Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Christmas

I LOVE Christmastime.  I really, truly do.  A bit funny coming from a Muslim, I know, but I can't help it.

The festive spirit, the holidays (wahoo), and all that Peace on Earth and Goodwill stuff.  It's awesome.  I don't (only say) Season's Greetings or Happy Holidays.  I also do not believe in calling it x-mas because I'm not Christian, I try to give my Christian friends the respect they deserve, by acknowledging the spiritual and religious significance of the day for them, just like they do for me - for example, one of my closest non-Muslim friends always emails/calls/sends a card every Kushali to say Kushali Mumbark to me.  I love her so much for this simple act and thoughtfulness - in addition to the hundreds of other things that make her lovely of course!

What I love most about Christmas is the warm glow of love that surrounds the holiday season and the day itself.  The presents don't hurt either, but not because of the fact that it's a present (while always fantastic), it truly is the thought behind it.  That someone thought of and considered me enough to get me a token of their love and appreciation makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.  I hope that I do the same for them with my gift giving!  I recently read a friend's blog post, Have a Very Materialist Christmas.  I met Jonathan in university, and he is now an Anglican Minister.  It is an excellent post and sums the whole idea of giving gifts absolutely perfectly.

Growing up we celebrated Christmas with our family.  I think it started because of pressure from us kids while growing up in Canada - we wanted all that stuff that our friends did on the holidays too, but then we kept it going as we got older.  We had a tree, some of us exchanged gifts (not all were comfortable with it, and that was always fine too) we gathered together and wished one another Kushali Mumbarak and a Merry Christmas.  The best part was dinner.  Sitting together in a huge group, laughing, talking, sharing and celebrating us, our love and our relationships was the highlight of our day.  Some of my absolute fondest memories come from our Christmas dinner.  Family was emphasis of our holiday time together.
A Kiwi Christmas Lunch - So different to what I grew up with, but just as awesome with the family!

I guess I feel like the messages that surround Christmastime such as Peace on Earth; Goodwill Towards All Men; Brotherly Love; the spirit of giving and the emphasis on family should transcend race and religion and really are applicable to all of humanity.

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So I'm wishing you a very merry Christmas, or Happy Hannukah, or a belated Eid or Kushali Mumbarak or anything else I could say to express the same sentiment.
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I wish you and your families well and hope the past year has been good to you and that the coming year is even better.  I wish you strength and courage in the face of adversity and more strength in the knowledge that you are loved and very cared for.  

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