If you didn’t know already, I never celebrated Christmas. I grew up in a Christian cult and the only thing we were allowed to celebrated was our birthdays. From Easter to Christmas and all in between were forbidden. I always made up lies to tell my friends at school when I was younger. I remember everyone came back from Christmas break raving about their new toys and all the presents they got. And I always felt so out of place, like I didn’t belong. How could I when I didn’t get anything. So I decorated the truth. I scraped together all the small bits and pieces I received during the December month and often said that that was what I got for Christmas. I even told lies about what we did and ate on Christmas eve. I was ashamed of what people might think if I told them the truth. The truth being that I’ve never celebrated it.
Looking back at it know, I see it as a blessing in disguise. I don’t have to say goodbye from a celebration that I never took part of. I don’t have to lie to my family that I cannot make their festivities. Because honestly there are non, even now over a decade after leaving the cult. I don’t have to remove my hijab to fit into their standards. I don’t have to navigate through the dinner to avoid eating pork. Today I saw the huge blessing I was given and somewhat advantage.
My heart goes out to all of you reverts who have found Islam and the beauty in it, but are still trying to navigate your new life with your old. I pray that Allah swt makes it easy for you and softens the hearts of your families so that you don’t have to do something against your religion and faith, to keep familie ties aligned. May Allah swt reward you for your efforts and insha’Allah it will get easier, ameen.