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Sikhs and Christmas!

Discussion in 'Sikh Sikhi Sikhism' started by Admin Singh, Dec 18, 2009.

  1. Admin Singh

    Admin Singh
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    I'm Sikh ... and I Enjoy Christmas!
    by HARVINDER SINGH SANDHU


    Christmas carols. Christmas trees. Crowded malls. Cranky, crying children and harassed parents.

    Yup! It's Christmas time again.


    I was exhausted after spending a long afternoon at the mall buying gifts for the family, trudging around various stores trying to keep to my budget, which I was failing miserably at, when it suddenly dawned on me.


    I don't have to buy any Christmas gifts. In fact, I don't have to have a Christmas tree or all the decorations that I just bought! I can save my money. Yes! I don't have to participate in this shopping frenzy and get stressed out getting the perfect gifts for the people I love. I don't have to entertain anybody; this means I don't have to clean my house, buy all that extra food and booze. Yes, I can save my money. Did I say that already?
    You see, I am not Christian. I'm bronze, as in Punjabi bronze, and I'm a Sikh. I'm not obligated to participate in the craziness of celebrating Christmas. So why do I find myself every year in December, in the malls, shopping for gifts that I have to wrap in the middle of the night and hide, usually unsuccessfully, till Christmas morning?


    Being of the Sikh faith, I celebrate Vaisakhi, which is my religious holiday. And I also celebrate Diwali, the festival of lights. I celebrate these special days with my family and friends and giving gifts are also a part of the celebration for Diwali. And here I am shopping for more gifts! Am I nuts?
    I could so easily take Christmas out of the equation. I can make the kids understand that we celebrate Vaisakhi, which is our holiday, not Christmas. That mommy already decorates the house and painstakingly creates delicious cookies and Punjabi sweets for all to enjoy. That we host dinner parties where we may not cook a turkey but, there is butter chicken on the menu. I don't need to have the added expense or stress, by celebrating Christmas as well.


    Sipping my latté, with my aching feet propped up on the boxes; I come to the conclusion that I love this country and everything and everyone it represents. I know that I don't have to participate, but I want to. I want my children to experience the joy of having Santa visit them; it is also the best deterrent for bad behaviour up to Christmas morning. I want to have a beautifully decorated Christmas tree, and listen to Christmas carols.
    I want to eat turkey with all the trimmings, cooked by those who know how, and have a few too many glasses of eggnog to wash down the gifted Christmas cake.


    I want to hear my kids squeal in delight at finding the gift they begged from Santa, their belief in super beings intact. I want my guests to be awed at my ability to turn my home into a Christmas winter wonderland, just as I had awed them with my Diwali decorations and lights.
    I am a Canadian and I shall keep on participating in the celebration of Christmas with my Christian and non-Christian friends.
    I am lucky that I live in a country that lets me celebrate the holidays the way I want to, with the people I want to, without having to change my religion and beliefs.



    Merry Christmas to all and let's hear the carols everywhere!

    December 18, 2009
     

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  3. Taranjeet singh

    Taranjeet singh India
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    Well Aman ji,
    There is lot of similarity between your Avtar and supposedly Santa Babu,if there is one.Sorry have not read the article...;)
     
  4. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    It could start a discussion about languages. That "sant" and "santa" are the same word. How did that happen. Can we trace it back through cycles of language diversification as peoples migrated to Europe. What language are closer and which not so close. Just look at the learning that is possible.

    Oh forget it! It is a holiday. Who wants to do all that work? Who wants to be that serious?

    Stop being such a wet rag, Narayanjot Kaur~ :D:D:D:D:D
     
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  5. Randip Singh

    Randip Singh
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  6. Mai Harinder Kaur

    Mai Harinder Kaur
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    There's a lot to be said both ways.

    When I was a kid, we celebrated Christmas. We celebrated everything! Any excuse would do for a celebration because life itself was a celebration. We had a very chardi kala household, a three generation large joint family of ever-changing composition. My mother was not present, so I, as the only daughter, was Queen of the Family, even though most of my sisters-in-law were literally decades older than I. Dad had a long, thick, very white beard. Put him into a red suit, tie a crimson turban and you have Santa Claus. :happysingh:Use your imagination. Picture the white beard and red turban.

    For those without an imagination: [​IMG]


    We always had a huge Christmas tree, elaborately decorated, mostly with ornaments we had made ourselves. (Note: It was a Christmas tree, not a holiday tree or a Gurpurab tree or any other such nonsense.) I suppose the biggest difference was that we topped our tree with an illuminated globe instead of a star. We were a Sikh household, most of the adult Amritdharis, and there was really no concern about the fact that this was a Christian holiday. We celebrated it as a cultural holiday and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

    After our marriage, my husband and I were given a small farm where we happily lived as, I suppose, pseudo-Jat landowners, but Christmas was always celebrated with the family back in the city. Until our saintly son objected. His question startled us, when he formally asked, "Papa ji, Mata ji, are we Christian?" "Huh? Of course not! You know we're Sikh." He then made his point, "Then why do we celebrate the birth of their God?" He absolutely objected to celebrating Christmas. Even getting presents wouldn't convince him. "We give each other presents all the time anyway. Why just on Christmas?" We continued to visit the family, of course. But to satisfy the qualms of our son, 25 December was always spent quietly on the farm.

    So which way is better? I do not celebrate Christmas as an adult because I see it as a religious holiday. I do not sing Christmas carols about the birth of Jesus. I do enjoy listening to them though. I enjoy the sparkle and high spirits of the larger community of this time. It brightens up an otherwise dark winter day. I do send a "secular Christmas card" to a few friends. I made mine in photoshop this year and will be happy to show it on request. I do send out New Year's cards, although I understand there are Sikh fuddy-duddy purists who object even to that. OK, not fuddy-duddy. I just do not want to see Sikhi sink into a morass of joyless legalism.

    There is one Christmas carol I love and I think exemplifies the true spirit of this season for all of us of any religion. (I am sure that fundamentalist Christians would disagree with me; I also doubt if a single one will read this thread.)

    Here is the Christmas song that I really like (Its message is so lovely that I can overlook the sexism in it):

    I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day
    by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

    I heard the bells on Christmas day
    Their old familiar carols play,
    And wild and sweet the words repeat
    Of peace on earth, good will to men.

    I thought how, as the day had come,
    The belfries of all Christendom
    Had rolled along th'unbroken song
    Of peace on earth, good will to men.

    And in despair I bowed my head:
    'There is no peace on earth, ' I said
    'For hate is strong, and mocks the song
    Of peace on earth, good will to men.'

    Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
    'God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
    The wrong shall fail, the right prevail,
    With peace on earth, good will to men.'

    Till, ringing, singing on its way,
    The world revolved from night to day
    A voice, a chime, a chant sublime,
    Of peace on earth, good will to men.

    Chardi kala to all
    And to all a good night!

    :ice:

     
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    #5 Mai Harinder Kaur, Dec 19, 2009
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2009
  7. AusDesi

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    Christmas has become more than a christian festival. Here in Australia most non-church going christians celeberate it along with the atheists. It could be argued that this is because it was already a pagan festival and not a christian one but still it has become a non-christian festival as well as christian.

    Im having a pre-christmas party at my best mate's place. He's atheist so there won't even be a picture of jesus anywhere instead we'll be turning a lot of wine into a lot of water lol.

    I got invited to a 'lets put CHRIST back into Christmas' facebook group. I hit ignore within a minute haha.
     
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