Christmas As Told By Someone Who Doesn't Celebrate

Christmas As Told By Someone Who Doesn't Celebrate

Merry gift giving then I guess?

It's officially the holiday season and many of us have been scrambling around finding last minute Christmas presents to give to our loved ones. Christmas has all sorts of meaning to it, but I don't think I've really found one for myself. I never knew what it truly meant to celebrate Christmas growing up because, as a Muslim individual who doesn't religiously celebrate the holiday in the first place, it was just another day for me.

I was told for as long as I can remember that we don't celebrate the holiday so there's no point in participating in all the cultural stuff either. I never really bought presents for my friends or family nor decorate the house, a tree, or participate in any of the other things people usually do during this time.

Let's back track a little to childhood version Maria who was in her first grade class. It was December time, a few days before our school's winter break, and many of my classmates were pumped and ready for Christmas. At that point, I never really knew what Christmas was even all about but I knew that it was considered a big deal to a majority of my class.

The one thing I specifically remember was the big mention of the infamous Santa Clause and how everyone in my class can't wait to see what he gets them this year. Again, as someone who was well aware of everything related to Christmas and how I don't celebrate, Santa Clause was one of those things I knew from the very beginning was, in fact, not real. My classmates would ask me if I was excited for the gifts I was going to get and if there was anything in particular, I really wanted from Santa. I knew they were clinging onto this false hope that this man who's going to give them great presents if they were nice this year actually exists. So I would simply smile and pretend like he existed and humor everyone else.

As I got older, and when everyone stopped believing in Santa, I still never really saw what's so special about the season. Of course, from a religious perspective, I couldn't relate at all. But what makes gift giving so special and why are people saving the best gifts for Christmas?

To keep this short and simple, I think I've finally figured out what it means to celebrate Christmas in my own way. I'm well into my third year of college now and I'm somehow found a handful of people who genuinely care about and love me. This year we all decided to do a Christmas gift exchange and, for once in my life, I was actually excited about buying presents for people. Isn't that weird? I was actually excited about buying presents, wrapping them in cute Christmas wrapping paper, and giving it to my friends to open.

Now, after this small journey of self-discovery, I realize now that Christmas means I can treat my friends during a bustling season. It means I can buy things for the people I love and see them be happy. I also means I can get together with the people I love and celebrate just being together, not necessarily a specific holiday.

So thus, everyone, I hope you all find what this season means to you too and I hope it's a great holiday!

Cover Image Credit: pixabay

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.

Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.

7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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Christmas Of Remembrance Series: My Last Letter

Christmas time is not about the gifts... It is about something far, far more special.


Dear Reader,

Thank you for your time.

This is a series that I have dedicated to those I have loved and lost. It was merely a thought, then an idea, and now a realized creation. Christmas time… all winter really is a hard time for me. It holds this duality in my life of being both my favorite and also my least favorite and difficult time of year. It has been that way for years now.

In a way, this series aids my closure and healing further, and it allows me to tell my story in a way that, to me, is less scary (one of the many great facets of this platform). It was never my intention to write this in order to reach people, or encourage people, or serve as an inspiration to anyone. This was for me and only me. No one else. But, if these pieces of writing do impact someone, somewhere, or make them feel encouraged or inspired in some way or another, or just simply make them feel, then I hope you have enjoyed them. If I can make someone feel, then I guess I have done my job.

The life of an artist is often an uncertain one. The life of a human is a trying one. But life is a journey, and all journeys have their trials. Their tests. Their triumphs and rewards. And they all have their losses. What matters most is what you make of all of it. What lessons you learn. What changes you make. What life you create for yourself. What art you create because of it all. It can be very, very hard. But it can all be glorious at the same time.

At the heart of this series, my words, there is this deep and valuable belief of mine: Christmas (or the Winter Holiday that you may celebrate) is so much more about presents and cooking and shopping and all that other bullshit… it is about family.

The family that is related by blood. The family that surrounds your heart. Your Mom. Your brother. Your dearest friends. The bonds that make life valuable. Worth living. These bonds are soulful bonds, ones that are far more special than any mere trivial object. So… be with them. Forgive. Forget. Heal. Mend what is broken. Reassemble what has been shattered. And stop worrying so much. Laugh together. Cry together. Heal on another. Heal together. And may your new days be better, brighter, and full of love.

Happy Holidays.


A song for you...

"Sense of Home" — Harrison Storm / YouTube

If you liked this series, I invite you to check out my previous article below…

To My Fellow 孤, The Sons Without Fathers On Father’s Day

As well as this article by a fellow creator…

What You Learn Losing A Parent So Young

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