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Diversity Doesn't Take A Holiday

The holiday season is our favorite time of year. While we could not host our annual holiday gathering for friends and colleagues, we were able to have a couple friends over at a time to stay within the restrictions. Despite these unprecedented times, it is nice to still have some holiday cheer around the house!

The holidays always bring to mind a story I was told a few years ago. The person went to the store to buy a Santa to place outside of their house. When they arrived home and were about to install Santa, they realized they had purchased a Black Santa. They proceeded to box him up and exchange him. It struck me that had I made the purchase, I would have gladly displayed my Santa in my yard or anywhere else in my house. To me, the spirit of the holidays did not come wrapped in one perspective of the celebration but represented a much deeper meaning. And in the spirit, I have a Black Santa welcoming guests in the house.

One of our greatest joys of the season, much like weddings and other milestone events, is how people celebrate. Over 90% of the country celebrates one or more of the winter holidays, including Hanukkah, Winter Solstice, Kwanzaa, and Christmas. Within each of these occasions, there are a variety of customs and traditions. There are different customs and representations of Santa Claus. You can enjoy a Bûche de Noël, Stollen, figgy pudding, or Sufganiyots (jam-filled donuts!). It is a perfect time to share a family tradition with others to perpetuate the joy – and what better represents joy than holiday sweets and beverages?

In addition to the wonderful foods and traditions, we enjoy incorporating décor that represents the holidays of our friends. We have many trees with different themes. There is the international Hallmark tree with Santa’s from around the world, angels of different ethnicities, and symbols of diverse holidays. We have African and Asian themed trees – and a Mardi Gras tree! We even have a Hanukkah tree and were fortunate enough to celebrate one night of Hanukah with friends. So while the holidays come to an end and we pack up the festive décor for another year, keep in mind that the holidays are the perfect time to embrace and share in the diversity of the season!

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