“The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree: the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other.” ~ Burton Hillis
I know there are many out there who don’t celebrate Christmas and that’s ok because all of us are entitled to our own beliefs. I was raised in a strict Jehovah’s witness home, my dad was raised in the faith and my Mom after she married him. Growing up, while my friends all spoke about what they were asking Santa Clause for or excited about their Christmas Tree. I remained silent. As a child, I never really understood why Christmas was never celebrated at my house, only that it was something we didn’t do. But as I grew in the faith and was old enough to understand I knew why there was never a Christmas Tree at my house. I won’t bore you with the details of why Jehovah’s Witness don’t celebrate Christmas, only that is not just about not knowing the true birth of Jesus Christ, though my sister still practices, my brother and I do not.
Despite my parent’s objections, I married a man who was not in the faith, in fact, though raised as a Catholic, he was not of any faith. But we shared a common interest in deep spirituality with a belief that all life are precious and connected, during our college days our hobby was studying religious text and visiting holy places from Churches to Mosque to Temples and found that all religious teachers taught the same message of peace and unity. We raised our little family without religion but with the commonality that everyone’s beliefs should be respected. That Salat to a Muslim is just as significant as attending church each Sunday for a Christian or Jehovah’s witness.
Yes, we do celebrate Christmas but not in the religious sense because as a celebration of family, friendship, love and surviving another year together. We don’t go crazy with the commercialization of the holiday but do put up a tree, we do exchange gifts with a rule of nothing over $20 for kids and $30 for adults. If we’re not travelling or visiting my in-laws, the week leading up to Christmas is reserved for close friends as we invite them into our home for dinner, Christmas Eve and Day are spent volunteering at a shelter, cooking and serving meals to the homeless. I do send Christmas cards because it brings joy into the lives of those receiving.
I love Christmas, I love the spirit it brings, people are friendlier, happier and hopeful. Christmas means different things to different people and I feel the world would be a better place if that was accepted.
Merry Christmas……….Happy Holidays……….Wishing you a wonderful 2017
**This post was submitted by Holiday Guest Blogger and Facebook follower Kate Schumacher.