people feel like they shouldn’t say Merry Christmas or that they should recognize every conceivable derivation of what the time of year would dictate. In our understandable and well-intentioned attempt to avoid offending people, we ended up offending our sense of the season of wonderment, joy, and opportunity to slow down and spend some time with like-minded people who look forward to the joy of giving and receiving.
Lately, the holidays have been taking it on the chin for one reason or another, including the fact that people can struggle with depression during the festive season. Serious issues, like depression, are definitely real, and those who struggle with difficulties from seasonal affective disorder sometimes find the next few weeks especially difficult. Some who believe it is the holidays that are responsible for triggering some of the symptoms think that, if we could avoid the season, we might help those who suffer.
But, there are so many people who benefit psychologically, socially, and mentally from the time of year that is usually called Christmas. People fight and argue about how we should describe the time of year and the effect it has on those who suffer or find the traditional aspects of Christmas offensive. How do you try and come to some type of understanding if the person you are trying to understand with is not in the mood for understanding anything except how much they have been wronged.
I don’t think there is a solution that everyone will ever agree to, and maybe that’s really in the true spirit of the season. We don’t all think about things the same way, and sometimes, holidays can trigger difficulties that other people will never really be able to understand. The way I have always tried to conduct myself during this time of year is to be discerning and sensitive as I make my way through the holidays.
The spirit of the season is to try our best to give a little compassion and hope that we receive a similar portion of understanding about how we celebrate the season.
I’m glad I live in a community that still has a good measure of understanding for all the Christmas celebrations. But, I’m also thankful that we don’t get too wrapped up in demanding that certain adjectives be filtered through a politically correct lens. I hope that all who read this column will find a way to enjoy the time that we have during the next few weeks and find a reason to celebrate what this time of year has meant to so many people for thousands of years.
Lance Scranton is a teacher and coach at Moffat County High School.