BY: Christine Boland-Prom
My mother and my father are both Baha’i’s. The Baha’i Faith is a monotheistic religion that believes in the oneness of humanity. We believe of Progressive Revelation, meaning that different manifestations of God (Jesus, Moses, Muhammed) come throughout humanities time to reveal more of God’s message. This meant that “Christmas Break” was a break to celebrate a holiday my family didn’t practice.
My parents made a choice, to celebrate a holiday from another religion. They did this so that my brother and I would fit in at school. They knew how incredibly difficult it would be for a child to continuously explain to their peers why “Santa” didn’t bring them anything. How do you explain that to a 5 year old? They made a choice to celebrate Christmas with my brother and I.
I always looked forward to Christmas, because I got presents. And in a few months I got gifts during a Baha’i holiday, Ayyam-mi-Ha. Ayyam-mi-Ha translates to the Days of God. We celebrate God and the relationships we have, this often translates into gift giving as signs of appreciation.
When I was younger and my family celebrated both holidays I was always excited about presents. As I got older I started to learn the significance of Ayyam-mi-ha and I look forward to decorating the Christmas tree every year. My mom also make different types of Christmas cookies each year and the cookie plate is ALWAYS full of delicious cookies.
One of my favorite parts about decorating the Christmas tree has been exchange students throughout the year participating. Most of them have never celebrated Christmas or decorated a tree. It is nice for them to see this side of my family and feel more integrated into our home.
Another tradition I look forward to is our family ski trip. This didn’t start until I was in junior high, but every year my family stays at a ski hill and we ski/snowboard for a few days. My mom doesn’t ski but she enjoys the time with her family and being able to relax and reading a book.