I was at a Christmas party the other day and someone was very curious about whether or not we “did” Christmas. Living in a Islamic country with a Muslim husband I suppose it was a valid question. The thing is, religion was/is never an issue for us. My husband is not devout, more spiritual than religious, and I am not religious or spiritual. I celebrate Christmas as a cultural custom and a fun holiday rather than a religious exercise.
I feel lucky that our religious differences (he believes and I do not) were never an issue for our relationship. I know that is not true for everyone. I have several friends who converted to Islam as it would have been an issue for the marriage and children. Their experiences vary from a conversion simply for peace of mind for family members to an uneasy balance between Christmas and the Turkish “New Year” holiday which includes presents and decorated trees.
I also have many friends who married Turkish men who have not converted. These friends celebrate ALL the holidays, their own religious holidays as well as the Islamic ones. I also have friends who married regardless of the issue, and while they have no problem with it, it is an issue for their families.
One time I had someone ask me if it was a problem for my parents that my boyfriend (at the time) was a Muslim. I was shocked that a person who was not intimately involved in my life thought it was appropriate to ask me personal questions about my relationship at all—let alone such as ridiculous one. I told her she should focus on her own daughter who had bigger issues in her own relationship. (Oh the horror! Her daughter was dating a Yankees fan rather than a Red Sox fan. )
So yes. We “do” Christmas. We decorate a tree, exchange presents, eat fattening foods. We also celebrate the New Year by giving presents to his family. We have found a nice balance of his customs and mine rather than his religion and mine.
And for the larger issue at hand—NO he does not cheer for the Yankees.