The tree’s up, gifts have been bought and three homemade Christmas puddings are chilling in the cold cupboard. So far so good – this Muslim household is on track for Christmas.
“Really? You celebrate Christmas?”
Peace, love, joy, gratitude and a spirit of giving and goodwill – what’s not to get behind? I mean, think about it, are any of those against your religion?
There’s nothing like travel to teach you that the Christmas you thought was a monolithic certainty in your homeland has different faces all across the world. Folks don’t even keep to the same date. Even the nativity, enacted in schools and depicted on Christmas cards, probably didn’t occur exactly as we’ve been led to believe through the centuries. Joining a widespread outpouring of diverse positivity in no way compromises my beliefs.
“But don’t your kids get confused?”
I think they’d get a much more confusing message if we said, “We don’t do Christmas because those people believe in different things from us.” This way they understand that although people see things differently this doesn’t stop them working together for good. Would you decline an opportunity to celebrate positivity because the person offering it wasn’t your religion, race, nationality, blood type or star-sign? When we celebrated Eid earlier this year, none of the people I invited to join us were muslim but that didn’t stop anyone from coming.
In a world where pain and injustice are rife, anything that encourages us to look beyond our own needs and extend kindness and love to our fellow man is to be supported.
Life is about connection – don’t hold yourself back
Here in Canada food drives and toy drives are in full swing, and supermarkets bristle with displays of ready-bagged groceries you can purchase for charity. Just this morning I found myself going through the coat closet when a local lady announced she was making a delivery of outdoor clothing to an outreach program that works with people living on the street.
I think it’s like the deal with pink shirts – men who are secure in their own sexuality don’t have a problem wearing one. The same goes for those who hold a particular religious belief – why limit your exposure to others to protect it if it’s a part of who you are? We shouldn’t fear challenging our beliefs; it’s what’s called spiritual growth. After all, faith is a personal journey for everyone – whatever label you give it, whether you think you’re on a journey or not – it’s a universal human experience. In the words of Muhammad Ali,
“A man who views the world the same at fifty as he did at twenty has wasted thirty years of his life.”
So, on behalf of my brothers from other mothers and sistas with similar vistas, I’d like to extend some Warm & Fuzzies from the Muzzies! Merry Christmas everyone, and if someone says “Happy Holidays” give them a hug and tell them it’s Christmas.
You can read more about our Muslim Christmas experience (and peruse the diverse views expressed in the comments) in a previous post:
A Merry Muslim Christmas