Celebrating Christmas in A Land of No Christmases..


General / Thursday, December 18th, 2008

Christmas is the most festive seasons of the year, particularly for Filipinos who celebrate it in a really merry and colorful fashion. These are traditions I have grown up with and hold special meaning for me.

But how do you celebrate the holidays with a husband who is not Christian and in a place where Christmas is just another day? For the past six years that has been what I have been adjusting to.

Some say our differences are so great but for the past years I have learned that the Christmas season is another great way for both of us to overcome our differences.Every year is a learning experience for us and we now celebrate the holidays in our own unique way.

The best tip I could offer is to PLAN and TALK. Plan in advance what kind of celebration you want to have. It should be a plan both you,your husband and children are comfortable with. Talk about what activities you want to hold and what traditions you want to keep.

Both of us have decided that we will both raise our children with good values. We have great respect for each other’s spritual and moral beliefs and for us both is right.We have also agreed not to impose one’s beliefs on the other. Our daughter have attended Catholic rites and she has also been exposed to how Buddhists worship. It’s our common desire to raise our kids to be comfortable and respectful of our diffent beliefs and traditions.

Compromise. This particularly applies to food. I’ve gotten used to having some traditional Filipino food during the holidays but some of those food my husband doesn’t eat. So we both decide on which one goes to the menu. We usually come up with mix and match menu so we could have some of his native dishes as well as some of my own.

Holidays is a great time also to create traditions for your family. Ours is making short movies from our Christmas photos. We have made about four home movies already and it’s fun to watch what happened the previous year. Kris Kringles, fireworks, time capsules are also nice ideas for holiday traditions. Start one and its really fun!

Learning about your in-law’s customs and traditions will be a plus factor for you. My in-law’s celebrate Chinese New Year more than Christmas and I have learned to adjust to that and join their celebrations.

Getting to know another person can be stressful but making efforts to explore each other’s customs and traditions is a big help in an a marriage of different race. Bear in mind also that there are choices and compromises you have to make. Some you might not like but be prepared to negotiate and accept things graciously. After all, that’s what marriage is all about – give and take. 🙂

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