I was having a sluggish day at work this past Tuesday. Not because anything was going wrong, but I just felt tired and lethargic. Basically, I felt how we all feel on a Tuesday afternoon.
So I decided to head to a nearby mall for pick-me-up beverage at Starbucks. Within minutes of being inside the mall, my mood instantly changed. Christmas reefs were hung all over the walls. Holiday music was playing. Santa was probably lurking somewhere. It was a very festive environment. And to top it off, I purchased a Gingerbread latte.
But I probably could’ve made it through the rest of the day without caffeine; Christmas spirit was the boost I needed to raise my energy level.
Even today, at work, while exiting my office I broke into an ear-to-ear grin when I saw our building super setting up the annual Christmas tree in our main lobby.
There’s just something about Christmas that makes me so happy. Because for one full month, we get to at least pretend that the world is one big happy place. That the snow globes you see, of glittering snow falling upon quaint little villages full of log cabins, is an actual reflection of what the world really is.
If there is ever going to be a real-life miracle that brings everyone together for the sake of hope and happiness, it will be during this month. And just sensing others share that same naive mindset is enough to make me a jolly man.
And mind you, I Identify myself as Jewish, but I stopped pretending years ago that Hanukkah even comes close to competing with Christmas.
Especially after this year’s election, Christmas offers us a time to finally take a deep breath and return to normalcy. Yes, Trump won, and there is a lot of uncertainty in our nation right now, but with Christmas comes a feeling of familiarity that we all crave.
And this holiday season, let’s challenge ourselves to retain these feelings of hope and optimism even after the calendar turns to 2017. And even after President Trump (it’s going to take a little bit of time to type that without gagging) is sworn in on Jan. 20.
Because after all, even though many of us share different ideologies and worldviews, we all have more similarities than we think, and what better time than Christmas to realize that? We all like having snowball fights. We all like the song “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer,” and we all like candy canes and Peppermint Mochas from Starbucks.
Let’s start there.
After Christmas is over, we don’t have to necessarily be best friends. But we could all coexist and be happy.
If you are still skeptical, then take the time to watch a video that has been widely shared on social media today — an interview of Tomi Lahren, an ultra-conservative 24-year-old Hayden Panettiere lookalike who has gained a large following on the right-wing website The Blaze, and Trevor Noah, the liberal South African host of the Daily Show.
It’s easy to watch it and say Noah was by the far the most sensible person (which, he clearly was), but let’s also keep in mind that, as the interviewer, he was able to steer the conversation while being reaffirmed by his own audience.
But it really is a great and fascinating conversation between two people of completely different mindsets. And it should teach us that we all really need to get out of our own ideological bubbles and talk to people who think differently than us.
And as was the case with Noah and Lahren, you might still end up maintaining a cordial relationship with the person that you were just disagreeing with.
Just some food for thought.
Have a holly jolly Christmas everyone.