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How to have an inclusive holiday season

In today’s diverse world, many of us have friends and loved ones who have different beliefs than we do. It’s important to be as inclusive as possible so no one feels left out, especially since these holidays can be difficult for some people. 

Get into the spirit of giving and unity by having an inclusive holiday season that celebrates diversity. You can create meaningful traditions in your life that will bring joy to the other people around you, no matter the holiday.  

Christmas, Hanukkah, Ramadan and Eid, Diwali, and Vesak are just five major holidays celebrated across the world by people of all different religions and faiths. Send your friends and loved ones a holiday card with a special message to let them know that you wish them peace, love, and happiness during their most significant festivals.

Keep reading for some top tips on how to have an inclusive holiday season.  

Embrace all cultures and traditions

Take time to explore and learn about your friends’ cultures and traditions. For example, how do they differ from your own? Find out more about their unique customs and festivals. There is no better way to show you appreciate someone than by taking a sincere interest in their lives. 

Once you know when their special festivals are, send your best wishes for the season in an inclusive holiday card. You can even add a message based on the festivities. 

If you are sending a card to celebrate your holiday, you may want to keep the message more generic.

“Happiness, peace, and joy this Christmas season to you and your family.”

“Happy Festival of Lights (Chag urim sameach). May this Hanukkah bring prosperity, love, and blessings to your family.”

“Wishing you warm Ramadan blessings and may this Eid fill your life with joy and the brightest of colors.”

“Happy Diwali! May love and light fill your heart and home, and bring you joy, friendship, fellowship, and hope.”

“To my friends who are celebrating Vesak, wishes of peace, love, and harmony from our family to yours.”

Support those who are alone

It may be the holidays, but that doesn’t mean everyone is celebrating. Share some of your seasonal joy by sending a card with an inclusive holiday message to brighten their day. 

If some of your friends are spending the holidays alone or don’t celebrate it, create a sense of belonging by letting them know how much you’d enjoy having their company.

“Sending you love and hugs for the holidays, and here’s hoping that the new year brings you peace and hope. Remember, I am always here for you.”

“Warmest wishes this Christmas time – and don’t forget that you are invited to join our celebrations on the big day. Do come, we’d love to see you.”

“A very merry Hanukkah to you! Please help us celebrate by coming to a gathering at our house (date) – it’ll be no fun at all without you!” 

“Wishing you a beautiful and bright Diwali. Come and party with us on (date) and help light up our celebrations!”

Celebrate diversity in your home

When hosting an inclusive occasion, make sure your house looks the part. Decorate with the different colors, styles, and images that reflect the festival that you would like to celebrate. Show respect for your friends’ beliefs and values. You can ask them for advice on how to decorate, what refreshments to serve, or if gifting is appropriate.

For example, during Eid (the feasting that follows Ramadan fasting), you wouldn’t serve alcohol. During Hanukkah, you might like to cook some potato latkes or jelly donuts. For Diwali, it's traditional to cook up a feast and have diyas (lamps) throughout the house.

Don’t forget to capture it all. Take masses of photographs to create shared lifelong memories for you all to carry with you. A lovely touch is to send photocards with thank you messages to your guests after the event.

Discover your inner community spirit

The holidays offer a great opportunity to help people in need. Volunteering or donating can be deeply rewarding. The joy you give yourself while showing kindness to others is priceless. 

Spread cheer this season by giving what you can, no matter how big or small - it all counts in making our world just that much more wonderful. For example, you could:

  • Volunteer at a soup kitchen or food bank

  • Deliver meals to elderly people

  • Befriend a person who is isolated and lonely

  • Help out at a homeless shelter

  • Start a toy drive in your local community 

  • Start a support group

The magic of storytelling

Have meaningful conversations, listen closely to your friends, notice your similarities, and celebrate your differences. After all, it’s the differences that make us unique and special. 

Stories give us a deeper understanding of others and ourselves, they help us empathize with each other and find common ground. When we’re truly seen, we feel loved and feel a sense of belonging, regardless of our background, culture, or faith. 

Conclusion (no header needed)

Don’t just celebrate your holidays, join in on other festivals too! Add an extra layer of letter-writing fun during holidays like Christmas, Hanukkah, Ramadan and Eid, Diwali, and Vesak with special holiday cards. Reach out to friends and host fun, inclusive holiday seasons for everyone to enjoy.

TouchNote / May 2023
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