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They aren’t Christian, but they love Christmas. Here’s how they celebrate

They aren’t Christian, but they love Christmas. Here’s how they celebrate

Twinkling lights, the scent of pine, and a heat hug by means of a mug with sizzling chocolate — these are simply among the issues that make Christmas.

Whereas it has its roots in Christianity, the season to be jolly has been effectively liked even by these with different faiths and ideologies.

Rizwan Sayani, of Waterloo, Ont., is Muslim, however has been celebrating Christmas together with his spouse and their two kids for about seven years. He mentioned they arrange a Christmas tree, put up lights and wrap presents.

The Sayani household has been celebrating Christmas for about seven years alongside Salgirah, an Ismaili Muslim vacation. (Photograph submitted by Rizwan Sayani)

“My seven-year-old daughter Raina will get actually excited when it’s Christmas time,” he mentioned.

“She begins singing Christmas carols everywhere in the everywhere in the college and everywhere in the home and all the things. Simply the pleasure that she will get from it actually, actually shines in the home.”

That Christmas pleasure has additionally touched Jayanti Dabhere, a Waterloo resident who has been celebrating Christmas for about 12 years together with her husband, Amol Patil, although they have been each raised Hindu.

woman smiling in front of christmas tree with a dog on her lap
Jayanti Dabhere has been celebrating Christmas for about 12 years. (Aastha Shetty/CBC)

“That is simply our second Christmas in Canada,” Dabhere mentioned.

“Simply eager to be concerned and part of a bigger celebration is what prompted us to have a good time Christmas within the first place. We’ve already seen that we really feel a lot extra a a part of group after we have a good time Canadian festivals. In order that’s what attracted us to do it.”

For Dabhere, Christmas has all the time been extra about love, kindness and sharing time with household — concepts that resonate with folks irrespective of their faith.

Dabhere and Patil mentioned they began adorning someday in November. In addition they take pleasure in driving round, admiring the best way the lights and decorations their neighbours have put up for Christmas.

A white mantel is decorated with family photos, a garland, lights and other Christmas decorations.
Amol Patil and Jayanti Dabhere adorned their residence with Christmas lights and different decorations. (Photograph submitted by Amol Patil)

Carmen Che, one other Waterloo resident, mentioned her mother and father are Taiwanese immigrants who solely began celebrating Christmas as a result of she and her sister actually needed to.

“When my sister and I have been younger, my mother and father would humour us and get an actual tree yearly. However after some time, they began getting uninterested in all of the fussing round,” Che mentioned.

“However even after that, my sister and I might nonetheless take all of the ornaments that we already had and simply beautify the staircases. It was a part of wanting to slot in with the group. We didn’t wish to miss out on the on the festive spirit with one thing that we grew up with.”

Smiling woman poses in front of her sparkling christmas tree with her shih-tzu dog in her hands. The dog is wearing a santa costume. He does not look happy.
Che mentioned she enjoys many elements of Christmas, like placing up a tree, wrapping presents and dressing up her canines. (Aastha Shetty/CBC)

She mentioned she grew up in a neighbourhood the place folks didn’t share one frequent religion, so Christmas was a chance to have a good time one thing with group members.

Che mentioned with out ever fascinated about it — or desiring to do it — she has woven within the tradition and traditions she realized from her Taiwanese mother and father into the best way she celebrates Christmas. One of many latest ornaments on her Christmas tree this 12 months is a fortunate cat, also called the maneki-neko.

white lucky cat ornament close up
This fortunate cat decoration hangs on Che’s Christmas tree. (Aastha Shetty/CBC)

“To me, it represents my heritage. It represents the Chinese language tradition I had rising up,” she mentioned. “It’s additionally meant to be an emblem of luck and fortune. It’s cute and it has all the fitting colors.”

She mentioned collaborating in Christmas celebrations as a toddler was a means for her and her sister to really feel part of the bigger Canadian tradition round them.

Mixing household traditions with Christmas can be very intentional for Sayani.

His two youngsters have grown up celebrating Christmas alongside Salgirah, which comes round yearly on Dec. 13. Salgirah is a vacation celebrated by Ismaili Muslims to commemorate the birthday of their religious chief, Mawlana Hazar Imam.

“I’m actually hoping she retains the custom of Salgirah and Christmas and invitations each cultures like having a good household dinner and likewise serving to folks,” he mentioned, referring to his daughter Raina. “I’m actually hoping that she continues that custom even 20 years down the street.”

Wooden ornament with a maple leaf
That is solely the second 12 months that Dabhere and Patil have lived in Canada. They selected a brand new decoration to signify Canada on their tree. (Photograph submitted by Amol Patil)

He mirrored on how Raina’s childhood Christmas reminiscences shall be very completely different from his.

“Rising up, we by no means celebrated Christmas in any respect. We thought it was like, , simply no matter, it’s one other vacation, one other free time without work,” he mentioned. ” I feel now having that openness [around celebrating Christmas] has simply actually introduced cultural consciousness to everybody.

“It’s not that she’s going to neglect her tradition. She’s all the time going to recollect. However not less than now she will be able to incorporate each elements of it.”

The Morning Version – Ok-W8:58These folks didn’t develop up celebrating Christmas, however like it all the identical

Christmas is well-loved by folks of many alternative faiths and ideologies. CBC Kitchener-Waterloo’s Aastha Shetty checked in with those that aren’t Christian, however nonetheless have a good time to search out out why.