I am one of those lucky individuals that gets to celebrate Ramadan, Eid, Christmas and Easter. Being of mixed ethnicity and having a mother from a different religious faith does have its advantages!

 Christmas like Ramadan is a very special time of year in our house hold. We, spend a lot of quality time together laughing, telling stories, gift giving and preparing for Christmas Day Dinner! It’s the meal I look forward to all year. (I guess its how a lot of American’s feel about Thanksgiving dinner). My Parents are both very good cooks, but my father can’t shine a light next to my mother when it comes to the delicious food that she makes on Christmas Day, it’s made with so much love that it could knock you out! A meal my father GREATLY enjoyed!

 The food isn’t the only thing that I love about Christmas it’s the magic that revolves around it. Watching children opening their advent calendars counting down the days until St. Nicholas comes. The sound of carol singing that fills the air and has the ability to make you tingle with excitement and make you want to burst in to song too. The generosity of people and seeing people smile as they look forward to the up coming holiday and remember past ones too. In Saudi Arabia and in Egypt the expatriate community would have been working all year making crafts to sell at bazaars for the holiday season and seeing their latest creations of patch work and ornaments was something I always looked forward to. The concerts and Christmas parties created a joyous and festive ambiance and got everyone in the mood.

 As a child Christmas Eve was the night I would look forward to most, leaving a plate of cookies and a carrot for the jolly old man and his reindeer, having my mother read ‘The Night Before Christmas’ to us even though we knew it off by heart. I also remember the torture of being so giddy with excitement that it would take me forever to go to sleep and I would try my very best to stay awake in the hopes that I would be able to catch a glimpse of the generous man dressed in red who would leave my sister and I beautifully wrapped gifts under the tree.

Then to wake up on the morning of Christmas and find that the carrot had been taken for Rudolf, Santa’s trusty reindeer and that there were crumbs left on the plate and the glass of milk had been drunk!! ‘He really is real!’ would be the thought that would race through my head! And then be quickly forgotten once the presents were in sight!

 We are older now and Christmas is still as important to us now as it was then, but it has a much deeper meaning. It’s the time I spend with my family that I treasure most about the holiday. It brings out the kid in me and my parents. Taking my mother to midnight mass and listening to the sermon, the organ and the choir sing.  I love being able to buy them gifts and watch their faces light up with appreciation, helping my Mum cook the most delicious meal and serve it to our close friends. Hear my father complain how stuffed he is with a huge satisfied grin on his face. Having friends and relatives sending us holiday cards and call us to wish us a Merry Christmas.

 It’s a holiday that reminds me of what I have and what I am grateful for.

What is it you love about the holidays?