Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Christmas spirit

I just read a cool article by a Muslim guy who talked about how much he loved Christmas and everything about it.  He talked about how all we Muslims had was Ramadhan and while it's spiritual and peaceful, it's not "fun".  He talked about how he loved all the Christmas lights and how the trip to the post office was fun because they would drive by houses with all the bright lights and it would be something special.  I did not even consider writing a blog about that but then again I always think and wish Muslims lit up their homes for Ramadhan.  It would symbolize Ramadhan.

In case you think I'm copying the idea of Christmas lights, let me tell you where my idea originated from.  Over 20 years ago, when I lived in Dubai (a Muslim country), my parents had a string of lights that we put up around the one tree in our front yard.  I can't remember when it became tradition, but I think it was when our family members mentioned that it was a great idea to have those lights up for Ramadhan.  Here I am in America now and lights are tradition for Christmas and only Christmas!  If someone puts up lights at any other season, I know the usual comment is, "it's too early for Christmas".  I, on the other hand crave for a time when every Muslim would put up lights for the whole month of Ramadhan.  That would, I think, make a statement.  I feel, it would make Ramadhan more special than it already is to Muslims.  It would also give Muslims some identity as Ramadhan is not secular and not everyone celebrates it.

Speaking of lights, I will say the best lights on a home I have seen ever is not on any home I've seen in the US.  It was a house in Dubai, for a month or so starting with their house warming.  This whole house was lit up.  Whole house.  I wonder how they walked through the door without having to move the strings of lights hanging down.

I do digress.  The truth is that I too love Christmas and the tunes that go with it.  It fills you with warmth and happiness like no other season does.  I go through Ramadhan.  There are days I'm filled with peace but then there are times I'm not.  Ramadhan in the summer is quite hard, I'll admit it.  I was talking to a friend of mine and she said the same thing.  She said she was not able to get into the spirit of Ramadhan with the heat and the fasting.  Most Muslims would consider this post sacriligious but I wonder.  Why is it that Christmas is so much more fun?  Can Ramadhan compete?  Should there even be a festival like Christmas in Islam?

I feel that Christmas is a secular holiday and not religious anymore.  I know of families who celebrate Christmas but dislike Christians and do not go to the Church.  They celebrate because it's just what you do.  In my neighborhood there are 2 homes from Hindu families who have Christmas lights out.  No, they are not changing religions.  Christmas no longer belongs to any religion.  Christmas is about gifts, giving and receiving.  The funny thing, however, about Christmas is the spirit of the season.

Kids are off from school.  That makes them inherently happy.  Give them gifts and increase their happiness.  Also, it's the holiday season, where a lot of families go on vacation.  It's a break time.  Who doesn't love a break?  Most people are super happy with the break and time off that wherever you go people are happy and happiness is infectious.  This season becomes a giant big happy infection.  It's a pandemic, is what it is.  You can't help but smile back at someone who is smiling at you, irrespective of religion.

Can Ramadhan compete?  No.  Not in this country.  As long as we don't have a national holiday for Eid, how can Ramadhan compete?  Christmas is a national holiday!  You could argue that it's religious prejudice.  Why does everyone have off for Christmas?  Why can't Eid or Hanukkah be a national holiday?  Then we all would celebrate it and embrace it.  It would be synonymous with a break, and don't we all love breaks?

The last question that I asked was if there should be something like Christmas in Islam and answering this would be going against the highest power of all, God!  If I'm a true Muslim and I believe Islam is the way then I should not question what God has ordained for me or not ordained for me.  If I do not have a "fun" religious holiday, I can't go up to God and ask, "how about giving us a fun holiday?"  It's just not Kosher, oooop, sorry, I meant Halal!  I know there are Muslims who complain about copying Christmas traditions and yet we try to with Eid gifts and all.  I don't know.  Sometimes, I think it would be good to be an original, but then again, the fun of Christmas is something that is worthy of copying.  What do I know?  I only sit here and type my random thoughts, waiting for the one day when my blog readership explodes.  Still waiting.


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