Merry Whatever: 18 Women on Navigating Faith During the Holidays

The most wonderful time of the year can be the most challenging for people observing different traditions. Here, 18 women share what makes their holidays happy

My family didn’t celebrate Christmas. But I still remember wrapping an object I found in my parents’ bedroom with shoddy paper and re-gifting it to my mother when I was five years old. I wanted to celebrate so badly; I wanted to belong. As a Muslim, I know it may sound surprising at first to hear how deeply I love Christmas. But I’ve always felt there was something special about this time, and as someone who grew up outside these traditions, I know I’m not entirely alone in feeling this way. So I wanted to talk to women from across different faiths and ask them about their experiences navigating their own traditions with rituals outside their beliefs. Here are their stories.

This story originally ran on December 23, 2016. 


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