Today is the Winter Party for all employees—specifically, not Christmas Party. I’ve grabbed a cherry-flavored 7-Up, prepared my cold-cut sandwich on a delicious roll, secured my favorite piece of fried chicken, and found a table to sit and talk with colleagues about various topics, work-related and personal.

As I get older, and hopefully wiser, I recognize that not all families are the same. I am reminded of this at work, in a liberal university environment, where the generic label of Holiday Season and Winter Break are used interchangeably, entirely omitting any reference to faith-based perspectives.

While I observe that other families do not celebrate the birth of Christ, or emphasize the Santa mythology over that of Jesus, I am careful to not disregard and dismiss their own traditions. Each family has their own set of traditions, and I believe those traditions (whatever they may be, or how ever they may different from mine) are of importance to the sense of family, bonded in unity, and the real meaning of Christmas.

The spirit of Christmas is the spirit of love and of generosity and of goodness. It illuminates the picture window of the soul, and we look out upon the world’s busy life and become more interested in people than in things ~ Thomas S. Monson

Yes, I believe the true celebration of Christmas should center upon Jesus Christ and his birth—and that’s my personal perogative—yet I also place value in the concepts of family, generosity, love, and kindness toward other human beings. Sadly, such concepts seem to be a rare observance throughout the remainder of the year, which is really a shame.

We all have an equal propensity for kindness and cruelty, despite personal philosophies of faith, and we should individually strive to emphasize that of love and gentleness. So as you and your family are engaged in the Anticipation of Something, give it some thought: how can you show compassion, kindness, or humility to another person in this Christmas season?

So, despite what you personally call the season and the upcoming holiday, have yourself a Merry Whatchamacallit—and remember to be kind to someone else.