The holidays don’t just mean Christmas, Hanukah, or Kwanza. The people on this big beautiful earth celebrate holiday hybrids, typical holidays, or nothing at all! Everyone’s family traditions are special and important, so we at The Tempest thought we would share some of those with you!
When I was growing up in the mid-to-late 90s, Ramadan and Eid Al Fitr happened to fall at or around Christmas, so there was definitely a sense of “holiday season.” But now that Ramadan and Eid are in the summer, and I’m not a kid anymore, our celebration consists of shopping the sales. It truly is the most wonderful time of the year! I feel like we get the best out of Christmas because we have the sales and the music without the stress of buying presents and hosting guests. But my parents are getting sentimental these days so my dad bought one of those light machines that reflect colored lights onto the house. It gave the kids a thrill on Halloween! – Nadia, Managing Editor, (Las Vegas, Nevada)
Oddly enough, my parents’ wedding anniversary is on the 25th of December. So that day, my brothers and I bring out a cake and some candles, and we treat them to a dinner date. Other than that, a close friend of mine celebrates Christmas and she invites our group to her house where we exchange presents, have a delicious desi lunch, jam out obnoxiously to tunes like Hotline Bling, and snow spray each other till we’re on the floor laughing. – Arsh. Community Fellow, (Lahore, Pakistan)
I grew up in a mixed family, half of my family is Mexican and the other half is Irish American. Every Christmas Eve, my mom, brother, abuela, and I would make kilos of tamales wrapped in corn husks from scratch to serve with Christmas dinner. My dad’s side of the family added to the tradition with reading “The Night Before Christmas” after we had all finished cooking and were getting ready for bed and leaving out cookies for Santa. Oddly enough, for a while when I was a kid, my mom worked as the manager elf at the mall when Santa came, so I was always on my best behavior during that month because I was afraid she would tell the mall Santa if I did something wrong. -Taylor Faires, Associate Producer, (Greensboro, North Carolina)
I’m from a tight-knit diplomat family and we would always do our best to bring American traditions wherever in the world we were. That meant making sugar cookies with my mom while we watched the Muppets Christmas Carol, going to carol services and waking up to stockings, cinnamon buns and presents under the tree. I just got married though, so my husband’s half Jewish, all-British family traditions are now ours as well. It’s basically a beautiful buffet of all our traditions and influences. We’ll spend all month going to Christmas markets in Germany, where we live. We’ll celebrate Chanukah and the festival of Sta Lucia which coincide this year on December 13, and then my parents will come with us to the UK for mince pies, fruitcake, Christmas turkey and crackers. Finally, we’ll watch the home football team, Nottingham Forest, play a boxing day match followed by latkes and salt beef. Told you we had it all! – Katie, Interviews Editor, (Frankfurt, Germany)
I’m an Indian Muslim, but the one thing all desi people have in common is December 25th. Not because it’s christmas but because it’s a holiday and that’s the day they all chose to get married. I have over 10 friends who’s parents share this anniversary, my parents got married on this day too, about 34 years ago. So every year, we celebrate family. Usually we make a big meal at home and invite a huuuge amount of friends over to celebrate my parents. A few years ago, we had a big turkey dinner, thanks to my awesome dad “Chef” Saiyed. Since then, we kind of moved on to the traditional western style Turkey dinner with the works. It’s generally a fun day filled with presents for the parents, cooking and LOTS of love & laughter. – Narmeen Saiyed, Executive Producer, (Edmonton, Canada)
Christmas is a time where the Spanish colonial history is seen through Parang, which are songs sung in Spanish, about Christmas, and accompanied by cuatros. Often times people will have get- togethers and a Parang band will visit, or the band will go around to different houses in neighborhoods singing songs. There’s lots of food, especially meat, but the dishes people look forward to the most are pastelles, which are minced meat with capers, olives, and raisins wrapped in corn flour envelope then in a banana leaf and steamed. Usually the preparation requires a group effort, but is completely worth it. Other popular desserts are fruit cake and ponche de creme, which can be very boozy. The great thing about being in a multi-religious society, is that everyone finds a way to celebrate somehow even if they’re not religious; it’s always a time to meet up with friends, and family, which can have its ups and downs. But at least there’ll be great food. – Saffiyya Mohammed, Senior Community Editor, (Trindad and Tobago)
Christmas in the south is always fun even if it doesn’t snow. My family especially loves the holiday season. Our Christmas celebrations begin a couple of days after Thanksgiving when we go to pick out our real Christmas tree. Because my sister goes to school in Oklahoma City, we go early so the whole family can pick out the tree together and we can pick a nice and bushy tree. We, of course, decorated our house (both inside and out) with lights, ornaments, and lots of Santas. But, our family’s best holiday decoration is the Nativity. Our family Nativity includes the Holy Family, but also includes a few other characters. We’ve got Dr. Who and his companions, a couple of dinosaurs just for fun, and several Marvel and DC comic book heroes. Aside from that fun little Necessary Family tradition, we celebrate Christmas as normal. Parties, food (oh my gosh so much food its almost ridiculous), and church on Christmas Eve. Christmas Day is spent at my grandparents house where the whole family opens presents and then eat the amazing meal prepared by my grandma, Doll. Ham, dressing, turkey and all the other holiday fixins leave us stuffed. The rest of the day is spent laughing, napping, and talking about next Christmas. -Grace Necessary, Community Fellow, (Dallas, Texas)
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Whether your celebrating San Lucia, Christmas or just your parent’s anniversary the holidays are a beautiful time around the world. Happy holidays from The Tempest!