It Shouldn’t Be ‘Wrong’ To Celebrate Christmas As A Muslim

Christmas Tree Pan.jpg

Far too many times, enjoying Christmas as a Muslim is looked down upon. “But we don’t celebrate Christmas. It’s haram”, I often get told when I say to those around me that I absolutely love Christmas time.

Yes, Muslims don’t celebrate Christmas but what is wrong with enjoying it and taking part in all the fun surrounding it? In Islam, Jesus is also one of our prophets. We’ve become a society where it’s so offensive to take part in other cultures, religions and their traditions, that we aren’t even allowed to talk about it.

Muslims often get told to integrate into British society but when they try to integrate, they get slated for disrespecting their own religion. Christmas is a Christian holiday but nowadays it is a universal holiday that is celebrated by anyone and everyone – even those who are not even religious. This can be offensive to some but it’s just the way it is now. It may have lost its purpose but the main thing about Christmas, I believe, is a time for everyone to come together, reflect and celebrate diversity.

As a Muslim myself, brought up in a Muslim household, we still get together as a family on Christmas Day and have a big Christmas lunch, with all the traditional trimmings. I’m British, all my family are British and we live in a mainly Christian country – we are integrating to that culture. What is so bad about celebrating Christmas the traditional way, but as a Muslim? We don’t exchange gifts or have a tree but we do what Christmas is meant to be about – which is being with family and friends and helping the needy. We often see a huge amount of effort by non-Muslims during the month of Ramadan, feeding the poor and even taking part in fasting themselves and as a Muslim myself, I am so grateful for those who do that. It makes me feel warm and thankful. It’s only right that we give something back. When it comes to charity and empathy, religion should not get in the way because at the end of the day, we are all human.

Bake Off winner Nadiya Hussain has recently released a book about her favourite Christmas recipes, and many went onto criticise her because apparently, as a Muslim she has no right to cook festive foods. Many fellow Muslims are even questioning as to why she would write a book about Christmas. Well, why not?

Boxer Amir Khan and his wife Faryal Makhdoom have put up a Christmas tree in their house, with the help of their little daughter. As we’re the generation of ‘snowflakes’ it’s not surprising that they are getting death threats because of this.

What I like about Amir putting a Christmas tree up is that, he isn’t, like many Muslim parents, telling his child that it is “haram” (forbidden) to celebrate Christmas. Far too often, parents are telling their children this, and it just leaves a very bitter image about Christmas whilst their growing up in the UK. This is a very dangerous thing to do. Personally, I fear it can lead that child to an extreme path. Living in a western society, we must teach kids to be open about and respect other religions and cultures. Radicalisation can happen in any form and telling children that other religions and cultures, other than Islam, is “wrong” can lead to a very dangerous path.

Christmas is my favourite time of year. I like to decorate my room all Christmassy and watch Christmas movies and just generally feel festive. I would like a tree but for my family that is too much. When I have my own house and family I will certainly take part in Christmas in a more traditional way and I will never tell my children that Christmas is forbidden.

How to cope at the office Christmas party if you have anxiety

New Year’s Resolutions?

Image

The reason why we often fall of the wagon with our New Year’s Resolutions is because they are rather big goals, which in the long term, sounds like a good achievable plan, but in the short term, it is really unachievable and you are setting yourself up for failure, We often fail to recognise this.

Every year, I always hear people’s New Year’s Resolutions is to ‘lose weight’ or to ‘give up smoking’ but what are you doing to achieve that goal in the short-term? Giving something up cold turkey or trying to lose 25lbs straight away is not the way to go and frankly you are setting yourself up for failure. January is the month people are very motivated and determined to get back on track after the festive period. However, come February, people often give up on that goal altogether because they are very big long-term goals. This is why people do not stick to their resolutions. 

I think a new year is a good time to think about improving yourself in the best way possible so I am all for resolutions. However, they need to be achievable in the short term.

What I would do to achieve that goal, is to set yourself small weekly goals. So, if you want to go to the gym more this year and you never usually go to the gym, go once a week. Start from there. Do that for a couple of weeks until you feel like you can extend it. Then go twice a week, then three times a week and so on.

If you want to give up smoking, instead of stopping altogether, cut down on how many times you smoke in a day and then gradually, cut down a bit more and then smoke once a day or every other day. This will be easier for you in the long-term to totally give it up. 

This goes to any other goals you want to achieve. Start slowly, set yourself weekly goals and go from there. If you do it like this and are serious about the goal, you will tend to stick to your resolutions all year, instead of giving up in February. 

Happy New Year! 

 

Winter Essentials (2013)

It is December, which means it is Winter! After Autumn, Winter is my next favourite season because of the thought of being stuck at home, around the fire or heater,  just feeling rather cosy! I love it. I do not like snow though and apparently, Britain will have the worst Winter in 60 years during the next coming months. Snow, snow and more snow. I am not looking forward to that.

But fear not because every year, I have a few essentials (below) that I think we should all have this Winter so that it does not affect our mood as much. I don’t know about you, even though I love Winter, it does bring on a rather melancholic feeling. But, materialistic things does tend to make me happier! y (3)1. Winter Coat – After wearing my mac/trench coat all Autumn, when Winter comes along, I change to a wool coat, which will keep you warm in the harsh weather us Brits face when it comes to December/January. I still go for my usual skater style coat and I have been wearing a wool military style coat from ASOS like the one above for nearly over two years now because it is so good and is not even damaged one bit. I would suggest to invest in a rather expensive Winter coat, which will last you a very long time. Also, when you live in the UK, you always need a coat all year round to be honest. But, I do not change to a proper Winter coat (wool material) until the temperature drops to 5 degrees and below.

2. Gloves – We all need a pair of warm gloves during the Winter. I find that when I am out and the weather is so cold, my hands get so frozen that I cannot even use my phone. The one above is a Hello Kitty one but if you are a smartphone user, I would suggest you buy a pair of touchscreen gloves. Those are a lifesaver!

3. Cosy Slipper Boots – I love walking around the house with a pair of slippers and recently I saw these cosy looking boots in H&M and I had to buy it. They look like Uggs and I do not like Uggs but these are just to wear at home when it is so cold. They are very comfortable and very warm!

4. Hot Water Bottle – I am always always always cold and I always (I need to stop saying always) need a hot water bottle. I have the Hello Kitty one above. I have my own heater as well which I use to death but a hot water bottle is something that I use when I need to fall asleep. I feel so cold that I cannot even sleep so I usually make myself a hot water bottle before bed. Be careful though because from experience, using a hot water everyday is not good for your skin. Too much use can burn your skin!

5. Cosy Pyjamas – I don’t know about you but when I wear new pyjamas, I feel like a million dollars. Very weird I know. I recently bought new Hello Kitty pyjamas and they are the best thing ever. Along with pyjamas, I would suggest a nice cosy dressing gown. I live in dressing gowns and pyjamas to be honest – even in the summer because I am always cold! I am eyeing up a Hello Kitty dressing gown at the moment but if I spend my money on that, I am sure to get into trouble. I have too many already!

6. Cosy Slipper Socks – Like the boots, fluffy slipper socks are great for those colder months. Again, I live in fluffy socks at home because of me being so susceptible to the cold. They are the best.

7. Carmex – When it is really cold, your lips tend to get very dry and chapped and I find that putting on Carmex before my lipsticks prevents my lips from getting like that. Carry one around with you because it does the job!

8. Rimmel Kate Moss Liptick in 107 – This has been my favourite lipstick all Summer and Autumn and because it is such a dark red lipstick, it would definitely work well in the Winter. I love this lipstick as it is matte and just looks amazing on.

9. Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation (in Ecru) – In my Double Wear Light review, I said that the full coverage one is great for Winter and I have started using it again after months of using Double Wear Light and I must say, I have fallen in love with this foundation again. It is so perfect for Winter because it is such a full coverage foundation. It just works well on my skin in the Winter. So, if you wear foundation – a good full coverage one is what you need for the Winter.

10. MAC Bronzing Powder (Matte Bronze) – When it is Winter, your skin will become rather dull, so if you want to get a bit of colour into your skin, I would suggest using a bronzer. I have been loving contouring recently and this bronzer by MAC does the job perfectly. I do not like shimmers in my bronzers so I bought the matte one. Most of these are rather dark but very blendable.  I would suggest using the Real Techniques Blush Brush to contour really well. Also, because the bronzer is by MAC, it is quite expensive at £20 so if you want a cheaper alternative drugstore one, I would suggest the Sleek Face Contour Kit. I have the one in the Light shade and it is only £6.49 and does the job well!