Christmas Dominates the Season

Less-celebrated holidays are ignored year after year

Erin Hogge, Features Editor

If you are Christian, you know that Christmas is the focal point of the holiday season. Tree-farms, inflatable nativity scenes, and candy canes are just some of the things that go along with the spotlight on the religious celebration.

From Thanksgiving to December 25, Christmas is the focus of more than 95 percent of Americans. Family gatherings and shopping sprees fill the majority of people’s time for weeks.

Throughout the holiday season, Christians have differing ways of celebrating their religion. Sophomore Harper Crater spends time with her extended family.

“We normally host my dad’s family,” said Crater. “Then we open presents and celebrate.”

Following Christianity, Judaism is the second most-popular religion in the United States. Jewish people celebrate Hanukkah, or Chanukah. This celebration involves gift-giving for a period of eight days as well as the use of a menorah, a candle-holder to show each of the days of Hanukkah passing. Junior Brandon Schulz recognizes both Hanukkah and Christmas.

“I’m not really that religious,” said Schulz. “I am Jewish but I also celebrate Christmas because Hanukkah is just a really long time. It’s a long eight-day period.”

Although Schulz is Jewish, the fact that Christmas is a culturally bigger holiday than Hanukkah does not affect him negatively.

“It’s not really that I feel ignored at all,” said Schulz. “I mean, you can’t really do anything about not having more Jewish people in school or in this area.”

According to a 2015 Gallup poll, 75 percent of Americans identify with the Christian religion, while 5 percent of Americans identify with a non Christian religion.

“Some holidays do get overlooked in this area but only because it is a dominantly ‘Christmas’ area.”

Polls from the Pew Research Religion and Public Life project suggest that Christmas is becoming a cultural holiday rather than a religious one. According to one of the more recent polls, one-third of Americans believe Christmas is rapidly changing from a Christian-based celebration to a culturally-based celebration. The two-thirds leftover think that the holiday is still grounded on the traditional form of Christianity.

Because the majority of Americans ring in the new year days after a big Christmas celebration, people of differing religions are often ignored in the process. In the midst of all the chaos in December, buying presents and stocking-stuffers overshadow the Jewish celebration of Hanukkah.