Written by Kaya Gravitter
Christmas is a very hard time of the year for me. It is more difficult than Eid itself. It is a sad reminder that I will not be celebrating another holiday with my family ever again. People who are not converts do not understand this and they took try to tell you how to feel. Only a convert only knows how a convert feels. A Muslim born with a Muslim family cannot tell a convert how to feel on a holiday.
However, I know that the decision I made of converting to Islam overcomes anything I may miss from Christmas or any other Christian holiday.
I miss the nostalgia of running down the steps on Christmas morning to a tree with Christmas gifts underneath it. I would get up at like 4 AM; that is even earlier than Fajr prayer. However, I know that the decision I made of converting to Islam overcomes anything I may miss from Christmas or any other Christian holiday.
My parents and grandmother still get me Christmas gifts, but I am not sure if I will get them any this year. I know I want to support them in their holiday, but did they did not support me in celebrating my Muslim holiday. Nor do they support my religious choice, period. So I feel like I would be hypocritical of me to do that.
During this time of year, I feel the people born into Muslim families should try to be as loving as they can to the converts, because for many people, this is the hardest time of the year.
When I was a Christian, I always wondered why we would celebrate Christmas on December 25th. No where in the Bible does it say to celebrate the birth of Jesus, nor does it say when he was born. To my knowledge, Christmas used to be celebrated on January 6 and was reverted to December 25th, Sol Invictus, a pagan holiday. This was to coincide with the pagan Roman festival marking the birthday of the unconquered sun, at the time of the winter solstice. This was probably done to make Christianity more appealing to the pagan converts.
Though I feel sad that I am unable to celebrate a holiday with my family, it softens my heart knowing that I will not be celebrating a hypocritical holiday. A holiday designed for former pagans and celebrating Middle Easterners, who the prejudiced people would racially profile any other day. Not on Christmas though— they they love the Middle Easterners in their nativity scenes outside of their churches and homes. Though the funny thing is, they do not see the irony in it.
During this time of year, I feel the people born into Muslim families should try to be as loving as they can to the converts, because for many people, this is the hardest time of the year. That is because it’s a huge reminder that many of us have no family support.
Anyone who has questions about Islam or conversion, please message me on my Facebook page and watch my YouTube channel.
Kaya is a blogger, activist, and freelance writer.
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