Again, new experience here being abroad. About a few weeks ago, a couple of my housemates of Eastwood A E36 knocked on my door asking me if I would like to join one of the events for their christmas celebration. On that day, they were inviting me whether I want to join the acara bertukar-tukar hadiah. “Secret Santa” as what they called it.
Previously, there were several activities that they planned for their christmas celebration; pre-christmas, I mean. The activities were such as went for a christmas shopping in town, decorating our kitchen and making it like kind of in a christmas mood, having a christmas meal together, and the secret santa.
decoration on the windows of our kitchen 🙂
Well, certainly I didn’t join any of those activities, except for that tukar-tukar hadiah i.e. secret santa. When they knocked on my door and asked me about it, first of all, I asked myself, why not? It’s just tukar-tukar hadiah. Without putting or connecting it with any beliefs. Maybe they did it to CELEBRATE christmas (probably not also), but I told myself that I JOINED them to CELEBRATE our housemateship (hehe, supposedly friendship but I’m not that close with my housemates actually, rarely talk to them as I’m always by myself in my room). Just for fun.
So, I told them,”Sure, I would like to!” Later, they came again with some little crumpled papers with our names on it. Each of us had to pick one of those crumpled papers and we were supposed to give present to the person that her name was on the paper that we picked.
Being me, I just don’t know what kind of presents that I should give to others . Be it anyone. Again, being me, I usually buy books as presents for other people. 😛 Lame. haha. I guess so. Well, at least reading is a good hobby. Thus, a book was what I got for that person which her name was on the paper. 🙂
Guess what? I don’t have any sellotape in my room, that’s why the wrapping looks kinda weird 😛
However, over this period, I AVOIDED wishing them “m*rry xmas”. Well, that’s something thas has got to do with my belief and their belief, right? They believe that Jesus was born on 25th of December. We, as Muslim believe in Jesus i.e. Nabi Isa a.s. but do not believe in the day he was born.
I remember, in one of the sharing session with the facis during W.O.W, Kak Azila told us her experience in joining a party held by her colleagues (I can’t remember if it was a christmas party or just an ordinary party). She attended it due to her respect towards their culture; did not want them to get offended.
In addition, it was held in a club. Surely it was a big dilemma if I were in her shoes. Nevertheless, she joined them and guess what, her colleagues even gave her a book of Sirah Nabi as a present! That shows that her colleagues do respect her as a Muslim.
Her advise to us was be firm with our own belief. Be clear of those DOs and DON’Ts. What do you expect, an English party without beers and them getting drunk? She joined the party but she didn’t do what she shouldn’t do.
Learnt the Lesson
I guess in my case, it’s not wrong to exchange presents (ijtihad sendiri ni. betulkan kalau salah 😐 ). It would be something wrong if I do it in the real spirit of christmas. However, even for some of them, the real spirit i.e. remembrance of the day Jesus was born is SPOILT by their own belief of santa claus which the more religious christian among them regarded that (santa claus) as something secular in christmas.
*secular: of or pertaining to worldly things or to things that are not regarded as religious, spiritual, or sacred from dictionary.com
You better watch out, you better not cry, you better not pout, I’m telling you why, santa claus is coming to town~
My friends and I once discussed about-what if we were invited to a christmas party? Then I responded, should be no problem as long as we are not with the INTENTION of celebrating the birthday of Jesus. In other words, it should be ok as long as we exclude ourselves from any kind of christmas rituals, etc.
The winter break is just around the corner! Starting next week to be precise. 🙂
Will be staying in the university for the first week, a visit from my friends all the way from Birmingham (Imeyk n Mana), then off I go to Dublin for PUISI’08. insyaAllah. 😉
Correct me if I’m wrong.