I love Christmas.
I’m a 20 year old, Pakistani Muslim girl, and I love celebrating Christmas, just like I’ve always done. What I don’t understand is why it has to be about religion. I’ll tell you some ofwhat Christmas means to me:
The Tree… Who doesn’t like Christmas trees? I grew up decorating weathered evergreens with red and green globes, hanging tiny presents strung with rainbow ribbons, stringing fairy lights on the branches, and spraying a blanket of dazzling white, albeit fake, snow all around. I should explain: I went to a Convent for the first 13 years of my academic life, and picked up certain traditions that have stayed with me throughout.
The Gifts… If you’ve never had presents on Christmas, you’re missing out. I’ve never shied away from any excuse to get presents from friends and family. What’s more, at school we used to exchange gifts with class mates during Christmas week. I’ve never been more excited than when I went to do my all important ‘Christmas shopping’; I would buy scented pink and green erasers and think myself the Queen of Christmas Cheer.
The Carols… Sometimes, when I’m sitting studying, I’ll play carols to myself. Silent Night, Joy to the World, and Jingle Bells have threaded their way through the background of all my childhood years. And at Christmas time, they’re all the more promising. The music and lyrics make me feel at peace on long winter nights.
The Books… If you’re a reader, you have to love Christmas. I have a ritual. Every December, I snuggle up in my fleecy purple blanket and spend nights reading. I read Dickens’ Tale of Two Cities, A Christmas Carol, and Bronte’s Wuthering Heights. These three always get me in a rustic winter holiday cheer mood.
and…The People: You don’t have to be Muslim or Christian or Jewish or Hindu or more to appreciate a holiday where people in the world come together and tell tales about Santa Claus to shiny eyed children. Or where families gather around a tree with hot cocoa and excitement for presents. Most importantly, you don’t need religion to look at the goodness around you: when people who celebrate Christmas are eager to give back, do charity, feed other people, and work for the less privileged.
This might be a romantic portrayal of the holiday, but if we can’t get together and look at the romance in our lives once in a while, how will the human race continue to hold their heads high above everyday misery and sorrow?
Get into the Christmas mood and gather up some holiday cheer!