It is that time of year. You know, party after party, invite after invite all for the holidays.
But what if you don’t celebrate that holiday? What if you don’t believe like your circle of friends? We live in a very multicultural city and country these days, so more and more it is likely to happen. We also live in a very religiously diverse community. So gad, how do we manage?
For me, I am now Muslim, but all of my family are either Christian or Jewish. Yes, you should see some of our family gatherings.
So how do you handle the Christmas music everywhere you turn, the seasonal greetings, the decorating, the parties, there is much to think about.
For us here is what has worked.
We celebrate the holidays.
ALL of them
But we do our own up biggest. Eid for me is my celebration, for me I decorate big, and attend prayer and give my daughter gifts.
Then there is Christmas, this too we celebrate, but we leave out the religious overtones that used to adorn our home. No manager scene, no reciting of Luke. No church pageants, no midnight mass. We still go to the Santa Claus Parade, we buy gifts for our family, we cook turkey. We say Merry Christmas.We decorate using a snowman theme.
Then there is Hanukkah, we have Jewish family members, they converted, so we wish them a Happy Hanukkah, attend celebrations that we are invited too, and buy 1 gift for them during the 8 days.In the past we even lighted a menorah.
I see no reason to distance myself from others, simply because I might choose to exercise my faith differently. They know I am Muslim. I think by showing respect for others who don’t think or celebrate the same way we do, we are celebrating the humanity that is in all of us.
I think celebrating the best of each of the holidays: family, friendship, community; helps the ties of kinship to grow, and helps us to be more unified and understanding.
How do you handle the holidays and diversity?