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Taking to the microblogging platform Twitter, Hussain posted a series of observations on the holiday of Christmas which resonated worldwide with all the desi people abroad and gathered thousands of likes and shares instantly.
Christmas as we know it seems simple, filled with love and compassion. A festival of being merry, but this merry does not come easy or cheap as refuted by Hussain. So when coronavirus forced the Muslim man to spend his holidays in Canada, he decided to blog his observations. And it is not short of hugely entertaining.
For someone who has never celebrated Christmas, Hussain revealed that Christmas can be quite overwhelming and elaborate. His first observation adds to this point, when he writes: "Observation 1: Christmas is a part-time job that you have from mid-November to the end of December. From the outside looking in, Christmas always seemed pretty simple. I always thought you put up a tree and then gave gifts to family. This is a lie."
Do you want to sleep in on a Saturday? Too bad. Go put up some lights inside the house.
Oh you want to sleep in on Sunday? Too bad. Go put up some lights outside the house.
Next weekend? Nope. Every free moment you have will be spent agonizing over the gifts you must buy.— Mohammad Hussain (@MohammadHussain) December 19, 2020
Hussain further noted that Christmas involved a series of ‘tasks’ that needed to be carried out way before Christmas. Such as putting up the Christmas decorations and the lighting both inside and outside the house. Getting the perfect presents for family and friends and wrapping them and also finding the right decorations for your tree, including ‘fillers’ and ‘keepers’.
For Canadians more so, Hussain writes that they can be quite the perfectionists when it comes to traditions and Christmas menus.
Observation 2: People have very strong feelings about their Christmas traditions.
If someone is insisting that *certain food* is what you have to eat Christmas morning, because that's their family tradition, DO NOT SUGGEST ALTERNATIVES. They will stab you in the neck.— Mohammad Hussain (@MohammadHussain) December 19, 2020
His best and most loved observation was however on the Christmas tree. It is not as easy as just lighting up a tree, it takes a lot of thought in choosing the kind of ornaments that will adorn the tree.
"Observation 5: There are two streams of Christmas ornaments. The "fillers" and the "keepers"," he wrote.
Hussain explained that "fillers" were the "generic" type of ornaments that had no intrinsic value or backstory. "Keepers", on the other hand, were meant to be more "special and unique", something to be passed down to your children.
He went ahead and bought his first ‘keeper’ upon his friend’s insistence to celebrate Christmas - a fake bagel! However, Hussain was also quick to observe that Christmas is a little expensive affair. His own first ‘keeper’ costing him $15, for a single ornament.
My roommates encouraged me to buy my own keeper ornament. They told me to find something that made me smile and that was special to me. I bought this one and I am very happy. It is an everything bagel. pic.twitter.com/dbrTZQzK47— Mohammad Hussain (@MohammadHussain) December 19, 2020
Hussain showed the pandemic’s silver lining to thousands of desi staying abroad, encouraging them to enjoy the festivities and himself immersing in the love and compassion of the holiday.
Growing up, my Muslim family never celebrated Christmas. This year I am not going home, because pandemic, so my roommates are teaching me how to have my first proper Christmas.
I am approaching this with anthropological precision.
Here are a few observations. pic.twitter.com/1WARv5nax4— Mohammad Hussain (@MohammadHussain) December 19, 2020
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