Like many people, I grew up going to church and even went to Christian school at one point. Although my family has never been very religious, my mom made sure we celebrated Christmas with gifts and having our immediate family all together.
These celebrations were fun but didn’t last very long after my parents divorced in the early 90’s. Once my parents separated, the holidays looked different based on which parent I was with.
My father celebrated Kwanzaa, a African American holiday that focuses on specific principles to uplift family and our community as a whole. My mother became Buddhist for a large portion of my teenage/adult life until adopting Islam after getting married a few years ago.
My family has always been a bit of a melting pot. I love that since I was little I have been able to experience different religions and cultures because of my parents.
At 30 years old I now use the holidays as time to spend with my friends, since my family is so far away in California. I don’t subscribe to any religion now but I am very spiritual. I’ve always just believed that you should do whatever makes your heart sing, so if that means you are Atheist, Buddhist or Muslim then more power to you. I believe the true representation of God, the universe or whatever you believe in or don’t believe in, is LOVE. That’s what celebration is about, Joy!