I remember back in one December in elementary school, I was having a lot of trouble with this one particular artsy-type project in class. I had to cut and glue something to some stuff (it’s hard to describe, ok?!) and for the life of me, I kept on messing up. Downside: I was going to be graded on it. Upside: There was no upside.
The teacher gave me another chance by giving me a few more supplies for me to take home and try again. The construction paper and the fancy paper would allow me to take two more attempts. I messed up on the first one but then finally got it right. I happened to tell my mom about the project after I finished and she told me to make sure to tell the teacher that I wasn’t allowed to do anything associated with Christmas.
The next day, I turned in my little art project thing and then told the teacher what my mom said. The teacher said what I just did was for Christmas. D’oh!
You mean all those those tears from failure (yes, there were tears) were for naught and I could have gotten myself out of this art project? I wish I knew that I could have played the Muslim card and saved myself from all the distress.
I couldn’t wait for the next Christmas-related project so I could get out of it.
But there weren’t anymore from then on. There were no more Christmas projects, Christmas parties started being called something else, and then… it became all about wishing people “Happy Holidays”. For a while, if someone happened to say “Merry Christmas” to me, I would politely say “Happy Holidays” back, not out of spite but because, well I don’t celebrate Christmas, y’know?
I realized something though – if I know someone celebrates Christmas, I’d much rather wish them a Merry Christmas than the generic Happy Holidays. It has more meaning that way. And to look at it from another point of view, if someone who isn’t Muslim says “Eid Mubarak” to me on one of the two holidays we have, I get pretty happy and develop a stupid grin on my face as I thank them for thinking of me.
So, for all the folks out there who celebrate Christmas: Merry Christmas!
For all of us who don’t: Woohoo! We totally got a day off!