Tuesday, December 17, 2013

What is Christmas to a Brown Person?

Christmas to a Brown person:  Is it just another day?  No, not really.  Is it holy?  No not really?  Is it a joke?  No way.  We Indians and South Asians, and other people who are not associated directly with Christianity have realized that Christmas means something to us, it's just hard to figure out what exactly.

I will tell you one thing, at least for me, it has nothing to do with the birth of Jesus Christ.  It has something to do with, I can only speak for myself, I repeat I am not speaking for all my brown brothers and sisters when I say Christmas is like this party that we crashed.  The party was not for us, and we weren't even invited, but it's a pretty good party.  We will stay and have fun, but if anyone asks us what we are doing there, we really have no good answer.

Christmas Crashers, that's what we are.

I mean of course we are coming to your party, this country has a big party on the 25th of December, I mean even Meijers is not open, I mean you can't even buy a banana if you wanted to on Christmas Day.  That says something about our society, we shut down to the point where you feel guilty if you have no Christmas spirit and you just eat a banana.  There must be a feast...a feast filled with joy!

Let's talk about that for a second.  I think that's what it's really about for us folks who are not doing the Christmas thing for anything remotely religious.  There is something about the feeling in the air, it's about celebration, it's about family and friends and fun and some kind of liquor, let's be real.  But it's more than that, we want to celebrate something...something.

It's got to do with something pretty, like lights in the middle of the dead of winter.  When it gets darker and darker.  For me it's an excuse to be happy, and I need excuses this time of year.

My roommate and I are having a few people over for Christmas this year.  She's not Brown but she has a love hate thing with Christmas too.  

I mean it's a demanding time of year, you are expected to have fun and love, and if you don't have "enough" of it you could be left out.

My mom has in the past made chicken curry on Christmas.  Last year we had Thai food for the holiday.  This year my roommate put up a tree, a new thing for her and she's White.  

I have to admit the Christmas tree by the fire is beautiful.  For me it has nothing to do with baby Jesus or gifts, it has to do with celebration.  I want to celebrate something even if I don't know what that thing is.

Maybe that thing is life itself.  I want to be happy and things like egg nog and Christmas lights make me happy.  

It's also about being an American.  I'm just as much American as I am Indian, if not more.  It's hard to measure.  

I don't personally exchange gifts with anyone on Christmas, so I don't really have any stress in that regard.  But I like the parties and the sales, I take what's good about this holiday.  I need to feel like I'm part of something bigger, like part of American culture, because I was born here.  This is my country too.

I may have a different spin on Christmas than the average American but I still want to be a part of this thing.  Holidays are a wonderful thing and whatever culture you live in you want to fit in, to some degree.

Christmas may not be holy to me but its precious to me.  

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