It’s that time of year again. Christmas music is playing on the radio and the telly, and every single shop out there is having a fancy shmancy Holiday Sale. I’ve often been wished, “Merry Christmas!” at this time of year by students, parents of students, clerks, and more.
During the Christmas season, it can be easy to join in the Christmas festivities. It is normal to participate in Secret Santa at work, to send your school child money to donate to the poor children who need Christmas presents, and to be able to sing Christmas carols under your breath at any given time. Hey, ’tis the season to be jolly, right?
As Muslims, we sometimes tend to think it is fine to participate just a little in Christmas activities if needed to blend in with the mainstream population. I am guilty of the above. I realized I was guilty when I taught 2nd grade in a public school and I had an adorable Jehova’s witness child in my class. When you teach in a classroom where almost everyone believes in Christmas, with the exception of a lone few, it is no wonder the lone few want to blend in with the rest and “do” Christmas, too. Similar to the Muslim-Blending-In-With-Mainstream-Population dilemma! Alas, my adorable Jehova’s Witness student was driven by temptation and borrowed a library book on Winnie-the-Pooh and his friends celebrating Christmas. This furtive-book-borrowing would have gone unnoticed by me were it not for the note I received the next day. If you’re a teacher, you know that sometimes you dread reading ‘The Parent Note.’