It’s the end of the year and the holidays are here! All our favorite shows are gearing up to release their own twist on a holiday episode. We get to see all our favorite characters celebrating with family and friends, experiencing unexpected mishaps and drama. But, not all our favorite characters celebrate the same holidays and neither do we. Television doesn’t always represent these holiday celebrations. As we round the corner into 2020, a lot more diverse shows and film leads are popping up, and we love it! In the spirit of inclusion this year, we would like to thank these shows for representing diverse holidays.
1. Fresh Off The Boat Celebrating Chinese New Year
The new hit TV show, Fresh Off the Boat, starring Constance Wu and Randall Park features the Huang family as they make their way in America in the ’90s. The Taiwanese family moves from D.C. to Orlando and for Chinese New Year they plan to visit their family back in D.C. In “The Year of the Rat” (S2E11), the family was forced to celebrate in Orlando after they missed their flight.
As it turns out, the Huangs discover they are the only Chinese family in the area, and Louis (Randall Park) must organize the celebration at their family restaurant. He commissions his employees to decorate and coordinate a traditional dragon dance. The family spends the holiday teaching their friends and the rest of the community about Chinese New Year.
2. Ramy Celebrating Ramadan
The new series aired this year on Hulu. Stand-up comedian and co-creator of the show, Ramy Youssef, plays the main character Ramy.
The show explores the millennial’s struggle with accepting his Muslim background in modern-day New Jersey. In “Do the Ramadan” (S1E5), Ramy is fasting for Ramadan and trying to follow all the rules after having slacked on them for the last few years.
3. The Goldbergs Celebrating Hanukkah
In “A Christmas Story,” the Goldbergs celebrate “Super Hanukkah.” In “A Christmas Story” (S2E10), Mom Beverly (Wendi McLendon-Covey) is feeling underwhelmed by their traditional Hanukkah celebration. She visits her neighbors home decked out for Christmas and sees how excited their sons are for the holiday.
As a result, she becomes jealous since her own children are lacking with holiday cheer and decides to amp up her Hanukkah celebration with blue and silver Christmas decorations and other commercial items. However, when her father visits the family for the holiday he finds that everyone has lost the true meaning of the tradition. He tries to bring his daughter back down to Earth with traditional trinkets and old family photos.
4. Everybody Hates Chris Celebrating Kwanzaa
“We encourage you to celebrate Kwanza this year. And stop being a slave to consumerism. Free yourself from your financial oppressors by giving African love.”
The Chris Rock-inspired sit-com Everybody Hates Chris (2005) aired an episode of Kwanzaa known as, “Everybody Hates Kwanzaa” in 2007. The show follows a young Black teen navigating school and family life in the ’80s. This year the family is strapped for cash when Julius (Terry Crews), the father, doesn’t get his Christmas bonus. In an effort to save money, the family tries out Kwanzaa. Instead of buying Christmas decorations and planning an extravagant holiday meal they focus on family and their African heritage.
Kelly (Mindy Kaling) invited the office to a Diwali celebration in “Diwali” (S3E6). In lieu of the festivities Micheal Scott (Steve Carell), the boss, tries to “celebrate diversity” in the office. A meeting is held to discuss the Hindu holiday, but only Dwight (Rainn Wilson) is capable of accurately talking about the cultural beliefs.
Unfortunately, HR disbands the meeting, cutting him off. However, the office gets educated on the holiday once they arrive at the celebration. While most of them stick out like sore thumbs and Angela (Angela Kinsey) is very against the whole thing, the community welcomes them with open arms.
“So put on your saris / It’s time to celebrate Diwali / Everybody looks so jolly / But it’s not Christmas, it’s Diwali…”
– Micheal Scott | The Office, NBC
The episode is pretty miserable for most of the characters. Yet, they still manage to end on a happy note. Micheal sings “The Diwali Song,” an adaptation of Adam Sandler’s “The Hanukkah Song.” And, we have to assume he has written it for the festivities.
Happy Holidays, Everyone!
This holiday season, let us recognize all the diverse festivities being celebrated right alongside one another. They may all be at different times during the year and celebrated differently, but they all celebrate life, family, culture, and prosperity in their own way. So, I wish everyone love, luck and happy holidays!