Christmas mourning

I am in the process of moving house, going through everything in my apartment and deciding what will and won’t go with me, and sorting through boxes in my attic and cellar, some of which I have not unpacked since I moved in seven years ago.

Not surprisingly, I am coming across many things that do not fit into my new life as a Muslim and I have to decide what to do with them.

Some things are obvious, like my cellar full of wine. To be honest I had almost forgotten about it as I have not been down there in nearly a year, since before I said my shahada. And while some of the bottles of wine are closely associated with memories of friends, trips and special occasions, the decision to get rid of it all is an easy one.

Then there are things I am not so certain about, like some of my wall hangings that depict the human form. There is nothing indecent about the art and I certainly do not view any of it as items of worship, simply an aesthetic that to me is still beautiful. I will keep these for now.

And then there is the big box of what I call “Santa barf”, that is Christmas ornaments, decorations and keepsakes.

Though I converted to Islam less than a year ago, I was never one to celebrate Christmas once I moved out of my parents’ home. The exception being when I visited my family at the holidays, and I viewed it as a family and cultural tradition, not a religious one. I love spending Christmas with my family, but I have also spent many a December 25 not celebrating Christmas without a second thought.

The box I mention is filled with items given to me by family and friends in the spirit of trying to put me in the spirit – beautifully painted glass ornaments and hand-made decorations.

Much to my surprise, I find myself filled with emotion. This box represents what I have left behind. It reminds me that even if I do spend December 25th with my family, I am separated from all of this now.

Don’t get me wrong, I know that I have gained so much more with Islam. Never-the-less, despite the fact I was never sentimental about the holiday, I feel its loss looking at this box of keepsakes. So today, I am taking the time to mourn Christmas. (And I decided to get rid of all the Santa barf except the Christmas ornaments made by my nieces. These transcend the holiday.)

8 responses

  1. Whosoever Allah (swt) chooses to guide towards HIM…nothing and no one can do anything about it. You seem to be that one. Marhabba – congratulations for being it. Mashallah! God Bless You in all your endeavors and challenges!

  2. Your posting is very timely for me. Only last night I was watching a movie which had a very sentimental Christmas scene. Like you Christmas does not have religious connotations but is a time to spend with family and friends and sing songs. I will miss not being part of the exciting build up and I did get teary eyed last night.But like you said the rewards of Islam are greater Alhamdulilah and I’ll be trying to focus on that as I am overcome with nostalgia!

  3. Salams sister, keep the ornaments 🙂 and celebrate your diversity. Those memories aren’t meant to be erased once you become Muslim..so no need to mourn. (in my humble opinion.)

  4. P.S. don’t allow any human to make you feel like your past is not worth acknowledging, and it would be unislamic to just ignore the very things that remind you of strong family bonds. If spending time with your family during Christmas holidays is something important to you, then you definitely should try not to sever those ties.. (in my humble opinion again) 🙂

    • Thank you! I love that you always remind me to just be myself. 🙂 I did keep the ornaments. And my some of my family are coming to visit my for Christmas this year. Will be an adventure!

      • No problem sis. I’m super happy you kept the ornaments! And that’s awesome that your fam is inshaAllah coming to visit for Christmas – alhumdullilah! 🙂

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