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The Trinity Voice

The student news site of Trinity Preparatory School

The Trinity Voice

The student news site of Trinity Preparatory School

The Trinity Voice

A Non-Christian Christmas

What the celebration of Christmas means to other religions

   Colorful red and green lights shine outside, a tree lined with presents adorns the living room, the smell of cookies fills the house, and all of this happens in a Hindu household celebrating Christmas. 

   Christmas has broken the barrier of just being a religious holiday and has become a universal one instead, something that almost everyone celebrates. 

   A Pew Research Center survey found that 81% of non-Christians in the U.S celebrate Christmas. So, celebrating it is about a lot more than just religion.

   Presents seem like a likely motivation. 

   Christmas is known to be the time when everyone gets excited about presents under the tree and the gifts they receive, but many Hindu, Jewish or atheist people cite their love of Christmas as having nothing to do with a single present. Many non-Christians love the holiday even though it is not a part of their own religion because they enjoy spending time with their family.

   “The feeling of happiness and warmth is why Christmas is my absolute favorite time of the year,” junior Raheel Patel said, “That feeling, and having my family around me is why I love Christmas.”

   Patel’s extended family visits every year during Christmas time and they decorate a tree, give gifts, and do most things a Christian family would do. On top of a traditional Christmas, they also add a bit of their own culture by enjoying Indian dishes and sweets in place of a traditional Christmas meal. 

   Since Patel’s parents missed out on celebrating Christmas while they were young, they made sure to celebrate it with their children so they could at least experience the traditional holidays of America. And while Christmas is not a part of their religion, it’s been integrated as a part of their culture.

   Junior Jack Luna, an atheist, has also been celebrating Christmas since he was born because his parents have made it a custom. His family even attends church the day prior. 

   Over time, they have even developed their own traditions. In Luna’s family, they get to open one present the night of Christmas Eve. 

   Junior Lilly Freedman, who comes from a Jewish household, has a tradition in which her family visits her grandma to celebrate Christmas with.

   “For fun sometimes, we also go out to the restaurant Bob Evans to change up Christmas a little,” Freedman said. 

   With all of this said, it’s clear that these people have developed Christmas traditions and made it special to themselves. 

   “As a Catholic, I have been taught to respect others’ religions,” junior Koray Tekin said. “If someone chooses to celebrate Christmas and see the goodness of the holiday, and they do it respectfully, I think it is perfectly okay.”

   People like Patel, Freedman and Luna have all grown to love and respect Christmas for what it means to them and their families. The tradition of Christmas has grown so interweaved in their lives that they even want to keep celebrating when they are older and have families of their own. 

   “I’m going to have my kids celebrate Christmas,” Luna said. “I don’t even care if we do presents, I just want to teach the values and traditions associated with it.”

   An opportunity to see family, experience another religion, and discovering new traditions, Christmas is another connector in the melting pot of cultures that is America. Being a non-Christian doesn’t seem to limit celebration this time of the year. 

   “In terms of religion, I don’t think it matters as long as you respect the holiday,” Patel said, “I don’t know much about the Christianity part of Christmas, but I still love Christmas for the feels, food, and family.”

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About the Contributor
Aetant Prakash
Aetant Prakash, Podcast Editor
Aetant Prakash is a senior entering his second year on staff where he will serve as Podcast Editor. When he’s not watching Russell Westbrook destroy backboards, he enjoys cooking, running and eating Baos from King Bao. Aetant also embarrasses his friends while getting buckets in pickup basketball at the Heathrow Court. Contact him at [email protected].

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