What if someone doesn't share your religious beliefs?
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Well, the holiday season is upon us and you can pretty much count on hearing Christmas songs any time you walk into a store and seeing holiday decorations everywhere. In addition to songs and decorations, the holiday season also means you will most certainly see Santa Claus somewhere. And a typical question for many kids during this time of year is "What is Santa Claus going to bring you?" But what if your family doesn’t celebrate Christmas? Now, this may not fit your excact demographic, but you should be able to glean the manners from this example. How should you respond to a question like that? And what if you’re the person who asked the Santa Claus question—how should you recover when told they don’t celebrate Santa? We all need to be aware and be reasonable in our responses to this situation.
How to Handle Awkward Holiday Situations
Okay. You have run into a friend at the mall and she has her kids in tow. Everything is decked out for the holidays so you have Santa on the brain and the first thing that comes out of your mouth is a question for the kids about Santa and his eventual benevolence. To your surprise, the kids just stand there in stunned silence and your friend curtly states, "We don't do Santa Claus."
Don't do Santa Claus?! you think as your face begins to flush red. Suddenly, what seemed to be a pleasant encounter is now VERY awkward for everyone and you feel like you can't get away fast enough. The typical response to finding out that someone else doesn't celebrate the things you think are wonderful and magical is the desire to pose your argument and try to get this person to finally admit the error of his or her ways. Well, hold your reindeer and mind your manners! It is perfectly acceptable for someone to have their own religious beliefs or opinion. It is also okay for them to raise their kids that way. Please do not make yourself the Christmas Police (I'm confident you would not like the uniform).
How to Handle the Question of Santa Claus
Should you be caught in this awkward spot, simply apologize briefly and use a little misdirection. Make raving comments about how cute everyone is dressed or ask if all the kids are hoping for snow. Do not get your feelings hurt even if your friend is snippy with you. Your patience and understanding in the situation will go a long way toward maintaining a good rapport. Feel free to investigate further into the reasons behind your friend’s beliefs, but refrain from using an accusatory tone. And make sure you are in the right situation to try and suss things out.