Seeing snow fall outside.
Hearing the crackle of a fireplace.
Seeing a decorated tree full of gifts.
Hearing christmas music playing in the background.
Nice right? But this was not what I experienced growing up.
Growing up, Christmas + New Year = Time off from school. And yes I wish this was still the case!
We never had a Christmas tree except one that was about 10 inches tall. More like a Christmas branch actually. Cute? Yes. A real Christmas feel? No.
Although there definitely are those that celebrate, Iran is predominantly a Muslim country and therefore most do not celebrate Christmas (New Year? Sure, but not to the extent that we celebrate in March – our REAL new year stick with me.) Some of the traditions are also just not as feasible for us to celebrate in its traditional sense. It isn’t easy to have 20 of your family members over at your house when most of your family is thousands of miles away in a land called Iran.
We did what we could though because as we all know, these holidays have in many ways become national holidays for people of all backgrounds and cultures regardless of where you were born or where you came from. We got gifts, but instead of under a tree they were near our fireplace (not a bad compromise!), we spent the day together at home with our own family, or friends that we call family anyway, and we ate delicious food and fought over the tadiq that was on the table (its just always there..).
Bottom line, even if the celebration in our family was not a blown out Christmas/New Year’s celebration, I actually felt and still do feel lucky to have the chance to celebrate these Holidays to whatever extent we can PLUS the Iranian Holidays (plug here for our Norouz = Iranian New Year = March = Awesome celebrations!)
Hope everyone had a great Christmas holiday and a wishing you a wonderful New Year ahead!