Happy Holidays 2022 and Being Inclusive of Everyone

Dec 25, 2022

Merry Christmas! Happy Hanukkah! Happy Kwanzaa! Happy Holidays! An opportunity to embrace to embrace cultures, spread joy, and be inclusive of all! Do you agree?

My girls were asked by their school friends what holidays they celebrate in the winter. And they both said technically neither Hanukkah nor Christmas. Some of the kids said to them they have to celebrate one. 

To be clear- I actually love their friends ask them questions - curiosity is a gift and better to ask versus assume. To me, it shows that the kids care to get to know each other. 

As the only Hindus in their school- I was so proud of my girls sharing that “We are Hindu. While we do not celebrate the December holidays religiously but we celebrate them all because they bring happiness. We have a Christmas tree, a menorah, and a kinara.” 

Being Indian-American- during the December holiday season, I have the best of all worlds.  I feel like it’s a gift to be exposed and to have friends of all faiths. And wow- the girls learned so much about Hanukkah, Christmas, and Kwanzaa! They have friends who celebrate them... which stemmed their curiosity to learn more! These holidays (including Diwali) center around lights, love, goodness, togetherness, community, appreciation of abundance, and joy to share with all those you love! Wow! 

While we never believed in Santa Claus traveling around the world giving gifts to everyone (and he never visited my house), I told my girls to not share that with their friends as it may hurt their feelings.  If someone believes in Santa- that is fine for them.  We all believe in different things which is what makes us special.

 Lakshmi’s Learnings- 

  • My request to parents on fostering curiosity- No matter what your faith... please instill that curiosity in your kids to learn about others and not assume that everyone has to pick one holiday or the other.  Even as a child, my parents raised me to learn and embrace other holidays and I appreciated that. 
  • Very important lesson on inclusivity- kids should be aware that not everyone has to celebrate one holiday or another.  Even if it is not the intention- it can make another child feel bad, like they don’t belong.  Or cause confusion that everyone has to pick "one or another".  That is not the case. We are a big world and people of many different faiths/beliefs. That is the mindset we need to expose our kids to- the diversity of people and making  everyone feel like they belong.
  • Exposure- It’s not hard to expose kids at young ages to holidays from other cultures... so much beauty! It doesn’t take away from your faith- if anything, it can strengthen and build more confidence in your own faith. 
  • Even a sprinkle of knowledge can open a world of curiosity and empathy.  Knowledge is power which goes way beyond what you read in books, it’s also about cross cultural connections. 

Let our uniqueness unite us not divide us and let us raise inclusive global citizens together! 

Happy Holidays! 


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