By Nerissa Hosein. Christmas is for all intents and purposes my happy time. As a kid my family celebrated the season like most, with the Christmas tree, presents and turkey luncheon. It was never really taboo for us in a Muslim home to embrace the festivities. I’m a true Christmas baby at heart. My love for the time of year is truly what drives me through all the problems, physical exhaustion, financial strain and headaches that the year brings!
But over the years, things changed and religion became a stronger factor in the lives of all. Nowadays the elders don’t believe in celebrating what is considered a “Christian holiday” so most of us don’t put up trees and decorate. I am however different and I’ll tell you why.
Christmas to me is not about religion. Yes it celebrates the birth of Christ and that is a glorious time. But that’s not all it is to me. Christmas is my time with family. It’s the time when school stops, vacations start, my husband takes his annual leave and time stops for us. Stress, alarm clocks and busy mornings give way to lazy days, brunches and family moments. It’s a time in my Muslim home when we all come together and forget the problems we have faced in the year, dry the tears we have cried and truly look around to all we have to be thankful for.
It’s a time when the world to me feels a bit safer, the place feels a bit more hopeful and happiness is strong in the air. My husband and I take the kids to see the malls and the decorations and just watching the wonder and glee in their eyes fills my heart with a love I never thought possible. As a mother I want every Christmas to be magical for them, I want to see the excitement and happiness in their tiny faces as we celebrate in our Muslim home.
I love singing songs for them while we put up our tree and decorations. Every night they can’t wait to see the lights go on, they remind me of myself when I was young. I thought Christmas was magical back then, and I’ll admit I still do. We work so hard all year and it’s getting harder and harder every day. Crime is everywhere we turn. I want my kids to be happy and to believe in goodness and giving as long as they can.
It’s not about spending money and exorbitant presents for us. It never was. It’s about finding peace after a long, trying year, it’s about ending the year together as a family, surrounded by the beauty of lights, decorations and that merry old St Nick.
So as long as I have health and strength I’ll keep Christmas alive in my heart for my kids and hopefully theirs. It’s a beautiful season and no matter what religion you are, Christmas will always be a time to celebrate! We do it in our Muslim home and it’s great.
Wishing all a happy, healthy and joyous season!!
November 2016 www.sweettntmagazine.com