Opinion: Holiday ignorance and the true messages of the holidays

Erian Bradley

Many teenagers today are into the holiday spirit—whatever holiday that might be—but not all teens actually understand the holidays they claim to be celebrating.

“We celebrate Diwali. It’s the festival of lights,” said Mathin Kukkala (11). “We get new clothes in India. They usually have fireworks in India, but I don’t think they do that here.”

When Kukkala was asked about the background of the holiday, he simply glanced over to the side and shook his head in confusion. This Hindu tradition confused Kukkala, himself an Hindu.

Many students perceive holidays this way. Their parents haven’t really informed them about the importance or their reason to celebrate. The students who do, in fact, know about the holiday, know about it because of their own choice.

“I’m Jewish, and I celebrate Hanukkah,” said David Hess (11). “It’s not that important of a holiday; it’s eight days. We light candles each day, and we get presents every day. I pretty much just like the presents.”

It may not be that important to Jewish people. It’s not a major holiday. The United States might just make a big deal out of it. It’s spoken about just as much as Christmas around December.
To Hess, Hanukkah isn’t that important. He just likes the presents. That may seem a little naive and wrong to some people, but I feel like it’s okay. It’s someone else’s holiday and if they want to just enjoy the gifts and food, then that’s their own business.

One of the most celebrated holidays around December is Christmas. Many students at Manual celebrate it. But do they really know what it means?

“I love Christmas, but we really just go over my cousin’s and aunt’s house and eat,” said Destiny Witherspoon (10).

“We wake up early and get our presents. We don’t really take it seriously,” Sarah Dabbagh (11) said.

These students think of Christmas a chance to get presents and eat a bunch of food. Neither of them said anything about the background of Christmas or the religious part of it. Most teenagers these days think like this. Christmas is the birth of baby Jesus, not the wrapping paper, or the bows, or presents under the trees, nor does Christmas have anything to do with Santa Claus.

Christmas has been brain washed into teens and children’s heads that Santa Claus is Christmas. Instead of thinking about what they are getting for Christmas, they should understand the concept of Christmas and what it means, which is the Christian values of giving and family togetherness.