11.18.2008

"How do you do Christmas?"

In Parent Ed last week I struck-up a conversation with one of the Indian moms in the class. Her English isn't the easiest to understand but I'm trying to be more inclusive with my chit-chat (rather than just talking to the 4 other mormon moms in the class).
So I asked her, "Do you celebrate Christmas in your family?"
"Um, yes. We do Christmas at our house. My ten-year old son wants us to do it. My two year old likes it too."
"Oh great! That's really fun for the kids."
"But um, I'm not sure we're, um, doing it right. How do you do Christmas?"
"Well you usually get a Christmas tree, buy gifts for everyone in the family, wrap them and put them under the tree and then open them all on Christmas morning. And you usually spend the rest of the day doing things with your family."
"Oh good! That's what we're doing! We're doing it right!"
I chuckled and smiled. She was too cute.
It was such an endearing conversation. How do you celebrate Christmas? Of course, not forgetting the real point being: the Savoir's birth and life (this woman is Hindu) well, it's something we Americans just assume and get ready for each year. We've got the routine down. I've never really thought about the details, in the sense of how it would appear to a foreigner, wanting to try it out. So I'm glad to hear she's caught the gist of Christmas cheer! If I ever move to India, I hope there's a holiday I can ask locals about too.

5 comments:

Saunja said...

Okay, that is really sweet. You are always so good to include everyone in a conversation and make everyone feel important. And I hope you don't ever move to India.

Kenny and Linsey said...

With all the varied religions and sects in India, there are hoards of holidays that would be a first time experience for you/me. So, when you move there, I'll be looking forward to your holiday discoveries. Good for you for branching out.

Jean said...

That's such a cute story! Christmas is so fundamental to me, I never considered that it might feel foreign to others. Yahoo for her!!

Super Kate said...

I'm glad it wasn't me having that conversation...well before Thanksgiving you get out your 21+ trees. Take 2 weeks off work to decorate them, and make sure you keep them up until Valentines Day. Oh, and make sure you don't eat anything that isn't homemade...that's against the rules. Just teasin' mom, we love how you DO Christmas.

Camille said...

That's funny. I actually had a very similar conversation with a woman from Kuwait a couple of years ago. Her daughter was in Jeremy's preschool class. She had been living in the States for a couple of years and was really trying to immerse herself in the culture. She had a very thick accent and sometimes it was hard to understand her. It was getting close to Christmas, and she started asking me what we did on Christmas. She had all kinds of questions. She said that the year before she had bought her kids a bunch of toys for Christmas, but wasn't really sure what to do with them, so she just let them open them randomly one afternoon. haah. I gave her some ideas and told her about our traditions. She was very grateful. It was kind of a strange conversation for me because I'd never looked at it through the eyes of someone who didn't understand it. And, the whole part about the real reason we celebrate never came up. Sad.