Christmas Spirit

Jude El Buri

It’s the lights, the decoration and the songs. It’s the cozy atmosphere and that warm feeling I get when December rolls around. I am completely and utterly in love with Christmas.
I’m Muslim, and I don’t celebrate Christmas, but I have to say, one of my guiltiest pleasures is, in fact, Christmas time.
On Christmas Eve, I flop on the couch and watch endless hours of “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer,” “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” and “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” I sometimes drink hot cocoa and listen to Christmas songs on the computer.
The cheesy Christmas sweaters come out. The ones that light up and have pop out snowmen or have three zillion sequins on them. Jimmy Fallon initiates his “Twelve Days of Christmas sweater Giveaway.” Sometimes I browse cute Christmas-themed baby clothes or party outfits. I remember the Christmas sing-alongs we had in the school gym in elementary school. I often conveniently “forgot” to tell my mother about them so she wouldn’t come pick me up, and I could join in the fun. My favorite song was “I’m Getting Nuttin’ (Nothing) for Christmas” with its comedic story of a young troublemaker who gets nothing for Christmas.
It was while I was browsing around on YouTube when I saw Justin Beiber’s new Christmas album: Under the Mistletoe. I instantly fell in love with the song Mistletoe, despite my indifference toward Bieber himself, and my being a so called “non-belieber” (in fact, I am listening to “Mistletoe” as I write this).
Living in a mainly Christian society, I have learned to love the atmosphere Christmas gives off. I still have my own strong beliefs, but I can’t help but fall in love with Christmas time. As a Muslim, I believe that the birth of Christ is related in the Qur’an but a little differently. The Virgin Mary is told by an angel that she will give birth to a “pure” son. She gives birth alone in the desert under a palm tree, then returns with the baby to her people. When they assume that she has been unchaste, Jesus speaks up from the cradle in her defense, announcing that he is a prophet.
Muslims don’t believe in incarnation, and that it is not befitting for God to father a Son. So we do acknowledge  Christ’s miraculous birth was from a virgin, but we don’t celebrate Christmas because we don’t believe in the incarnation.
So, my happiness and joy toward Christmas should be something weird for a Muslim, but I can’t help but love it. This year, I plan to rate all the houses in my neighborhood by their decorations. I plan to bob along to Christmas songs and jingles. This year I will get a warm fuzzy feeling when December rolls around.
By Jude El Buri