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

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

Rizwan Sayani, of Waterloo, Ont., is Muslim, however has been celebrating Christmas along with his spouse and their two youngsters for about seven years. He stated 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. (Picture submitted by Rizwan Sayani)

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

“She begins singing Christmas carols all around the all around the college and all around the home and every little thing. 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, though they had 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 stated.

“Simply desirous 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 once we have a good time Canadian festivals. So that is 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 individuals regardless of their faith.

Dabhere and Patil stated they began adorning someday in November. Additionally they take pleasure in driving round, admiring the way in which 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 embellished their dwelling with Christmas lights and different decorations. (Picture submitted by Amol Patil)

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

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

“However even after that, my sister and I’d nonetheless take all of the ornaments that we already had and simply adorn the staircases. It was a part of wanting to slot in with the group. We did not 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 stated she enjoys many points of Christmas, like placing up a tree, wrapping presents and dressing up her canines. (Aastha Shetty/CBC)

She stated she grew up in a neighbourhood the place individuals didn’t share one widespread religion, so Christmas was a possibility to have a good time one thing with group members.

Che stated with out ever fascinated by it — or aspiring to do it — she has woven within the tradition and traditions she realized from her Taiwanese mother and father into the way in which she celebrates Christmas. One of many latest ornaments on her Christmas tree this yr is a fortunate cat, often known as 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 stated. “It is also meant to be a logo of luck and fortune. It is cute and it has all the proper colors.”

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

Mixing household traditions with Christmas can also 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 am actually hoping she retains the custom of Salgirah and Christmas and invitations each cultures like having a good household dinner and likewise serving to individuals,” he stated, referring to his daughter Raina. “I am actually hoping that she continues that custom even 20 years down the street.”

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

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

“Rising up, we by no means celebrated Christmas in any respect. We thought it was like, you recognize, simply no matter, it is one other vacation, one other free break day,” he stated. ” I believe now having that openness [around celebrating Christmas] has simply actually introduced cultural consciousness to everybody.

“It is not that she’s going to neglect her tradition. She’s all the time going to recollect. However no less than now she will be able to incorporate each points of it.”

The Morning Version – Ok-W8:58These individuals did not develop up celebrating Christmas, however like it all the identical

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


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