Christmas is a special time of the year for most Arabs who do celebrate it. Some of us either make it such a big deal, and some make it nothing at all. For me, My family is in between, and I’m here to share with y’all why Christmas is difficult for Arabs.
Christmas in my family is like Christmas in any other family around the world. except it’s 10x worse. If your Arab, then you know how annoying any holiday really is. Especial of you’re a female. You slept at 3 in the morning feeling tired ash. Exactly at 6 in the morning, you hear your moms vacuum-cleaner cleaning the house. You wake up, your eyes blood-red, just so damn tired. You get up and march to your mom.
“MOMM, I slept at 3 in the morning last night. Can you please stop using this evil machine for just a couple of hours.” You say, trying your hardest not to fall asleep on the spot.
Ya see, this is the part where your mom yells in your face and tells you to get your butt up and start cleaning… because what? All your uncles and aunts are visiting today. This is how a typical Arab mom would react if visitors are coming to her house. The house needs to be spotless!!! And of course your wondering… “why would your mom even care if family members are coming?”. Honey, Arab moms like to show off a lot, but not with anything any other mother usually shows off with. Arab moms are completely different. My mom, for example, all she cares about, is how clean and neat her home looks like because for Arabs (and I know a lot can relate to this) Your home is a reflection of you. If your home is messy and unclean then you’re basically a lazy person. It’s that simple.
So now, you’re gonna have to start cleaning your entire house, even though your aunts and uncles are coming at 7 pm, your mom will wake you up at 6 am telling you it’s 6 pm just so you can speed up the process.
After you finish cleaning up, your mother will usually start cooking and preparing food. And you know Arabs, they LOVEEEEEE FOOD! straight up, my mom would cook a meal that could feed the 300 hundred soldiers in “The 300”, but there would only be 6 people coming to visit. Then the rest of the food that is left, she usually just keeps in the fridge or throws it away.
Then comes your uncles, aunts cousins and basically whoever is willing to annoy you on Christmas day. They all gather up in your house to have a “Party”.
Party is another word for “Im just here to enjoy the good food.” in the Arab culture. LOL
The minute you open that door to your uncles and aunts, your dead meat! Arabs are like no other. They love anything involving hugging or kissing! When you see your aunts or uncles, even if u have seen them the other day, they will grab you into their arms and hug you like their lives depends on it! They give each cheek of yours about 10 kisses then switch the next. Then after the kissing process, they usually like to hug you to death. It makes it so difficult for you to breath. When they finally let go, they usually start complimenting you on how tall you have gotten (even if you’re a midget), and how you’re already a woman/man. And it is the most ANNOYING THING TO HEAR.
Later on in the day, y’all will start talking, you know, gossiping and making lame jokes about different people. Finally, your mom brings the food, you all pray, you eat, when you finish up, you all sit down in the living room and start talking ish, then you start to gamble. Gambling, to be honest, is my favorite part of Christmas day as an Arab. When you’re an Arab, you are introduced to gambling at a very young age… lol I started gambling when I was 6. Its really fun. We play poker, we play Konkan basically any game that involves betting money… and obviously, you know that the winner of every game is me. DUHH! (jk I actually suck and I always end up losing 😭)
After gambling, everyone will feel annoyed because we all know my dad is always the winner (he wins every Christmas). So to cheer up the mood, we usually start to open gifts that others have brought for us. (I’ll skip all the drama for now) AND FINALLLYYYYYY… everyone decides to go home. They thank your mother for the amazing food, thank everyone for such a wonderful night… and yeah, that is a typical Christmas day for Arabs.
So I hope you enjoyed this blog about how Arabs celebrate Christmas, and why I find it very difficult. With all the things you have to prepare for, the annoying cousins, your dad that always ends up winning every round when gambling, your loud aunts and uncles, your obviously gonna get annoyed every Christmas. However, family gatherings are and will always be my favorite part of christmas because y’all gather around and have fun with the closest people to you!