My fondest memory is growing up in Benin and celebrating the holidays around lively people. Whether it was Eid, Christmas or New Year's Eve, there was a sense of unity through the breezy yet humid air. As a Muslim living in a predominantly Christian country, my parents allowed us to see the world as a whole rather than in pieces through religious views. They were Muslims raising children in a Christian country- creating their own traditions while respecting others.
Christmas as a Muslim signifies family time for us and fortunately for me the decorating part is a creative drug. My mom would pull out boxes of decorations, let us be children and only give us a hand if we were truly struggling. The next day, we would be all about the presents that Santa left for us. (I didn't believe in Santa because as a light sleeper I could hear my mother dropping the gifts. But as long as they were given, I was good.)
I do not believe that muslims appreciating Christmas makes us any less religious nor any more ignorant. It's about understanding why it is celebrated in the first place and respectfully creating your own tradition. I am beyond grateful to have such heart warming memories created by my parents which will be passed on to the family I create. The holidays are all about gratitude, family and spirituality of some sort.
Merry Christmas from the Stilettos & Standards home to yours.
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