Getting deep and religious today…
Seeing as Christmas is almost at our doorstep and I’ am actually flying to Darwin for the Christmas Holidays to reunite with my family on my mum’s side I couldn’t help but think about the holiday that once was something I celebrated as a religious (well, so I thought) as opposed to how I celebrate it now. Simply as a holiday, an excuse to see my loving family and to unwrap my unexpected presents. We all know I love presents 😛
Idrus still hasn’t quite grasped the way I see Christmas but God knows my intentions and I know how I see it now that I’ am a proud Muslim. I see it simply as a Holiday, a time to spend with your friends and/or family and eat, lots. I reflected on all the years I have spent Christmas and soon realized that there was never really anything religious as to the way we celebrated Christmas. Christmas to me, 4-5 years ago was a reason for the family to reunite, eat massive amounts of traditional Portuguese food, play a game or two of Monopoly and wait for the clock to struck at 12am on Christmas Day to open presents. We then all go home and go to sleep, the next day is Christmas and sometimes we will have lunch together but then other years we do our own thing and stay home. It’s just another day, a day of no work, no school. Although, my mum claims that we would go to the midnight Mass but I have absolutely no memory of this.
Mum mentioned that we celebrate(d) Christmas being the birth of Christ but honestly I never saw it that way growing up. Christmas Eve/Day to me insisted of my cousins running around with all their new toys. My aunty and Nanna cooking up a storm all day, Pai falling asleep on the couch, mum “watching” the kids and the twins and I playing Monoply until someone gives up because they’re losing :P. I haven’t been with my family during this time ever since converting to Islam in 2012 – I did, however spend the holidays with my dad and siblings for the first time ever – last year and Idrus came along too.
I was wondering if there were any other Muslims who do something with their family at this time of the year so I did some research and came by two (here and here) articles that I could relate. Each of the articles had mentioned that they don’t celebrate Christmas as a “Holy” day but in fact as a “Holiday”. They to, go out of their way to put together a delicious feast for their family as they see it as a time to get their family and friends together over a meal. One article mentioned that they search high and low for halal turkey and the other tried to find halal goose. One of them even go as far as giving their neighbors a Christmas card because come Eid, their neighbors do something nice for them too. The way I see it – it’s all about respect and in the Islam teachings, it does say to respect all religions.
I’ve been with Idrus during Christmas Holidays for the last three years and we don’t really do anything. There was one year, maybe 2014 where we went to a park with his family and had a BBQ which was nice though. I think, once Idrus and I have kids – I might go far and beyond to put up a feast for the family minus presents and decorations. To be honest, decorations are a waste of time and money so I’m glad I don’t have to ever worry about those. Since we are having major “D&M” in this post… I will admit that I have bad memories from decorating the house and putting up the Christmas tree, anyway. In saying that, as the twins and I got older – we grew out of it as well. It started to become a “chore” more then anything and what kid enjoys doing chores? Not us.
The reason for this post is to say to my fellow reverts to not worry too much about the idea of Christmas. So as long as your intentions are to spend this time of year purely as a holiday and to get together with your family then you’re not doing anything that is classified as haram. At the end of the day only you and God knows your intentions… If you want to spend the day with your family, you do that! You know your limits!
If it makes you feel a little more at ease, Ascia_AKF spends the holidays with her Catholic or Christian family every year. So if she can do it, I don’t see why we can’t?
You are respecting your families traditions as they should respect your religion… I thank God everyday that my family are slowly adjusting to my new beliefs and respecting it.
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